It’s December, and cold – but a crowd of 50 people made a colourful splash against the grey of the Department of Health on Monday morning. They were there to deliver the 142,053-strong petition you signed to the health minister Jeremy Hunt, telling him to scrap his bid to get new powers to close more hospitals, more easily.
The petition was started by Dr Louise Irvine, a 38 Degrees member. Yours and the tens of thousands of names on the petition prove something important: that 38 Degrees members haven’t given up on our NHS. And we never will.
The NHS is one of the best things about Britain. It cares for everyone, regardless of wealth. It saves lives. It’s not perfect, but the ideals at its heart are worth defending. Together 38 Degrees members have worked hard to protect it. But there will be a lot more to do in 2014.
38 Degrees campaigns are funded entirely by small donations from individual members, never big business or government. We’re a people-powered movement, and that’s how we can acheive great things on a small budget. But to help us work together, some core costs do need covering.
In 2013, 38 Degrees members raised money to take Jeremy Hunt to court, twice. And won. We’ve taken to the streets in our thousands, to stop closures and cut-backs. And all across the country, 38 Degrees members have come together to push for change within their local NHS.
We’ve won some fights, and we’ve lost others. But throughout 2013, 38 Degrees members up and down the country have stood by our NHS. We need to do the same together in 2014, and every year beyond.
Just £2 or £3 a week would help ensure that together, we can protect our NHS. Direct debits pay for long-term costs, like the website platform and the backroom staff who support it. Knowing that money will keep coming in means that more support can be given to members like Louise as they set up, run and win brilliant campaigns on our site.
Doctors have accused Jeremy Hunt of forcing these “changes through the back door”.  And thanks to 38 Degrees members, his plans to grab more powers have been attracting newspaper coverage – he won’t be able to sneak this through unnoticed. ”.
And that’s just the start – next year, we can do even more. Together, we can make an even bigger noise to stand up for our NHS. We can fight the relentless downgrades and cut-backs. Because these are our hospitals. Together as a movement, we can protect them. And we will.
Huge thanks, and a merry Christmas
Andrew, Susannah, Maddy and the rest of the 38 Degrees team.