We hear a call for radical action from leaders across the globe. The Chief Executive of the NHS England has called for ‘the unleashing of creative energy and the mobilising of collective action’ for change. David Bennett, the CEO of Monitor has said “if the NHS is to continue to deliver the universal health service to which we are all committed it needs to turbo-charge changes in the way healthcare is delivered to patients.” http://media.nhsiq.nhs.uk/whitepaper/index.html
In many countries around the world, including here in Australia, a catalyst for frontline led change is building with the emergence of Change Day movements. The inspiration for these radical movements has come from the amazing example of the NHS Change Day.
If you’re not familiar with Change Day Australia here is a very short video of our amazing achievements in 2014 (0nly 170 seconds) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgP56-n5ZWQ
I like to say that we created Change Day Australia from “6 inches of string and some sticky tape”. People always smile at the sheer ingenuity of that achievement. We all love to hear a story about how we can do something great with nothing, especially in Australia where we applaud the ‘the hard working battler’. But I’m starting to realise that the story about the string and the sticky tape doesn’t do justice at all to what it really took to create Change Day here in Australia. Sure we had nothing but it’s no mean feat to make something from nothing.
It’s absolutely true that we have not received any funding from anyone, no sponsorship, no government grant, no philanthropic gifts. We took the nothing that we had and then we emptied our pockets and put everything we had on the table and then some more. Some days I got flat and really tired and felt like giving it away, but I didn’t. We kept going and we told each other that it would work.
At the same time I was working on Change Day my brother-law became very unwell. We knew he would not have long to live. One time I visited him and the staff had left his half empty jug of water out of his reach and he had no strength to sit up and stretch for it. He had not had a drink of water for a number of hours and it was a very warm Australian summer. His lips were cracked and his bed was soiled. I kept going with Change Day because I know we can do better. I want all of us to connect with the values that brought us into this work in the first place.
We all held tight to this idea that when people heard about Change Day they would make a pledge. We knew that every pledge would make a difference, and it has.
When Change Day finally came around and the pledges started rolling in, first hundreds and then thousands we knew we had created something worthwhile. We knew we had found our people and we could build a movement. A movement of people who were as committed to a better outcome for those who use health and community care services.
“When things fall apart, the hopelessly radical becomes common sense.”
Now we are embarking on Change Day 2015 on 11th March, only this time we have nothing left in our pockets to put on the table and we don’t know how much wider we can open our arms. We know we can’t empty the ocean with a cup.
This is why we have decided to crowdfund. We are asking you, if you have anything in your pockets that you can put on the table to grow this campaign. We need everyone who believes that a better outcome is possible to come on board and join us. We need you to be creating Change Day in your organisations in March. We need your energy and your enthusiasm. We need your emails and your tweets and your photos and your encouragement. You are not invisible to us, we have read every pledge you made and we are glad you are part of this movement. We hope you are on the Change Day mailing list
If you have any money that you can put on the table now is the time to do it. We only have 14 days left to reach our tipping point of $19,000 – if we don’t reach that figure we don’t get any of the money people have promised so far. It’s 19 or nothing. Tonight we are at $8000 – we have a way to go.
Can we do it ? I don’t know – what do you think? Can we?