To Pea or Not to Pea
This is a guest post. Janet volunteered at Manchester.
“Wonderful,” I said. “Can I do it too?”
She checked, I could! Woohoo – I was on my way!
I’d volunteered before but not for Oxfam and not by campaigning. My daughter, Sophie is an active member of Oxfam. She’s on the Youth Board and also helped set up the local Holme Valley Oxfam Support Group.
I’d heard of Oxfam’s GROW campaign from her but didn’t know a great deal about it other than it being about injustice in the way food is distributed. Although I didn’t know much at that stage, all I needed to know was that I trusted in Oxfam and it’s ethics to know that they will have done their research into what’s working and what needs to change.
So there we were on the list to attend the Manchester Coldplay concert. The email came through with all the info on why we were campaigning etc. and Sophie joked that I could dress up as a chilli pepper. “Yeah, right” i’d thought, but oh no…I checked the Oxfam On Tour website (www.oxfamontour.org) and she was right! The volunteers were dressed up as pea pods, a tomato, banana, sweetcorn, carrot and a taco! Oh my word what had I let myself in for – FUN!
We got there early and met with other volunteers. Some had volunteered before and some had not, like me, but we were all up for the challenge and to have some fun. We were given GROW t-shirts, instructions on what Oxfam were looking to achieve and then the ‘fight’ was on for who wore which costumes.
I opted to take a back seat and take photos rather than dress up. We paired up and off we went out into the sea of concert-goers. Our mission was to raise awareness of the GROW Campaign and ask people if they would be prepared to sign a petition to be taken to the RIO + 20 Summit later this month (20 – 22 June 2012).
With bags and bags of enthusiasm Sophie (pea pod), Sarah (tomato) and I encouraged people to Tweet using the hashtag #lovefoodhateinjustice and to follow @oxfamontour. We gave out badges, stickers and small pocket-sized booklets about the campaign. Who could resist talking to a pea pod and a tomato? Ok so we got someone strange looks; someone asked the tomato “What’s tomato you?” and another asked if the Pea Pod was fresh or frozen (it was a cold night)! I have to say people were very friendly, welcoming and engaging.
I loved every minute of it and would definitely do it again!