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MNers needed for Samantha Cameron London Event for Railway Children - find out more

(50 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Jan-13 14:49:19

As you may know MN is working with the charity Railway Children (who are supported by Aviva) to raise awareness of the issues around children who run away from home - promoting this hidden issue, the work the charity does and helping to raise funds (via donations from Aviva). It is estimated that one child runs away from home every five minutes in the UK. More info here:

We are very excited to say we have been given the opportunity to invite ten Mumsnetters to attend a special event with Railway Children in central London, hosted by Samantha Cameron. We're looking for Mumsnetters who feel passionate about this cause, who perhaps have personal experiences that they are happy to share - either as a parent or maybe from your memories as a child - or who feel strongly about supporting Railway Children, their work and our joint campaign.

Railway Children say "We're very excited to be able to invite ten MNers to join us at a special event hosted by Samantha Cameron to support the partnership between Railway Children, Aviva and Mumsnet, which raises awareness of the issue of young runaways as well as generating funds for the vital projects which support them. We can't wait to meet some of the MNers who have been (or could be)brilliant supporters of our campaign to date in person, hear your thoughts first hand, and get to know you better."

At present we can't give the exact date or location but can say that it will be an early evening event in mid-March and in central London. If you're selected to attend you will be informed by 1 Feb so should be plenty of time to make arrangements for babysitting if needed. No children can attend. There will be a reserve list in case folks can't make it. Aviva has kindly offered to help cover travel costs if needed.

In return for attending we would want MNers to post on a feedback thread about their experiences after the event and share what they have learnt. These comments (and photos from the event) will feature on the MN Railway Children pages and possibly elsewhere (eg facebook/ twitter).

If you're interested in attending please sign up here by Sunday 20th Jan. Please also return to the thread and share why you would like to attend and what it would mean to you. If you're unable to attend please feel free to post on this thread any questions you'd like to be put to Railway Children about this issue.

The shortlisted ten attendees will be emailed by MNHQ asap to finalise details.

Any questions please ask.
Thanks MNHQ

MariusEarlobe Mon 04-Feb-13 13:47:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whitest4r Wed 30-Jan-13 14:52:35

I've signed up in the hope of an invite. I am a County Councillor (4 years) & a school Governor (7 years) and a mum of a 10yoDD. I have specialised in Children's Services in the Council and Child Protection & Safeguarding as a Governor. I hadn't heard of The Railway Children before Mumsnet posted this, I would like to know more and think the forum with Samantha Cameron sounds like an interesting way to do that.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jan-13 16:53:06

Hi all, the CEO of Railway Children has asked us to post on her behalf, in response to some of the comments on the thread:

Dear Mumsnetters,
Thank you for your responses to this post and thank you to all of you who have been supporting and following our campaign with MN and Aviva on this forum to date. It's so pleasing to hear such positive feedback about Railway Children and encouraging that this subject is evoking such passionate conversation.

As this particular subject has generated some negative responses for some of you, we felt strongly that we should respond.

As you probably know, children living on the streets in the UK is a hidden issue and as a charity we have struggled for many years to elevate its profile with the general public and within government. People just don't realise there is a problem and that makes our job more difficult.

As well as providing for the immediate needs of vulnerable children, much of our work is about trying to influence long-term change at government level. To do this, we rely on many stakeholders who help to amplify our voice and bring the issue to the fore.

The unique opportunity to address Mrs Cameron will allow us (and some of you) to present this unacceptable issue in a highly public place. We hope that the publicity that this will subsequently generate will provide much needed momentum in our quest to help vulnerable young people.

Our decision to accept this invitation is in no way an expression of our political allegiance. We are not suggesting Mrs Cameron should endorse our campaign and this event is one of many ways we are trying to get this issue on people's agenda. Regardless of which party is in power, this is a rare chance for our organisation to publicly share our concerns, backed-up with support from Mumsnetters. Importantly, we are looking to use the event as a vehicle to speak directly with the media to heighten the profile and the issue of children and young people who runaway.

Your views and opinions are important to us as an organisation and if you would like to contact us directly we would be delighted to hear from you (

Yours sincerely

Terina Keene

Railway Children

ravenAK Wed 23-Jan-13 18:54:16

I couldn't do it.

Sorry, & I'm sure on a personal level she's pleasant enough, but she's not fronting the event as 'Sam who's quite nice & wants to help support runaway children'.

She's only in a position to promote this as 'the Prime Minister's wife with a venue like Downing St to offer', which is exactly why she's been asked to do it.

So the event cannot then be disassociated with the appalling damage said PM is doing to the most vulnerable.

Poor taste & poor judgment IMO.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Wed 23-Jan-13 14:36:48

No witch hunt, just concern from people.

You are asking people to support and/or go to an event to support a charity which will be fronted by the wife of the Prime Minister who is doing immense damage to families in the UK, his policies are putting untold stress and strain on many families who are all ready struggling to cope.

Do you not think that for many woman, sitting in the same room as a wife and active campaigner of the Tory Party PM would stick a bit in their throat.

AmberLeaf Wed 23-Jan-13 14:11:54

It's not a witch hunt.

But I can't imagine being married to someone who is doing what DC is doing unless you agree with his policies.

So based on that, IMO its a little bit obscene.

