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People's March For NHS Bedford To London

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

GMB Support People's March For NHS To London Across Eastern England Into London From 2nd To 6th September  

We are asking the public to join us for a mile or two or join us for ten or the full 300 miles, or come to our rallies just be part of the fight back says organizers Darlington mums

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, is supporting the People's March for the NHS which takes the form of the NHS Jarrow - London Crusade as it travels across the East of England  during the third week.

On Tuesday 2nd September it travels from Northampton to Bedford and from there onto Luton and  St Albans and into North London on 5th September. It will end at Parliament in London on Saturday 6th September.

The People's March for the NHS is organised by a group of local mums in Darlington in defence of the NHS. It will follow the basic route of the 1936 Jarrow Crusade. It will take three weeks to cover 300 miles with 21 overnight stops. It started in Jarrow on Saturday16th August.

The details for the third week are as follows:

TUESDAY 2nd Sept: 18 miles approx. Start 10 am from Northampton Town Centre - Market Square to Bedford Harpur Square to arrive 6pm approx. Lunch: Lavendon Parish Hall 1.30pm. There will be a rally at 6.30pm at Harpur Square where speakers will include Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

WEDNESDAY 3rd Sept: 20miles. Start 10am at Bedford Hospital, South Wing in the car park to Luton Town Hall, George Street-  arrive 5.30pm  approx. There will be a welcome parade from 4.30pm at Leagrave Road LU3 1RJ followed by LUTON LOVES THE NHS RALLY 6pm, Luton Town Hall.  In Luton they will be received by the Council Leader.

THURSDAY 4th Sept - 11 miles approx. Start 10am to Bury Park Community Resource Centre, 161-161B Dunstable Rd, LUTON - St Albans (Civic Centre – outside the Arena) to arrive at 5.30pm approx. Lunch: Harpenden – details to be confirmed. There will be a rally the evening at the Civic Centre in St Albans, outside the Area at 5:30pm, on the 4th September.

FRIDAY 5th Sept: 18.4 miles.  Start at 10am from St Peters Street, St Albans to Fore Street Edmonton in North London to arrive at 5.30pm approx.

SATURDAY 6th Sept. 10 miles. Start 10am from Edmonton Green, London, N9 9DX to Parliament in London to arrive at 3.30pm approx with lunch in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington, N16 9HJ.

There will be a separate press release regarding events in London on Saturday 6th September.

The details of the route of the march and events associated with it in each area are on . GMB members will welcome the march along the route and will attend the events associated with it. See notes to editors below for the departure date from each area across the whole route over three weeks

“Darlomums” are a diverse group of women from Darlington & comprise of Joanna Adams, Rehana Azam, Mel Wilson, Linda Hughes, Jo Lande, Cath McArdle, Hazel Commane, Wendy Parker, Rosie & Helen Webber and Emma Tyers. Between them they have 13 kids and one on its way. #darlomums have a range of jobs including 3 working in the local EE call centre, 1 union officer, 1 councillor, I cafe owner, 1 teacher, 1 just enrolled on a nursing course, 1 graphic designer and 1 beauty therapist

DarloMums say “It's really hard to passively watch the rapid dismantling, privatisation and destruction of the NHS. First we had the Health & Social Care Act, then Section 75 and more recently Clause 119 of the Care Bill. The Government have legislated to open the NHS to the open market.

We believe every penny saved in the NHS should go back into improving and developing our NHS. We dont want to see private companies operating in the NHS under the heading of 'efficiency' when we know they are accountable to their shareholders, who are only interested in maximum profit before patient health care. We are asking the public to join us for a mile or two, or join us for ten or the full 300 miles, come to our rallies, just be part of the fightback.”

Rehana Azam GMB National Officer and one of the DarloMums, added “Hospital services across the country are being shut down at an alarming rate. We are not only marching to support a fair funding in the NHS budget, but to overturn the Health & Social Care Act which has enforced privatisation of profitable NHS services, and has allowed them to be axed elsewhere. As mums with young kids we see it as our civic duty to try and save the NHS before our children grow up. I’m sure we’ll get a warm welcome when we reach each destinations on the 300 mile route.

The People's March is a perfect opportunity to build support for the NHS and to join up with amazing NHS campaigners across the country. On route we aim to make the public aware of what the coalition government has been doing to our NHS and what has been happening to our hospitals and health services”

Steve Sweeney, GMB Regional Officer for GMB said ' The march is highlighting the devastating impact of government policy which has seen privatisation, closure of vital services and underfunding in the most dramatic changes in NHS history. We believe that the government is hell bent on destroying the NHS.

In Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes services are under threat. The 'Healthcare Review' conducted by the CCGs could see either Bedford or Milton Keynes Hospitals without a fully functioning Accident and Emergency service. This is nothing to  do with improving services, but is a result of a financially driven exercise and Tory ideology.

GMB have been working together closely with campaigners from Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes who oppose any plans to close or downgrade services. GMB are calling on the public to come and show support for the marchers and join the campaign to defend local services.'


For further information please contact Rehana Azam on 07841 181656 or Joanna Adams on 07816 047668 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

The departure details from each area across the whole route over three weeks are as follows:

Jarrow 16th August –

Chester le Street 17/08

Ferryhill 18/08

Darlington 19/08

Northallerton 20/08

Ripon 21/08

Harrogate 22/08

Leeds 23/08

Wakefield 24/08

Barnsley 25/08

Sheffield 26/08

Chesterfield 27/08

Mansfield 28/08

Nottingham 29/08

Loughborough 30/08

Leicester 31/08

Market Harborough 01/09

Northampton 02/09

Bedford 03/09

Luton 04/09

St Albans 05/09

Edmonton 06/09

Parliament Square, Westminster, London 6th September.


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