Nigel Smith, York Socialist Party
Yorkshire region got off to a flying start in its building fund appeal at our regional conference where 36 members made an average pledge of £365. The Yorkshire region has also had a single pledge of £10,000 as well as several of £1,000.
Since then each branch has designated someone to be responsible for contacting members and supporters.
I have been helping coordinate the appeal for the Yorkshire region. I have really enjoyed my discussions with the branch organisers. We have shared ideas and supportive stories about our experiences.
Some members can make a pledge and pay it out of savings. For others it’s a matter of putting aside a little each month to make up their pledge. Several members have increased initial pledges following discussions with their families, who may not be members themselves but have grasped the importance of the appeal.
We intend to press ahead with the appeal and hope to increase the number of pledges. We also intend to reach out to supporters, relatives and friends. Whether it be £10 or £1,000, we know that each pledge is a little triumph for our party and for socialism.
The Socialist Party is being evicted from the rented offices in London which serve as our national headquarters. We urgently need to raise funds to find new premises.
To date the response to our appeal has been inspiring. Two comrades have donated £10,000 (see below), two have donated £5,000 and one has donated £4,000, from windfalls and savings. But the smaller donations that have been made represent some significant sacrifices too.
A new 12-year-old member, who already pays a weekly sub from her pocket money, has pledged a whole week’s pocket money of £5! A young worker pledged £150 just one week after joining the party.
Two members in Leicester, who have already pledged a week’s wage, auctioned their record collections on eBay. They were amazed to raise more than £450!
A single parent of two children, who lives on continually squeezed benefits, has pledged £100. He’s also selling his car and will donate a proportion of the proceeds on top of that.
There has been a pledge of £500 from a disabled comrade on benefits, who will achieve this by saving pound coins until August.
The self-sacrifice displayed by members is impressive, but there has also been wider support from the labour movement. A member of the Labour Party in Carlisle donated £50 saying “we need people like you in the Socialist Party”!
If you haven’t already, make a donation or a pledge and join the fight. We won’t let greedy landlords and gentrification force us out of the capital, but we need your help!