My name is Ciara. I have a learning disability and work for a charity, Mencap. I’ve been a supporter of the ONE Campaign for many years after hearing ONE co-founder Bono speak about the organisation over 14 years ago. I was blown away and wanted to support in any way I could.
Back in October, I joined #ONEonTour at the U2 show in London. Here’s why I did it:
1. To represent the 1.4 million people living in the UK with a learning disability.
I was proud to be the first London U2 show volunteer with a learning disability. I introduced myself to some other volunteers and told them about having a learning disability.
When I started I was unsure of talking to people, but one of my friends who had volunteered before went around with me and showed me how to approach people. Doing this gave me confidence. Most people were supportive. There were some people who said no, but they were very polite and there were a number of fans who had been at concerts before who were enthusiastic!
2. Working with the ONE family.
My role was to go and talk to fans about the ONE Campaign. I asked them if they had heard of ONE and their Poverty is Sexist campaign and ask them if they wanted to sign the Poverty is Sexist letter. I felt it was amazing — it was a great personal experience and we got 1,356 people to sign the letter. As a volunteer, I was proud of helping to make a change and work with so many others.
3. A new opportunity to campaign.
I know so much about the challenges that people with a learning disability face and the issues we campaign on. The U2 show gave me an amazing opportunity to learn about a new issue — extreme poverty — and learn more about this important campaign. It was a great opportunity to get outside my comfort zone and meet new people.
If I had one message to anyone thinking about volunteering with ONE, I’d say do it! I’ve kept in touch with the group and I’ve learnt new campaigning skills which has helped me with my confidence.
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