I've decided to create a new blog - Circles Network and Advocacy in Fife - to contain all the information I've posted and will be posting about my engagement with Circles Network, Warwickshire, England, since 2009 and first hearing about them. When I attended the demonstration at Scottish Parliament against the advocacy tendering in Fife.
|18 May 2009 in solidarity|
It was on 18 May 2009 that I ended up speaking, off the top of my head, to a group of fellow activists, about the council's tendering of advocacy services in Fife. See video link.
I remember calling Circles Network the Circles project, because at that time I didn't know anything about them and had only turned up at the parliament to support the TODAY Group and fellow protestors.
It was the beginning of my campaigning and a very enjoyable experience.
From the video write up:
"The TODAY group (Together Overcoming Discrimination Against you and me) is a mental health advocacy group based in Cupar which serves the whole of Fife. It supports the rights, views and opinions of over 300 members and 12 member groups in Fife. The popular and much-needed group has been relied on by people with mental health issues and their carers for 16 years. However, Fife Council & Social Care Committee decided to put mental health advocacy out to tender and has awarded the contract to an English-based group which will deprive people of local based services, and take away local jobs and volunteering opportunities. It may also lead to the loss of a 5-year Big Lottery grant.
TODAY have been campaigning against Fife City Councils decision. On 14th May they went to Holyrood, Edinburgh to lobby the Scottish Parliament to try and win support for their cause. Many of the campaigners demonstrated outside the parliamentary building where they found themselves side by side with Save Our Schools campaigners from Glasgow who were also lobbying parliamentary MSPs in a quest to get Glasgow City Council to overturn its decision to close 22 schools and its plans to close a further 34. This shows how council cuts are affecting people throughout Scotland. The TODAY and SOS campaigners gave each other some support and solidarity."