Raising awareness of depression and suicide

I was lucky enough to have a piece in the local paper today about my charity campaign Please have a read.

http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/musician_and_ipswich_borough_councillor_andi_hopgood_targets_2_000_for_mental_health_charities_with_head_shave_1_4099289

On my birthday August 1st this year I’m shaving my head, that’s all my hair going in one go. I’m doing it for two reasons.
Firstly to raise money for two great charities SANE the mental health charity http://www.sane.org.uk and survivors of bereavement through suicide http://uk-sobs.org.uk I’m aiming to raise £2000 in total and I’m currently around 50% of the way there.

Secondly to raise awareness of depression, mental health and suicide. I’m trying to be open about my personal experiences of depression in the hope of starting to break the stigma. We need to normalise talking about mental health, illness and suicide. Because mental health can be life threatening, it’s a serious illness. 

We all have mental health good bad or indifferent, and we need to understand that I’ll mental health is one of the MOST common illnesses. One in 4 of us will experience Ill mental health, yet we don’t want to talk about it. 

So don’t be ashamed, talk about your experiences it can help us all. Both to understand each other better, but also in the bigger fight to break the stigma around mental health. 

Be a part of this!

Donate here…..

www.justgiving.com/andihoppy
www.justgiving.com/andihopgood

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My speech on the campaign for nuclear disarmament to the GFTU BGCM

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – motion from musicians union

 

The final decision on whether to proceed with the replacement of Trident is due to be taken in 2016. 

 

This BGCM believes that, at a time when Britain faces the deepest public spending cuts in living memory, the country can ill-afford to be spending in excess of £100bn on replacing Trident with a new generation of nuclear weapons.

 

Britain’s security needs are not met by nuclear weapons which can do nothing to combat the threats posed by terrorism, climate change or cyber warfare. If countries like Britain justify their retention and replacement of nuclear weapons on the grounds of an uncertain future, it increases the likelihood that non-nuclear states will seek to use the same rationale to justify developing their own weapons systems.

 

We believe the Government should cancel the replacement of Trident. This would allow for the existing skilled manufacturing base to be re-orientated towards providing for the needs of a post-carbon future, with the potential for significant investment in green jobs. 

 

The MU calls on the GFTU and its members to support the CND’s Rethink Trident campaign, which opposes the replacement of Trident.

 

Musicians’ Union



Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

 

The final decision on whether to proceed with the replacement of Trident is due to be taken in 2016. 

 

This BGCM believes that, at a time when Britain faces the deepest public spending cuts in living memory, the country can ill-afford to be spending in excess of £100bn on replacing Trident with a new generation of nuclear weapons.

 

Britain’s security needs are not met by nuclear weapons which can do nothing to combat the threats posed by terrorism, climate change or cyber warfare. If countries like Britain justify their retention and replacement of nuclear weapons on the grounds of an uncertain future, it increases the likelihood that non-nuclear states will seek to use the same rationale to justify developing their own weapons systems.

 

We believe the Government should cancel the replacement of Trident. This would allow for the existing skilled manufacturing base to be re-orientated towards providing for the needs of a post-carbon future, with the potential for significant investment in green jobs. 

 

The MU calls on the GFTU and its members to support the CND’s Rethink Trident campaign, which opposes the replacement of Trident.

 

Musicians’ Union

  

Next year the decision wether to replace trident will be on the agenda. We believe the government should cancel the replacement of trident. Nuclear weapons, are contrVertial at the best of times, weapons of mass destruction…. And we all know how much trouble that phrase has caused!

Their use would be illegal under almost every circumstance. The international court of justice ruled in 1996 the threat or use of nuclear weapons would breach the rules of international law. The huge amounts of civilian casualties would be unavoidable and dose not bear thinking about.

So what are the threats facing the UK?

The governments security strategy identifies terrorism, cyber attacks and natural hazards as greater threats than nuclear war. So the government agree that global warming and climate change are a bigger threat to us, yet nuclear weapons receive five times as much public research funding in the UK as renewable energy. It doesn’t make any sense. Why aren’t we using these funds towards our post carbon future, investing in green jobs that offer a sustained alternative?

This morning twitter directed me to wiki leaks 

whistleblower: nuclear ‘disaster waiting to happen’

These are the words of UK Royal Navy “Trident” nuclear weapons submariner William McNeilly, aged 25.

“We are at war, with a new kind of enemy. The terrorists have infiltrated every nation on our planet. Our nuclear weapons are a target that’s wide open to attack. You don’t have to be Alexander The Great to see we must adapt our strategies. The cold war is over; are we still in situation were we must invest billions upon billions into a system that puts our citizens at risk? NO! We must adapt to the evolving world in order to survive!”

If countries like Britain retain and replace their nuclear weapons, it increases the likelihood that other currently non nuclear countries will want to develop their own programme. And in a way why shouldn’t they?

