Community Discussion: Charity and the DIY scene

It’s time for a brand new community discussion. It’s been a week and a half since our last show which was for Nottingham’s Emmanuel House (more on that later…); it was a huge success with 110 tins brought for our collection (seriously), and around £50 raised.

Our next show is also a charity one, this time for Birmingham’s Acorns Children’s Hospice. Our good friends in Surprise Attacks are also putting on an amazing looking charity bill on Friday (more info here). So, we decided this week’s community discussion should be all about charity.

There’s a bit of information about some charities you may or may not be aware about, and some views on the DIY scene’s involvement in charity. Here we go!

Max Qayyum – Seeing Your Scene editor/promoter

Making charity shows feasible

The first show I ever put on was a charity show; for Amnesty International. It was a Free Pussy Riot themed show which Fighting Fiction and Drones headlined. It was amazing. Anyway, I’ve always thought that there could be more done to accommodate charity events in the DIY scene. We all have (for the most part…) the same beliefs and morals, I think that’s why most of us are attracted to the scene, but I think charity work sometimes gets left behind.

The last show was absolutely incredible, so much food and money was easily raised while we all had a great time. It was so good that I’m going to have a tin collection at the majority of SYS shows from now on; may as well do something positive while we have fun. This is pretty easy as a promoter because you can just say people can have a quid off entry in return for a few tins put into a box. This way the show is still affordable as a promoter/band, but you still raise a lot – if last week’s show is anything to go by. We took all of the tins to Nottingham’s Emmanuel House today, who do amazing work, and they were over the moon with the support and just the sheer volume of food. There’s no reason that that should be a one off.

If you’re thinking about doing a charity show, don’t let money put you off. Bands and venues will be flexible because everyone wants to help out, and just any small amount of money/stuff raised will go a really, really long way.

Josh Jones – Seeing Your Scene contributor

Promoting hope through creativity

This is the motto of Wales-based not-for-profit organisation, Heads above the Waves. They exist to raise awareness of self-harm, depression and other mental health issues that affect young people. Their core values are to change negative thought patterns through creative and productive outlets. The stigma is that these things are kept hush-hush in society; something HATW are challenging so that people don’t feel afraid of wanting support.

Creativity is obviously extremely important in the UK DIY scene and is something which should be supported at all opportunities. HATW encourages people to create engaging online content such as pictures and videos, sharing people’s stories, and form friendships with musicians to encourage engagement through music.

The money that HATW raises from appearing at festivals all over England and Wales to sell their own brand of merchandise (and to approach as many people as they can), goes towards the payment of creating new content such as videos. HATW would not be able to keep doing what they do without your participation.

You can get involved by visiting their website – send in your feedback, see how you can get involved  or otherwise simply get in touch. If you wish to donate money by buying a shirt, please check out the online store. This is an organisation of young people, for young people. Don’t forget to keep your head above the waves.

Surprise Attacks – Worcester promoters

This is funny. Rape jokes aren’t.

“Unless you’ve been living in a cave you will have noticed that attitudes towards sexual assault – already taking a dive back into dark Benny Hill territory in an age of Robin Thicke – have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons: Dapper Laughs. Julien Blanc. The fact that one of these has had his career ended and the other denied access to the UK is perhaps a sign that not everyone thinks rape jokes are funny.”

Surprise Attacks will be putting on a fantastic bill on Friday, 12th December at the Firefly in Worcester which combines comedy and DIY punk. The lineup features Arbor Lights, Holy Transmissions, Rusty Knives and comedy from Roger Swift, Mike Crump, Kris Hall, Josh Pugh and Joe Thomlinson. All money raised will be donated to West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre which supports victims of sexual abuse and rape.

The charity fives free, confidential and non-judgemental support to victims of any form of sexual abuse, recent or historic. There have been 853 new clients who have accessed the centre between last April and this March. This is a vital organisation which deserves our support.

“We are very proud to put this show on in support of a local service that we believe is vital, and that remains underfunded. All four bands are excellent – and we’re really excited to work with some of the brightest lights of the underground comedy scene. The local business community has already provided some awesome prizes to be raffled on the night – and further support or donations are very welcome. Most of all though, come down to the Firefly and have a dance and a laugh with us on the 12th December. This will be special.”

Emily Kale – Seeing Your Scene contributor

Women’s Aid

Personally I didn’t realise I was a victim of sexism until I realised I only felt safe when in the company of others. Walking through the streets at night is daunting in itself but when you’re being catcalled as you carry your shopping up the road wondering if your dress is to short is down right scary. Why should I not feel safe a street away from my home? Why only when I’m covered by people, a group of girls, or even just my boyfriend, do I not feel the rising panic when I feel someones eyes on me? Is it my problem that I wonder what a stranger wants if they look at me or is this a reflection of the society I was raised in? Although I recognise that the punk scene does work towards breaking down the social barriers of sexism, there is always more that could be done. Just because I’m in a punk venue watching punk music doesn’t mean I feel safe, even though this isn’t necessarily the case. Sexism in and out of the punk scene needs to be spoken about every day and it is simply not done enough. It is a passion of mine to stand up for gender equality across society and support women in the most vulnerable area of their life — their safety. The work at Women’s Aid has inspired me personally as I strongly admire their daily work to quash stereotypes about women and their experiences with violence.

There are various ways that domestic violence can be perpetrated, including but not limited to the use of physical violence, financial abuse and emotional manipulation. Statistics show that across all social backgrounds, including class and race; 1 in 4 women suffer from domestic violence at some point during their lives. For the last 35 years Women’s Aid have worked with women in Birmingham and Solihull to prevent the ongoing threat of domestic abuse. Through the use of close contact with a number of agencies including Women’s Aid create a network of support for each women tackling individual needs

A charity based organisation which thrives due to its passionate staff and volunteers who are committed to making affected women feel safe again. With charity shops situated across Birmingham and Solihull, there are many ways in which others at home can also get involved, with all donations appreciated. It is so important that we do not look past the issue of domestic violence and challenge the myths of domestic violence that perpetuate.
“If it was that bad they would leave”
“It’s not really abuse, they’ve never been hit”
“They must have brought it on themselves”
“They’re poor it is just part of their lives”
“It doesn’t happen in prosperous areas, it only happens to poor people”

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