#unravelling the NHS

This is very much an idea in progress but I have to blog about it so we can start talking about it and get ideas coming in.

Lovely Clare, she of P/Hop, was musing about stuff we could do as knitters/crafters to help raise awareness of the destruction of our beloved NHS and she has come up with an absolute gem of an idea which I want to share with you because I would LOVE to see/help this happen.

The NHS has done a lot for me over the last ten years – like saving my life and Esme’s life when she was born. For starters. It’s been there for my family through pregnancies, childbirth, cancer, various life threatening conditions, provided skin grafts and blood transfusions to my husband when he put his arm through a glass window, sorted out friends with operations they needed, given us subsidised or free medication and that’s just scratching the surface of my personal experience with it.

If you’ve been paying even the slightest attention to affairs in the UK then you will be aware that the NHS is not just under attack but is threatened with destruction. The House of Lords have just voted to let the government’s Health and Social Care Bill go through for another reading before being passed into law. Effectively what this means is the slow and certain privatisation of the National Health Service. You can find further information on this over here.

Following yesterday’s vote in the House of Lords I felt so angry that I was almost numb. And I felt incredibly powerless. I want to do something to help raise awareness of what’s happening, of what’s being taken away fromus, of what the NHS means, to show that the NHS is not just about money and statistics and profits and loss but about people, real people who interract with the Health Service on a daily basis, who have stories about it, whose lives are intextricably woven into the fabric of it. Who will be affected in a real and visceral way when the changes being put in motion in parliament actually begin to take hold.

I have three very small kids, including a 6 month old. The logistics of getting along to a protest, even without the fear of the kids being kettled or injured by police or other protestors,make taking part in most demonstrations a nightmare for me. I’ve signed petitions, shouted on Twitter, ranted on Facebook. I’ve emailed my MP. I’ve written at least a dozen letters to the House of Lords and none of it has made a blind bit of difference because it feels like no one’s listening.

Well, Clare has come up with a way that we, as knitters, crocheters, or sewsters can make our voices and stories heard.

We’re going to unravel the NHS.

Knit an NHS logo or a symbol of what the NHS means to you. (For me, I might knit a foetus or a knitted womb.  What? There’s patterns out there for all these things!) Leave the last stitch unfinished, ready to be unravelled. If you know how to do it, video yourself doing these things. Talk about your story of the NHS as you make those stitches. Heck, get together with a whole bunch of you and have a collective stitch for the NHS. Make a story quilt with pictures for each person.

This is very much an idea in progress. So if you have ideas for what we should all do with what we’ve made, or suggestions for things we should make and so forth, get in touch via Twitter or Ravelry or email.You can contact me  or Clare (GingerKnits) or Bronagh (Lapurplepenguin) with ideas. I’m on Rav as Alfykins, on Twitter as Undercoverowl.

This is about making our voices heard through our craft and not letting the NHS be unravelled without making a fuss. If we don’t fight, the NHS dies. And we can’t let that happen.



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