Chatting to a Chugger


Clara stood on the corner in her bright yellow t proclaiming Whizzkidz. She wanted me to stop and talk. or did she? Maybe she just wanted to see the colour of my money. I asked her to walk with me. I was going to a cash point within 20 meters, just a few short strides. She refused. i said stay there. I’ll be back. Just what i need – a chat with a chugger.

She was pleased i stood by word and i told her i’d heard of whizzkidz and could she tell me if it was an organisation for disabled children or of disabled children. She said ‘for’. One point against. I asked her if she knew what it meant. She said yes. 2 points against. She asked me how come i knew whizzkidz I said i work for a disabled people’s organisation. She asked me which one? We were getting on famously. I named names and she had never heard mine. It’s just a small thing Clara. A local group that some people appreciate.

She proffered me her PRFA or was it PFRA board. I couldn’t see it and I told her so. She spelt it out. i said, no i can’t see it. I can see that part, i can’t see the rest of it. She said it was her guidelines. it told her what she could do. i asked if it said she couldn’t walk with me. She said no not specifically but if she had walked with me and asked for money it could have looked like she was hassling me. So she was after my money but she didn’t want to hassle me. She was nice was Clara. Is nice is Clara.

She showed me the harassment clause and i said, no i’m sorry but i can’t see it and i am surprised that the info isn’t more accessible in any case. The points against this nice person were piling up but she continued to save herself. I’ll tell them she said and i’m sure she will.

Then she read the small print. Whizzkidz had invested £24,000 in the campaign in the hope opf returning £97,000 (must confess i haven’t got the exact figures but i know i’m close). I said what does invested mean. She hesitated. I said it means they are paying your wages and that’s ok because you are worth it aren’t you Clara and she agreed with me. She is worth it. We are all worth it.

She showed me some more of her words and pictures. I told her i couldn’t see it. She gave me the headlines. I stopped her at campaigning.

I like that i said. i like campaigning. Tell me what that one says. She told me about a 15 year old wheelchair using kid who was leading the campaign for mobility aids and she told me 70,000 kids need mobility aids. I asked her if she knew how many of those kids would be wheelchair users and if she knew if the campaign leader was being paid and how much of the £97k would be going into a 15 year olds’ pocket. She was happy to guess the number of wheelchair users but couldn’t tell me the rest. I said i think this is sad Clara. i think the kid in charge is a tokenistic figure don’t you? Is she sitting on the board? Does she have voting rights? Not necessarily. More than likely just another kid being used by a charity full of white middle class, i stopped myself from saying wankers, and got the word people out which was very very good of me. What? With my history and everything.

So i got back to asking about the words on the papers she was holding and asked her if she thought i should have the right to see them and she thought i did. In fact she was getting quite uppity about it and understanding the injustice of it all. So i asked her if she thought kids who needed mobility aids should have them as a right and she said she did. So, i said, and that’s why i won’t be giving to your charity but as you’ve been so nice to me Clara i’ll tell you what i’ll do i’ll go home and i’ll send a pound or two to Imogen May, an activist i know who needs 12k for a communication board so she can talk to other students in her class, so she can tell models what they should be doing when she goes to work as a photographer and i’ll send some quidz (oh the irony of that zed or should that be zee) to DAN. Have you heard of DAN Clara? No i haven’t Rich. We were on first name terms. They’re an unfunded organisation of disabled people, owned and controlled by disabled people, who get disabled people out and on the streets to complain about things and to stand up for rights. That’s where i think the best chance of getting the mobility aid is Clara and think that’s where we can get it as a right.

A couple of asides. Clara told me for every pound i gave if i signed this gift aid form the government would give another whopping 28%. So if i gave £10 it would be worth £12.80 which would be good but if they will do this and i presume they do it out of taxes why don’t they add a penny in the pound to taxes so we get the mobility aids as a right.

Later i saw a kid on a scooter dropping dirty tissues everywhere she went. Her mom was talking about her legs and how she might need to use a chair, poor little darling, and she couldn’t be expected to pick up the tissues and i noticed two lines of plastic running up from her shoes like a splint and i thought is this the little angels mobility aid. Wonder how much that plastic costs? Bet i’d be surprised. Bet I wouldn’t. The cost of aids is rediculous. Why doesn’t the government do something about this shifty side of rip off britain that make money out of us.

Anyway a couple of links for you. One for Imogen May
Another for DAN‘s facebook page:

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