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Paige’s fundraising story

Paige organised #NowforToNIght in London in late August 2019, and she said:

“Activism in the age of social media can be hard to define, and as my enthusiasm for Facebook waned and I flocked the nest of student life – I struggled to get my head round how I could try and make a difference in the fight for abortion rights. While living in the Republic of Ireland, I became a very small part of the noise pushing for the repeal of the 8thamendment – but on realising that none of these changes remotely altered the dire predicament of the people of Northern Ireland and their abortion rights, I was outraged and motivated to make a difference, no matter how small.


This last matter is an important point – I think we get overwhelmed by the insignificance of what we could do compared to the enormity of the problem we face, but that logic says more about the depth of our cynicism and insecurity than it does about what it means to make a change.


In my case, making a change was realising what talents I had and what talents the people who surrounded me had that I could harness. As a musician who works full time in the media, that was basically singing, performing and self-promotion – plus a handy circle of creative and politically engaged friends. One friend in particular was Kalianne Farren – masters student and activist in the Repeal the 8thmovement in Dublin – who acted as an overseer and tip top organiser – while other friends offered up their graphic design talents (Anna Hardstaff, Kat Beckwith), their promotional / people-wrangling skills (Katie Morris, Alex Cawthron) and their musical talents (Bad Honey, and the Higher Ground collective).


So on the balmy evening of August 29that DIY Space in Peckham, we came together for Now For ToNIght – a one-off showcase that included three women-led bands of dreamy pop, electronic soul and jazz improvisation plus some inspiring words from Kalianne Farren and Kirsty Bates from the Abortion Support Network. We sold over 100 tickets, but almost more importantly, we were able to spread the awareness for a cause often misunderstood and overlooked. We raised over £1,000 that will be split between the Abortion Support Network and the Alliance for Choice and hopefully play a role in the vital work they are doing at what seems to be a turning point for abortion rights in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Malta and Gibraltar and will continue to allow these charities to enable the change imperative to a fair and equal society – and help anyone who slips through the cracks whatever legal battles are won.


So use your talents, delegate to talented friends, find venues that share your values, trust that people will care more than you think they do, and don’t fret about scale – even just telling people about the event (even if they can’t come!) can help spread awareness and perhaps change a mindset or two. The most important thing is to just take the plunge and keep banging on about it until we get the rights we deserve!”