On Tuesday 7 June, ten enthusiastic Oxfam campaigners headed to Hampden to speak to Coldplay fans about our Stand As One campaign.
Constituency Campaigners Nora Uhrig and Clare Jones talk about the campaign and their experiences at the gig. For both of them this was their first time engaging with the public on behalf of Oxfam, and it was also Clare’s first ever gig! Find out more about the Stand As One campaign and sign the petition at www.oxfam.org.uk/stand
Nora Uhrig, Edinburgh
“Getting the opportunity to talk to Coldplay fans about Oxfam’s Stand As One campaign seemed like an excellent opportunity for me to raise awareness regarding the on-going refugee crisis. The images of thousands of refugees fleeing, taking dangerous boat journeys to Europe and constant reports of another few hundred people drowning in the Mediterranean have made me feel somewhat helpless and eager to do my part to help refugees. But it is easy to forget that those travelling through Europe are a small minority of more than 60 million displaced people, 86 per cent of whom are
in developing countries.
Of course, getting to attend a Coldplay concert was a great motivator! I also liked the idea of getting a more hands-on experience of campaigning compared to the work as a Constituency Campaigner, which for me has mainly consisted of campaigning online. When we arrived at the stadium, the sun was shining and fans were already waiting to be let in. However, we could see some darker clouds brewing and I was a bit nervous about campaigning, especially about the possible responses from people. Luckily, it all went extremely well and those dark clouds never bothered us. The majority of the
people I spoke to were enthusiastic about the campaign.
Many Coldplay fans wanted to know more and signed the petition, especially after they heard about Coldplay’s long history of supporting Oxfam. I had some great discussions about the refugee crisis and about what we can do as a society to address the complex issues behind it. A few people also asked how they could get involved with Oxfam themselves. We gathered 508 signatures – that means 508 more reasons for the UK government to do more to support people being forced to flee. After a few hours of hard work and a lot of talking, it was amazing to see (and hear!) Coldplay. The
atmosphere and the energy of the crowd, when the lights went down and our Xylobands lit up, was fantastic.”
Clare Jones, Cupar
“After feeling helpless witnessing the on-going refugee crisis, I decided to apply for the Constituency Campaigner programme with Oxfam. Oxfam continues to make people’s voices heard and turn them into real policies that can actually make a difference, so I felt that joining Oxfam would give me hope that I could do something. The work that Oxfam has carried out over the last 74 years has helped give people a chance to overcome injustice and poverty in over 90 countries – but the refugee crisis has meant the charity has more people to help than at
any time in its history. I was therefore extremely motivated to campaign on behalf of Oxfam at the Coldplay concert in Glasgow, to help spread awareness and build support for the Stand as One Campaign.
The sun was beaming down as I arrived in Glasgow and I was happy to see the welcoming, smiling faces of my fellow campaigners as we met outside Hampden stadium. After being briefed about the campaign we quickly doubled up and approached other friendly faces, explaining that they could help take action and ask our government to do a bit more to help alleviate the suffering of those fleeing from conflict and natural disasters.
We were asking people to sign a petition to help reunite families, by asking the government to take more people who are living in desperate circumstances. The UK currently accept less than one per cent of the entire number of people on the move, and many Coldplay fans strongly agreed that we could do more. As the campaign gained momentum it was great to see so many people wearing the #StandAsOne wrist bands and holding them up proudly in support and to the beat of Coldplay’s music.
The atmosphere was amazing and it was great to talk to people who also wanted to take action and make a difference to those who, like all of us, want to be free from hunger and war.”
Sign the petition at www.oxfam.org.uk/stand