Co-operation raises £1 million for the deaf

Co-operation raises £1 million for the deaf

I am proud to announce that with the generous help of the Cumbrian public, the 37 local Co-operative stores in the area and other Co-operative businesses throughout the UK, £1 million has been raised so far for RNID (The Royal National Institute for Deaf People).

The Co-op has chosen the RNID as this year’s charity

This is fantastic news and I wish to thank all those who have donated to this very worthwhile cause at their local Cumbrian Co-operative store, even through these difficult times. This money will enable RNID to do even more to help people adjust to life with a hearing loss, and to campaign for people to take their hearing health seriously.

The Co-operative has chosen RNID as its charity of the year for 2009, and we have been overwhelmed by the support of staff, members and customers. However, it is a sad fact that it can take people up to 15 years to acknowledge hearing difficulties.

RNID’s message is simple; if you have hearing difficulties, dial nnnnnnn or visit www.rnid.org.uk/hearingmatters to check your hearing now.

JACKIE BALLARD
Chief Executive RNID
London

No mention of the word “deaf” in the letter by Jackie,  except for RNId’s full name.  However, the newspaper headlined the article with the word “deaf”. On the public front, is the word “deaf” now taboo at RNId?

Our representation is getting skewed here cos the letter publicly state that it is RNId’s remit to look after the hearing people’s hearing/hearing loss – which is a no bad thing – but masquerading under the “Deaf” banner is misleading and the press is not helping the situation. They should drop that from their name. I have the feeling the money will never reach the real Deaf people at grassroots and get passed around over our heads.

Everything about us, without us.

Source: News & Star

Web Two point Oh, No!

Adam Rothwell

Adam Rothwell

This fella absolutely knocked the issue of charities’ transparency on head.

The gist of his article is to encourage greater engagement with the stakeholders and taking on aboard their criticisms. He also suggested that charities should be open about their activities and heed the criticisms in order to learn from it. He also advocate the use of the internet to faciliate this engagement, which will bring better transparency. I couldn’t put it any better myself.

I refer to the online rumblings that have been ongoing in the D/deaf’s quarters online, such as The Regency and the monster thread at BBC Ouch’s See Hear forum. You can also view another blog by MM, a disgruntled RNID observer/member. I never thought I would see the day when I refer to MM but do read his blog to get some background, if you can seperate the “wheat from the chaff“.

Rothwell ended his article like this:

Although it’s painfully trendy to admit this, the internet greatly magnifies the advantages that transparency can bring. The web makes it easy to communicate with your supporters – and gives them, potentially, almost infinite chances to help you.

Any organisation would be foolish if it passed up this opportunity.  But charities – which ultimately depend on their supporters for their legitimacy as well as income – simply cannot afford to let transparency’s potential pass them by.

Amen.

Some background: Sorry if you heard this one before but it is relevant and a good example. Back in 2006, RNID withdrew their public forum as a draconian answer to flame war, that occurred inside forum. In one single swipe, the public have lost their platform to communicate with and within RNID. There is no sign of this forum ever being reinstated, ideally, under a more vigourous moderator. As the result, the majority of supporters have lost their “voice”, where RNID can learn from. This article would indicate that such action is a foolish move and they have ignored pleas to have it reinstated. Ever since, discontent rumbled on on blogs and forums elsewhere and it been reported that RNID are becoming increasingly distant in their ivory towers as members struggle to communicate with the higher hierarchy at RNID. By that stance, they can’t claim it is their legitimacy to represent us Deaf people if we can’t engage with them constructively. More recently, RNID’s Director of Advocacy and Policy have stated, on ThirdSector, that they recognise the importance of the internet for communication. That is rather an equivocal statement. Money. Mouth. Put.

Twitter ye not…not

Podcast From KnowHowNonProfit

Ian Bruce

Brian Lamb is the executive director of advocacy and policy at the RNID and the author of NCVO’s Good Campaigns Guide, which maps out effective tools to increase the quality and the evaluation of campaigning. Within RNID, Brian has had overall responsibility for driving forward the work on awareness of the dangers of loud noise, including the award winning ‘Don’t Lose the Music’ campaign aimed at younger people and those working in the entertainment and music industry. Here he explains what he think makes an effective campaign.