ThePathanKhansWitch Wed 23-Jan-13 13:44:42

I don,t think it,s turned into a witch hunt gin.As I said upthread, she comes across as a perfectly nice and pleasant woman.

As does Asma Assad, however unfortunate both are tainted by association.

Disclaimer:I am in no way equating Mr Camerons policies with those of Mr Assad.

gin4me Wed 23-Jan-13 09:44:45

Common girls, who cares about who is doing something as long as somebody is doing something. (Anyway why is this thread turning into a SamCam whitchhunt. Do you know her personally? Is she doing something awful to anybody? Give her a bit of slack, being involved with a charity is often a bit like flogging a dead horse) As for Aviva (I really do not like them!!!!) I am happy for them to pay £2 on my behalf to a charity that helps teenagers!

PeneloPeePitstop Tue 22-Jan-13 20:20:12

Absolutely. Hosting charitable events whilst the policies of her husband's government mean many charities having to fold just seems somehow obscene.

Two hundred thousand children are being pushed into poverty. But that's ok if you do charidee init?

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Tue 22-Jan-13 19:07:17

I`m sorry I dont agree, you cannot seperate SamCam with tory politics, her name is only known because of <shudder> him.

I think Railway Children will sink with her involvement, which is such a shame as its a fantastic charity raising the profile of runaway teens. Couldnt you have involved someone a little more real?

ThePathanKhansWitch Tue 22-Jan-13 18:50:35

Not really Justine IMHO. It just doesn,t sit right.
And the fact a different charity night is hosted every week, even worse, I did think perhaps it something close to Mrs Camerons heart(perhaps someone from boarding school had run away to Paris/New York, or even the Ritz mean streets of London). Cynical old leftie moi? Perhaps.

I still think it was a bad call to ask for Mrs Camerons involvement.

gazzalw Tue 22-Jan-13 18:38:36

Now I can think of another Samantha who would be much more appropriate - Samantha Morton...

gazzalw Tue 22-Jan-13 18:37:37

I see your point Justine, but still against my politics to go anywhere near a Tory.....or anyone associated with He who must not be named.....

TheSecondComing Tue 22-Jan-13 17:48:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Jan-13 21:36:09

Evening all,
Sorry that some folks have expressed disappointment about this event, of course that's the opposite of what we intended.

In actual fact Samantha Cameron hosts a different charity evening every week. I wrote to her to ask if she'd include Railway Children in the schedule because we've been working with Aviva for a while now to support and raise awareness of the vital work that the Railway Children do with runaway teens. We hope you've seen the some of the stuff we've been running on the site over the past few months.

Truth is, holding an event in Westminster gives it oxygen in a way that getting a sleb along to a party at MNHQ simply wouldn't. It's simply much more likely to attract media attendees and other potential high-profile supporters of the charity.

We don't think attending this event is an endorsement of the government's policies. As folks have said Samantha Cameron is not responsible for government policy in any case. But as the Prime Minister's wife with a venue like Downing St to offer she is able effectively to raise awareness of good causes like the Railway Children and, whatever your political leanings, that has to be a good thing, doesn't it?

Adizzylass1980 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:32:57

This is an issue close to my heart, having had personal experience of this I would be very interested in attending, it will be interesting to find out what Samcam has to say on the subject!

gazzalw Fri 18-Jan-13 18:22:30

Yes, have to say that my political leanings would make me shy away from anything involving Sam Cameron however much I'm in favour of Railway Children. Someone like Jo Brand would have been much more appropriate or even Paul Bettany (who, if memory serves me correctly was actually homeless as a young man)

Bluestocking Fri 18-Jan-13 17:49:14

I'm really disappointed by Railway Children linking themselves with Samantha Cameron. They do great work in India (and I'm sure in other places too, but this is the place I'm most familiar with). And I can of course understand that sleb endorsement is important for getting media exposure. But why would they want "support" from a woman whose husband, with his millionaire cronies, is actively driving UK households into poverty and despair? I'm going to contact them at to tell them what a very bad idea this is.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Fri 18-Jan-13 17:35:40

Actually I`m really saddened that they have linked themselves to her, whoever advised them to do that should be sacked. Its a real shame as its such an important charity and needs all the publicity it can get, unfortunately I truly believe that she will give them adverse publicity and stop people from learning more about it.

timidviper Fri 18-Jan-13 17:35:34

I agree the charity is a great cause but I do not see Sam Cam as an asset to it. There is more to adding value to a charity than having a public profile

ishchel Fri 18-Jan-13 17:35:08

A little PR stunt for the good lady? Like, we are in this all together?

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Fri 18-Jan-13 17:31:18

I would love to go but not with Sam Cam, shame they couldnt have chosen someone not link with politics. (especially at the moment when feelings are running high in this country)

Arisbottle Fri 18-Jan-13 17:24:46

This is a topic I feel strongly about, and would go but the SamCam link makes me feel very uneasy.

Meglet Fri 18-Jan-13 16:44:58

ah, ok so kids can't go anyway. I wouldn't go if I could get a babysitter and they had champagne on tap.

Meglet Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:41

What pathankhanswitch said. I wouldn't put my dc's on show to make people think the Tories are supportive of families.

A token gesture for the media to try and over shadow what the Condems are doing to familes and children.

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