Can you spare five quid? 5 Quid for Life features in One in Four mag!
We’re on page 15, Real Lives, under the title ‘Can you spare five quid?’ and Mark introduces us with the observation that 2011 might well be the year of people doing things for themselves — and that, of course, is precisely what 5 Quid for Life is doing.
Mark kindly invited us to answer a few questions about 5 Quid for Life, so who better for that than Kate White, our Compliance Officer? To read the full article you’ll need to buy a copy of the mag or subscribe (great value at only £10 per year, 4 issues) but here’s an excerpt, with Kate explaining what we’re all about:
“5 Quid for Life is about more than just knocking on doors, waiting for answers,” says Kate White, 5 Quid for Life’s Compliance Officer. “The core team comprises 12 talented individuals, each with personal and/or professional experience with mental illness. Fronted by Karita Razzell and David Warriet Edwards, founded by Phil Groom, we are friends as well as skilled, stubborn advocates for people over pence.”
“Having received over £1500 in our first week there is every reason for optimism, and elbow grease,” she says. “February 2011 marks alterations to the benefits system which mean still fewer mental health service users are eligible for any government aid. It is an economic placebo, and a bitter pill for some of the most marginalised members of the ‘big society’. For too many it means imminent bankruptcy, putting them at risk of eviction, homelessness and suicide.”
… “Mental health services are not a luxury,” says Kate. “People with mental health difficulties cannot do without them, and no one should have to struggle to afford them. Our goal is to offer practical, available solutions to those for whom mental health problems are life problems — daily decisions over what is more important: therapy, medication, their child, shelter, warmth?
“For the price of a decent coffee and croissant each month we can save lives.”
Mark himself observes,
5 Quid for Life are finding out how to do things as they go along, drawing on advice and experience of others. They’re still working out exactly how the organisation will work.
This coming weekend will see that working-out taking shape as our core group meets face-to-face for the first time to hammer out the details of our governing document, which Kate and Karita have been working on behind the scenes, to formally appoint our trustees and — at long last! — finalise opening of the organisation’s bank account. Watch this space for more details.
To conclude, another quote from Kate, not in the article:
A true “big society” is one we can imagine. It starts with 5 quid.
THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed so far. Without your support, 5 Quid for Life would be nothing at all.