Pinning our security hopes on a nuclear deterrent encourages others to do the same.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, and these many many wrongs certainly don’t make me feel safer.

The UK could transform the nuclear club from within becoming the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to give up its nuclear weapons. Twelve countries have made the brave decition to get rid of their weapons or abandon nuclear weapon research.By us moving on from trident we could more effectively serve the needs of our country and promote change in a changing world.

The need of our country is reaching breaking point. Benefit cuts for those both in and out of work, the bedroom tax, tuition fees, and the destruction of our NHS….all these things need funding and investment.and with our new tory government in power it is only going to get worse and worse…

So is this the time to spend a hundred billion pounds on renewing trident? A hundred billion pounds on weapons of mass destruction?

That money could fund so many things our country desperately needs…

– fully fund A and E services for forty years

– cancel tuition fees for four million students

– employ 150 thousand new nurses

– build 1.5 million affordable homes

The list could go on and on

In a housing crisis, a poverty crisis it’s seems absolutely outrageous to me we are even considering spending a hundred billion pounds on weapons, nuclear or otherwise. I wonder if those queuing at the food banks would want this money spent on nuclear weapons illegal in almost every use.

I believe we need to help those in need and tackle the growing inequality happening all around us. 

The prospect of a trident free Britain is a positive one. And my opinion is a popular one. The election campaign we are all recovering from certainly suggested that decommissioning trident was a dangerous , minority view ….. Well democracy has spoken. Scotland has decided it wants to scrap trident with the huge surge of the SNP. Of course the Greens with over one million votes supports nuclear disarmerment. And poll after poll shows that it is a majority popular demand through the UK.

For all these reasons the musicians union calls on the GfTU and its members to support the campaign for nuclear disarmerment, and the rethink trident campaign that opposes the replacement of trident.

  

 

Shaving my head for SANE and SOBS

Hello!

I’m shaving my head on my birthday this year, August the first 2015.

I want to raise awareness for mental health, depression and suicide. Big taboo subjects, but we encounter them every day. I think we need to normalise mental health and discuss it as you would any other illness. There is so much rumour and misunderstanding around mental health and depression I want to break the stigma.

Suicide can often be a last resort for many with ill mental health. It leaves families, friends and partners behind. We need to give more understanding to these bereavements and support those who are in this unique and difficult situation. Also let’s talk about suicide, feeling this way is often a symptom of ill mental health. It’s nothing bad or to be ashamed of, it’s often part of the illness.

I’m raising money for SANE the mental health charity…..


And Survivors of bereavement through suicide…..

Please give generously, and if you can take the time to share these links on Facebook and twitter etc, Or send an email out that would be grand. 

Anything you’d like to ask me, please feel free.

Thanks so much


Keeping a balance

I’ve neglected my blog recently as I’ve been a busy bee. Things have taken a turn in a different direction and I’m still adjusting to the new norm. I’m not very good at adjusting I know it takes me time.
My choral groups are going well. Suffolk Soul Singers have a good amount of gigs leading up to Xmas, and some lovely new members too. Suffolk soul singers youth kicks of this week at the town hall 5-7 Tuesday evening open to all 11-16s. I also have a singing for the soul group at Gainsborough library Fridays 11-12 open to all. I’m currently looking for some funding for the library group, any suggestions most welcome!
Teaching at ARU is ticking over nicely as is my private tuition. So work is good and I find my time being shuffled around on a weekly basis.
Labour case work has only been bits and bobs and my Gainsborough colleges are very supportive. MU is giving me many opportunities such as going to Labour Party conference and the class conference.
I feel like I’m in that position where all is well. I’m very busy, and that’s the worry. I know my tolerance level is not what it once was. I’m concerned about me, I really don’t want to crash and burn. The pressure of being totally freelance is showing. It’s very hard to say no to work when bills and rent are looming.
I’m struggling with the balance of singing and teaching which is very common. Added to this my MU and Labour work gets mixed in, and that’s where I struggle to find the hours in the day, or the energy to be of any use!
I also find the creative me is a little subdued as there is not enough time to follow ideas or develop these into projects. This needs a space in my week as it fulfils me beyond the teaching, politics or money I need to survive.
I need to be clear where my boundaries are, keep a good quality of work, good rate of pay and enjoy the work too. If I stick to this and nothing more it might just work.
Wish me luck!

Save ipswich children’s centres

I was out today getting signatures on our petition to save our children centres in ipswich. The Tory led county council wants the close quayside and Meredith centres after already closing the or midtown centre.
Please sign and share

http://www.change.org/p/suffolk-county-council-gordon-jones-don-t-close-meredith-road-ipswich-children-s-centre

http://www.change.org/p/gordon-jones-save-quayside-children-s-centre

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