On Saturday 3rd February 2018 members of the Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (CLICK HERE) campaign group held a public event in Set the Bar, Wrexham with a full line up of fantastic entertainment. The aim of the day was to raise awareness of the campaign, which seeks to stop Welsh Government handing over the responsibility for the Independent Living Grant to Local Authorities without ring-fencing the monies recipients currently receive. Those who currently receive the WILG are individuals with complex and enduring health conditions, making them the most severely disabled, vulnerable people in Wales. For more information please see Nathan’s Website (CLICK HERE).
The day got off to an excellent start with Alex Lowery (CLICK HERE) sharing his experiences of living with autism, what autism is and how it is not generally a visible disability, which can often lead to difficult and confusing situations socially. Alex’s talk was informative and funny allowing the audience to gain an insight into life from his and others with autisms perspective. I think I can speak for the whole audience when I say how grateful we were for Alex’s bravery and honesty in talking publicly about autism.
Alex was followed by David Subacchi’s (CLICK HERE) outstanding performance of his own poetry. The room was captivated by David’s humble and moving recital, while he revisited the history of Socialism in Wales and the UK and why it is still totally relevant and crucial in overcoming the gross injustices we still face today.
Four students from Ysgol Clywedog (CLICK HERE) provided us with a thought provoking play about homelessness, they were very talented young people with a clear social conscious supported by their drama teacher & Clwyd South Labour Party Fundraising Co-Ordinator Steve Witherden.
Wrexham One World Community Choir (CLICK HERE) filled the room with their presence and their voices, their performance was full of energy and solidarity, particularly ‘Nana Was A Suffragette’ a great time to hear those words as we reach the centenary for women’s right to vote.
There were two open mic sessions, the comedians and Labour Party activists/members Nia Lloyd Williams & Lloyd (CLICK HERE) and a line-up of talented and entertaining musicians throughout the evening including Luke Gallagher (CLICK HERE), Jamie Hamlington (CLICK HERE), John Ramm (CLICK HERE) and Factory Hens (CLICK HERE). We were blessed to have the Young People’s Laureate for Wales, Sophie McKeand (CLICK HERE) perform some of her thought-provoking, expertly executed poetry.
Factory Hens (pictured above)
Without a doubt the most powerful and profound performance of this event was that of Nathan Davies -recipient of WILG and leader of the SWILG campaign. Nathan performed a poem he had written, with contributions from Sophie. The poem ‘Modern Life Is…’ (CLICK HERE) highlighted Nathan’s frustrations with society and how he is treated as a man with a disability, while it was a hard-hitting performance it did not lack the observational dry wit and humour that is always present in Nathan’s writing and attitude to life. The poem was an absolute delight to hear performed, you could have heard a pin drop in the room during the performance; I am sure it had the intended impact of ensuring that no one in the audience would forget the campaign Nathan is fighting on behalf of himself and other vulnerable people with disabilities in Wales who will be deeply affected by the proposed changes.
Nathan Lee Davies & Sophie McKeaned (pictured above with Louise Bosanquet on the left)
There was a great feeling of community spirit and activism throughout the day and the event enabled us to raise some vital funds for the campaign through generously donated raffle prizes and book sales. We received over 100 signatures for the SWILG campaign (CLICK HERE), and to oppose Wrexham County council proposals to charge disabled people for parking (CLICK HERE) petitions.
The event successfully raised awareness of the Save the Welsh Independent Living Campaign and crucially disabled people had a voice and a public space to raise their concerns over
Decisions that are NOT made in their best interests, while promoting disability rights in general. On behalf of the campaign team I would like to thank everyone who was involved in making the event a success. The fight goes on to ensure that during times of politically motivated, unnecessary austerity we don’t forget disabled people who most require support and solidarity from their government, local authorities and communities. For more information on the campaign or to get involved please contact Nathan Lee Davies: firstname.lastname@example.org or Adam Samuels: email@example.com.
A message from Nathan Lee Davies himself: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the two main organisers, Clwyd South Labour Party/N.E.W WLG’s Louise Bosanquet & Vic Grout for their amazing work. Also Louise’s boyfriend Jake for his superb sound engineering. I would like to thank my other fellow Labour Party & Welsh Labour Grassroots members Zoe Clarke, Stella Morris, Angie Hammons/Evans, Adam Samuels, Keith Sinclair, Dave Kettlewell, Beth Wright, Kath Goodchild, Liz Parry, Nick Claffey, Tammy Evans, Jack Grout, Alex Mitsiaras & anyone else I have forgotten from Clwyd South Labour Party/N.E.W. WLG for all their efforts. I must also thank Chris Hall, John Henry, Steve & Georgina Gittins & anyone else I have forgotten from Wrexham Labour Party/N.E.W. WLG for their fantastic work/support, Delyth-Lloyd Williams, Nia Lloyd Williams, Sarah Lloyd, Andrea Falconer, Duncan McGregor and anyone else I have forgotten from Vale Of Clwyd Labour Party/N.E.W. WLG & Rhyl People’s Assembly.
“I would also like to thank Michael Harrison & Unite, DPAC, Fern & all @ Set The Bar, all the performers-including the open mic ones, Apolo Santana & all from Cymru Cuba, my father, sister & brother-in-law and my support staff & all others up and down Wales who have helped, everyone who came along on the day, including my dear friend Sheila Matthews. If I have forgotten anyone, I apologise, it is not intentional! The fight goes on and we MUST WIN! Finally, I would like to thank Jeremy Corbyn, my fellow Labour Party & N.E.W. WLG members for giving me the hope, support, motivation & inspiration to keep fighting. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. I am so proud to call you all friends & comrades. We must remember that this is just one step, and far from the finish line!”
Louise Bosanquet – Clwyd South LGBTQ+ Officer & SWILG Campaigner.
Clwyd South Labour Party Officially Endorses & Supports The SWILG Campaign.