Oxfam Outreach – Campaigning Against Poverty Through Music

A group in Newcastle is at the forefront of a new way of campaigning which looks to tap into popular culture to get the message across about issues such as trade justice, arms control and climate change. Oxfam Outreach attends gigs, festivals and other events, simply talking to people and spreading the message.

Having recognised that music fans are often sympathetic to their aims, Oxfam Outreach have harnessed this potential, and used it to great advantage. So far, teams of Outreachers have campaigned at gigs such as Snow Patrol, Embrace, Richard Ashcroft, BellX1, Kaiser Chiefs, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Cooper Temple Clause and How Ethical! favourite, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly , as well as events such as the Newcastle Mela and Newcastle Green Festival. Upcoming events include festivals such as Womad, V-Festival, and many more. They are also keen supporters of the Just Fair Laughs comedy night, which takes place in Shearer’s Bar on the first Sunday of each month, and aims to raise awareness through comedy.

North-East Outreach Co-ordinator Heather Duff said “Campaigning is fun and it really does work. It’s a great way to get people involved, and we find that the response rates at the events are fantastic”.

In return for their hard work, Outreachers are provided with free gig and event tickets, as well as a feeling of a job well done. If you are interested in getting involved contact Heather Duff on outreachne@oxfam.org.uk or sign up on their website at www.oxfam.org.uk/outreach, which also contains more information on the programme.

For those not in the North East, there are also Outreach programmes in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Scotland, and more information can be found on the website.

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