I do voluntary work a few times a week. And twice a year we get together socially.
We do this thing when we go out to eat where every seat apart from mine has a number and after each course everyone gets up and moves on so many places. It's always arranged so I stay put so I joke about how it makes me the Queen of the evening and how everything revolves around ME! So you talk to loads of different people and you talk about loads of different things. It's really fun. You learn things about people you never knew and you get to talk to people you rarely see - those who volunteer on different days to you for example. It's a practice I would recommend for any big group meal or some such.
Last year we went to for an Italian and I was sat there eating pizza and talking to one of my colleagues about Ashley X and the issues surrounding her and all the controversy. It was January and it was a hot topic at that time. And she hadn't heard of her.
Fast forward one year and we went out to eat again last night. We went to a different Italian Restaurant in a different town to the last one (which I think I preferred but which has now shut). I ate a lasagna which could really have done with some more pizazz.
Again in a general current events type conversation I talked with a couple of colleagues about disability rights. Specifically, about Katie Thorpe. And again, just like the majority of people I mentioned her/The article in the Guardian to over the last few days, they'd not heard of her. Talk about deja vu!
Different from me and yet the same, they are "my people" who have suffered and in some cases continue to do so from a system that doesn't care or which cares but not enough. Who have their rights abused and their lives considered worthless because they share (or shared) the same tag I do - Disabled.
They matter to me.
I hope that this time next year when our post Christmas "Christmas meal" comes around there won't be another name on that list and that I won't spend my time socialising, chatting in general and educating my colleagues about another name on that list.
Enough is Enough.