"Stop Bombing Civilians" say thousands across the UK
This December, campaigners and school students up and down the UK held fantastic events to raise awareness and funds for the forgotten victims of conflict. As part of the Forgotten 10 Challenge, local groups organised eye-catching displays, ‘Tea at 10’ coffee mornings, and built Pyramids of Shoes to get people thinking about what life is like for survivors of bombings in countries like Syria. At the same time, school students from Surrey to Aberdeenshire learnt about civilians affected by war and took action to support some of the most vulnerable people on earth.
A Christmas shopper in Rugby takes time out to sign the Stop Bombing Civilians petition at a stall organised by Rugby Soroptimists. | © Janet Hodgson/Handicap International
Events in communities around the UK
Local groups from Somerset to Glasgow held an array of fantastic events to support the Forgotten 10 Campaign this year. Soroptimists in Darlington created a Handicap International themed Christmas tree in the historic Church of St Cuthbert’s to raise awareness of civilian victims of bombing.
In Wales, Cardigan Quaker Meeting and Llandudno Soroptimists held coffee mornings to raise money and collect petition signatures. Soroptimists in Birmingham built a Pyramid of shoes, with each shoe representing a life or limb lost to explosive weapons like landmines and cluster bombs. At the same event, Soroptimists set themselves the challenge of doing 10 different things (including collecting 10p pieces and petition signatures) in support of the campaign.
John from Handicap International also visited Tamworth Soroptimists, who created brilliant display at St Editha’s Church in Tamworth town centre, raised funds and collected petition signatures!
Students and teachers speak out
In lots of schools teachers organised lessons to raise awareness about the effects of explosive weapons. After learning about the issues, many students decided to get more involved by raising funds for Handicap International's work with people and communities affected by conflict. Students and teachers at Argoed High School in Flintshire organised a bake sale and took part in a sponsored walk to raise funds for Handicap International’s projects around the world.
Individual 6th form tutor groups at Calday Grange Grammar School in Merseyside were challenged with the task of collecting £30 each, which is enough to provide a child amputee with a new prosthetic leg, whilst Arden College had a festive display at their Christmas Fair.
Stop Bombing Civilians
There has also been incredible support for the Stop Bombing Civilians petition, both at events and online. Locals attending a coffee morning at Chaffcombe village Hall in Somerset collected signatures whilst Soroptimists in St Helens and Amber Valley also collected signatures calling on the UK and all countries to publicly commit to ending the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. More than 80,000 people have signed the petition so far, and if you haven’t already, you can add your voice here.
We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our supporters that made this year’s Forgotten 10 Challenge a success. Without all your support the work of our deminers, physiotherapists and many others simplw would not be possible.
Below is a small selection of photos from different Forgotten 10 Challenge events. You can see more on our Facebook.