6:00am Friday 18th April 2014
By Alexa Copeland
A GROUP of North East mothers are organising a rallying cry for the NHS following in the footsteps of the historic Jarrow March.
The People’s March, which already has more than 500 participants signed up, will cover about 300-miles from Jarrow to Westminster in what organisers hope could be one of the biggest mobilisations of people across England in support of the NHS.
It has been organised by a group of working mothers from Darlington who have become disillusioned with the way the NHS is being handled by the government.
The group, which use the name #darlomums on social networking sites, has already organised successful rallies in Durham and Darlington which attracted national high profile speakers.
They are planning the march to start on August 16 and arrive in London on September 6.
It will follow the route taken by the Jarrow Marchers who famously walked to Westminster during the 1930s depression to highlight the poverty in their North-East town.
Darlomum Joanna Adams said the group is working with NHS campaigning groups nationally and has already won the support of key campaigners, unions and community groups across the country.
She added: “Ordinary folk just like me are wanting to join the People's March for the NHS and that is why this project is so exciting.
“At a time when armchair activism is the norm, emails are flooding in with offers to help organise, and to walk one or more of the legs of the route.
“The route is split up into sections of 10 to 15 miles making it easy for groups to join in.
“It may be #darlomums organising the People's March for the NHS but we want everyone across our communities on board.”
Rehana Azam said that through her role with the GMB trade union she has seen first-hand the “devastating effects” government policy is having on the health service.
She said: “We need the public on board with the NHS, advocating for the amazing NHS workers, and how better than a people's march for the NHS?”
She added: “The People's March for the NHS offers an opportunity to build, strengthen and consolidate the strong community support needed to protect our NHS.
“The aim is to pull together all the NHS campaigns and campaigners and unite behind one aim, one issue, our NHS.”
For more information, or to join the march, visit www.999callfornhs.org.uk.
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