Brian Lamb, RNID

I think it’s something that captures the imagination, I think it’s something that’s got flair and passion. I think passion’s vastly underestimated still, in campaigning. You’ve got to have the technique but you’ve actually got to pull people to your issue – because there’s hundreds of issues out there and yours has got to stand out. And yours has got to motivate decision makers to make them feel that this is the one that they’ve got to address.

I think what you have to remember, whether you’re a big or a small campaign, the kind of steps you ought to be taking is focusing ruthlessly on what is the key thing you need to achieve and who can really make that difference for you. And look to how you can use the language of the people that you’re campaigning against, to put it into their terms, so they can understand what you’re looking for. And I think if you do that, you will always present a very effective case to those you’re lobbying against.

I think campaigning is changing massively at the moment, because the more people become disillusioned with traditional parties and traditional ways of influencing, the more and more they’re going to charities and to campaigning organisations to get the democratic voice they feel they’re not getting through the system. We’ve seen an explosion in the last ten years of community national base campaigns taking on large issues and creating the political weather, where political parties are simply now just responding to what’s going on in civil society.

I think what’s interesting is everybody keeps talking about the internet and Twitter and social networking, and that’s very important. But it’s amazing how much people are going back to traditional grass-roots methods of giving people a sense of community, a place to go and people to relate to. You look at a lot of the successful campaigns that are getting media attention – it’s actually about bringing people together in a way that, again, political parties are often not. It’s then knowing how to use the media and to do that with flair and do things differently that actually attracts attention. And again I think it’s the novelty that people can bring, as well as the passion, that often makes the difference and makes particular campaigns stand out.

Prompted Questions for Brian Lamb

How did you become a campaigner? What got you started?

What are the key components of a good campaign?

Is there ever a “one-size-fits-all” approach?

What is your view of Hacan’s campaigning?

Where do you think people make mistakes?

Can you give me some examples of some good campaigns?

Where do you see our campaigners of the future?

How do you see the future of campaigns? (online/mobile phones/etc..)

Do you think the internet will become an effective campaigning platform? Or is there too much junk cluttering the internet distracting the audience away from the important stuff?

What grabbed my attention is this bit:

I think campaigning is changing massively at the moment, because the more people become disillusioned with traditional parties and traditional ways of influencing, the more and more they’re going to charities and to campaigning organisations to get the democratic voice they feel they’re not getting through the system.

Democratic voice? Although I have not made representations to RNID, I have seen plenty of complaints online and through 1st hand, within the deaf rank and file community, that they are not getting that democratic voice. Are they going to change their position at any time soon? Or do we need to do it ourselves?

We’ve seen an explosion in the last ten years of community national base campaigns taking on large issues and creating the political weather, where political parties are simply now just responding to what’s going on in civil society.

Are we missing a trick here? Should there be more groups/organisations to work alongside BDA? For example, a campaign for accessible health programs rolled out on national scale i.e. stop smoking group or drug/alcohol group. I would rather engage with a deaf-led self-help group than attend a mainstream group with an interpreter as I do not want my deafness to be centre of attention when I do attend. BSL announcement about Swine flu is all great but what is happening on the local levels? I only found out because I am able to use the internet effectively and got my feelers out. Are the Whitehall’s civil servant mandarins ensuring the information are reaching the right audience?

I think what’s interesting is everybody keeps talking about the internet and Twitter and social networking, and that’s very important.

Is Twitter really the future? While it is fun and digestible, I am still unconvinced – despite the hype.


The World without Sounds – My entries

In the light of the patronising RNID Deaf Awareness 2008’s campaign – entitled The World without Sounds, there is a photo competition where we can submit the sounds that we Deaf people are deprived of.

These are the entries which RNID have failed to include. Without further ado and In no particular order…..


Further readings:

Perfecting the art of being deaf
The Sickness of Deaf Awareness Week – The World without Sounds
Satire: 2 Songs – Fundraising Machine & Gimme, Gimme, Gimme