This week we have a guest post by Beth from United Response, who contacted me recently about Postcards from the Edges…
Just a few decades ago many people with disabilities or mental health needs were locked away from the rest of Britain in institutions, their voices ignored and their stories unheard. United Response, which is now celebrating 40 years of challenging injustice, want to rectify that.
Postcards from the Edges gives anyone whose life has been impacted by disability or mental health the chance to speak to the world in a postcard – using words, photographs, art or anything that captures the imagination. The website (www.postcardsfromtheedges.org.uk) and hub of the project was launched at the beginning of February.
The postcards website is where all submitted postcards can be viewed and shared. It contains a variety of postcards demonstrating a vast spectrum of creativity; from political statements to doodles.
One postcard submitted was by an 84 year old man with mental health needs. He described it, simply, as capturing ‘what’s in my head’. Asked about its resemblance to the great Italian Lakes, he smiled and confirmed he had been to Lake Maggiore as a young man – this memory still clearly burning bright inside him.
Another postcard entitled ‘See the child’ shows a child having fun at a playground. Liz, the card creator and mother of the child, said she wanted it to show ‘the joy of the moment’. She longs for people to treat children with autism with as much compassion as they would a child with a more visible disability.
Matthew submitted a postcard called ‘Being disabled does not make me inspirational’. He said that he is frustrated by people seeing him doing normal things and finding them inspirational simply because he has a disability and uses a wheelchair.
Later this year, exhibitions in London, Bristol, Newcastle and Liverpool will showcase a selection of the postcards.
United Response is a top 100 national disability, supporting people to fulfil their dreams and to live as independently as possible. This year marks forty years of providing learning disabilities support and championing the rights of people with disabilities.
You can find out more about the project here: http://www.postcardsfromtheedges.org.uk/the-project.
You can get involved in this project simply by creating a postcard. Either request a postcard pack by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the http://www.postcardsfromtheedges.org.uk website and click ‘create a card’ to upload or create a card online.