The only time I've EVER asked for your support was to produce Spartacus Report, and even then, I was loathe to take any personal support from the fund.
I won't take money from unions or think tanks and certainly not corporate monoliths or political organisations as I feel I would never be truly able to say what I really need to say again. Regularly, kind supporters message me privately and offer to pay a little money to me monthly to support my work, but though I must have spent thousands of pounds of my own money traipsing across the country to represent the sick and disabled, I'm happy to do it if I can. Sometimes, a nasty little troll pops up to say I'm only in it for the money and Dave and I laugh cynical laughs - If only they knew!!
But once, when I was in a truly desperate state, a friend (Fiona Nicholson, I am forever in your debt and will never forget your kindneess) rose up and helped me. I was in hospital after the intense work of Spartacus Report, nearly bankrupt, fighting my DLA appeal and my car blew up on the way to Cambridge when Dave tried to bring the kids for a visit. On the same day, my laptop got drowned in a sea of liquid feed and I was cut off. I moaned about it a bit on twitter, then went offline for the day. When I came back, nearly £1000 had been donated to fix the car and get a new laptop. It was the single most miraculous day of my life.
Not just the money, though it was incredible, but to know so many cared and wanted to help in any small way they could.
So with all of this in mind, you know I would never ask for your help unless the situation was desperate.
Well, today, I'm faced with a desperate situation. One of the people who works most closely with me is in a terrible mess. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that none of my work would have been possible without this person. They get none of the glory, work endlessly in the background and few of you would know them if I said their name. But this person works tirelessly, day and night, producing faultless research. They are always there when I need a quote or reference, they are always there when I need support.
But this person is in the middle of a mental health breakdown. Their DLA has been stopped through an admin error, their housing is unstable and this person is on the very edge. They are hungry and hopeless. They have no-one but us. I'm truly frightened that we will lose them if something isn't done soon.
Like me, this person needs to know we care. They need to know that what they've done is every bit as vital as those more in the public eye like myself. They need help and whilst I can't wave magic wands, I can use this blog and the great support and care you've always shown me to help them.
So for just the second time since I started this blog, I'm asking you to help. Please, DON'T give more than you can afford, but if you can donate any small amount towards a crisis fund for this person, you might just save a life. A precious, brave, wonderful life. I realise I'm not even telling you who they are (it would be too much for the person) and I'm asking you to trust me when I say how vital this is.
I can't lose them. We need this person so much and it would be a crime if she wasn't standing beside me when we finally win.
You can DONATE HERE
Update : I'm astonished! We hit the target in just under 2 hours!!! Your generosity has inspired me more than you could ever know. Several people have said to me that they want to donate on Friday, so I'll keep the fund running until midnight on Friday. Crisis is as crisis does and I set the £1000 target with no idea how people would react. Anything still donated will see this person through until their DLA and housing problems are sorted out, so do please keep donating and a million thank yous xxxx