Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gareth Southgate is right about the Mayday for Nurses campaign

A while ago there was a lot of publicity for Noreena Hertz and her Mayday for Nurses campaign. The charity had asked Premiership footballers to donate a day's wages to help nurses and published figures showing how generous each club had been.

Now, in the last couple of days, there have been stories about how quick to pay the players have been, again broken down by club.

Today, according to the Guardian, Gareth Southgate has had enough. The Middlesbrough manager is quoted as saying:
"I think it's outrageous that the campaign's fundraising style has bordered on blackmail, with the message being basically 'give us your money or we'll publicly shame you'. It's a strange way for a charity to act and one that has ensured that, although I had originally intended to make a donation, I have now withdrawn that promise."
Quite right too. As Southgate says, most clubs do a lot of work for charity and in the community and will have local causes that they are already committed to supporting. There can be little excuse for Hertz and her charity trying to push their way to the head of the queue like this.

And are nurses really such an overwhelmingly deserving case these days? Most of the extra money that has been put into the NHS in recent years has gone on higher salaries, and I am not aware that the nursing profession has missed out on this.

Mayday for Nurses' own blog seems to have been taken down for some reason, but you can find a summary of the charity's aims on the University College London site. It runs a hardship fund, which is admirable, and has some sensible aims:
No student nurse should have to quit his or her course because he or she cannot afford her rent.
But it also has some wholly unrealistic ones:
Nurses should not be paid less than all other professional key public sector workers. It is unjust that a nurse earns less than a tube driver, social worker, and policeman.
Newly qualified nurses should be guaranteed work upon graduation.
I wonder if all those football clubs read the small print before they signed up to the charity's "manifesto"?


Jo Christie-Smith said...

Hmm, I afriad I don't agree with you here. If you say you're going to do something, then you should do it. End of....

I've raised alot of money for charities through balls and things and also worked for one for a year. If I've asked someone and they haven't wanted to donate or buy tickets then that's not a problem but it is the most frustrating ting in the world to have to spend months chasing people upm when you could be out raising more funds.

And as for Gareth Southgate. I was unfortunate to be in the same class as him at school and I see he hasn't lost any of his self righteousness. The charity aren't blackmailing him, they are holding him to his word. It's a great shame, because I kind of wish that some who achieved so much in their career could, whinge a little less when they're asked to keep their promise.

Anonymous said...

What sort of country is it that subsidises its nurses by the charitable donations of millionaire footballers ???

Tax the footballers; pay the nurses.