As our children have returned to schools and colleges, and Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed further, it is with a mixture of hope and apprehension that we head into Autumn.
However we are feeling right now, fair play to all of us for the thousands of actions that we’ve taken together over the past six months that have helped the Uplift community win campaigns. It’s because of people like us all over Ireland, who affect the changes we make together possible.
Whether it’s been signing a petition, sending an email or making a phone call to your local councillors, chipping in for a campaign tactic like a billboard or a newspaper ad – without you – we couldn’t achieve so much together.
Our community has worked tirelessly to end the cruel partner restrictions in maternity care.
A few weeks ago, hundreds of us joined the #TheRealRotunda online event and heard the real stories of what giving birth was like during Covid-19 at the same time as The Rotunda TV programme aired on RTÉ, which was filmed when people were forced to give birth alone, and their partners were left out in the cold. 
The buck stops with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and that’s why on October 6th, hundreds of us protested outside the Dáil, delivering a giant scroll of the thousands of messages from people affected by the maternity restrictions.
A Different Green New Deal
Uplift members commissioned the research group TASC to look into legalising safe cannabis in Ireland – and they found it could create community wealth, fund local services, create jobs, and improve our health. Many of us joined a virtual launch and have signed up to meet our local TDs. You can read the blog post and report here:
Cannabis Report: A Different Kind of Green New Deal
Shout Out to Petitions Starters
Our community petition site MyUplift is where members start and win their own campaigns, by building a community and emailing supporters, as well as organising events and spreading the word on social media. Uplift members have been busy running successful campaigns including:
- Getting extensions for pedestrianisation on Parliament and Capel Street
- Welcoming more Afghan refugees
- Stopping Soup Runs from being shut down
- Saving a community market in Waterford from being closed.
People power vs. power-hungry data centres
Big tech corporations like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft are fast turning Ireland into a dumping ground for data centres. Last week Uplift members chipped in to put an ad in The Clare Champion – sending a stark message about the power and water the data centre in Ennis will need and the pollution it will cause. Together we made it clear to politicians that this is a choice they are making, and that we’re on their tail. Now we’ve launched a nationwide petition calling for a pause on all new data centres – can you sign the petition and stay involved? Stop Data Centres Petition Link
Do you remember how hard we fought for public housing on public land at the Oscar Traynor Road site in north Dublin? It seems that council bosses are about to go back on their word, so at a moment’s notice, hundreds of members were mobilised to make phone calls, ahead of a crucial meeting to Dublin councillors to make sure they hold their ground – and our land.
The government’s Housing For All plan was launched – and Uplift members have been giving their views on how it stands up against our own Uplift community’s ‘Peoples Housing Plan’ in a member-wide survey. 
Plastic-free Tea, at last!
After years of hard work from Uplift campaigners like you, Barry’s Tea has ditched the plastic in their teabags! This is a great win for people-power – and it would never have happened without the commitment and sheer determination of our community. 
It was with sadness, but also immense gratitude, that we said goodbye to our Deputy Director, Emily, after 5 years at Uplift where they helped grow our campaigning power with such great skill and passion.
We’re also so happy to introduce Julie, our new Director of Operations – Julie brings with her a wealth of experience in running non-profit organisations and after only a few weeks in the team, we are more than confident that she will make sure that our communities campaigning efforts are supported by the best governance, operations systems and organisational practices.
You may have noticed the increased creativity of our social media posts recently, thanks to Niamh, who has joined Uplift as our new Communications Worker. And our campaigns team continues to grow, with the recent addition of Layla who brings with her a wealth of knowledge and insight into Irish political systems.
There have also been changes to the Uplift board – Anna Nolan is our new Chairperson and we are welcoming Evengy Sthorn and Bill Abom as new members. Four of Uplift’s founding board members have retired – Cian O’Donovan, Edel McGinley, Liam Herrick and Hannah Lownsbrough – their commitment and hard work are so appreciated. You can check out our staff team and the whole Board here.
We all Have the Power to Make Change
We’ve got a busy few months ahead of us – whether it’s putting pressure on Big Tech to ensure our personal data is protected; making sure that women and people who menstruate have access to period products or ensuring that the National Maternity Hospital is OUR hospital.
I wanted to finish with a story about how the actions we take now can be lasting and meaningful: we recently heard the wonderful news about a young, homeless mother, who we supported to speak out almost five years ago, has just started work as a teacher.
This is how people-power works: you too can make a big difference by being involved in campaigns, adding your name to petitions, taking actions or chipping in what you can so that we can keep campaigning on issues that matter most to all of us who live on this island, no matter where we come from.
Fairplay to you for being involved!
P.S. If you love the work our community does do and want to get updates like this straight to your inbox, simply take action on any campaign, and make sure you check the ‘yes’ button to keep in touch: Check out more Uplift campaigns here.
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