Jo supports disabled young campaigners

Jo Swinson with young campaigners at the launch of Trailblazers

Jo has tabled a motion in Parliament supporting the new campaigning network


Jo Swinson has launched a new campaign for young people with muscular dystrophy.

Jo provided the keynote address during the launch of Trailblazers, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s new volunteering project, at Westminster this week. The project gives young disabled people the chance to campaign on issues important to them in their local communities. The launch was attended by over 50 young disabled campaigners, families and supporters, who travelled from all over the UK to join forces in Parliament.

Commenting on the launch, Jo said:

“This new network for young campaigners is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get their voices and experiences heard.

“The network is being set up to help young people improve the rights of people with disabilities. Helping disabled young people to take the lead on this issue for themselves will give the campaign the best chance of making a real difference.

“I wish all the new Trailblazers every success.”

Jo has also tabled a Parliamentary motion calling on the Government to support the young campaigners network Trailblazers and to address the obstacles faced by young people with disabilities. It is estimated that there are over 100 people in East Dunbartonshire are living with muscle disease.

The Trailblazers network will be open to anyone aged between 16 and 30 who would like to fight for the rights of disabled people. The young adults will have the chance to campaign on issues they feel strongly about, for example, better support at school and university, or increased access to transport and leisure facilities.

Trailblazer, 17-year-old Michaela Hollywood, who has spinal muscular atrophy, also addressed MPs and Peers at the launch in Parliament and said:

“As well as having the chance to campaign on the things that are most important to me, Trailblazers has given me an opportunity to make friends with people who have similar interests.

“Trailblazers also gives me the chance to inform younger members of the group about the problems they might face, and to talk with the older members about what they found to be good tactics in all aspects of life. It’s so great to see this project developing into such a big network as it will help so many campaigners like myself to learn lots of new skills which we will all be able to use in the future.”

Each regional network will have access to their own section of a dedicated Trailblazers’ website and will be given training in organising their very own campaign. This might involve being an undercover reporter, running an event in Parliament, organising fun social events or contacting local media.

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