Updated: May 14
Article By Thushara S. Chandrasiri
Although people across the UK may have had to adapt to the way they are living due to the recent government lockdown and social distancing measures, the team at ReportOUT are taking this as an opportunity to stay proactive and positive with their latest campaign, Ride For Rights.
As more and more people are finding ways to remain active with daily exercise, the great thing about Ride For Rights is that you are able to go for a ride on your bicycle while contributing to a valuable cause such as the protection of SOGI rights. Already the charity has had such a great response on social media, with many people of all ages, races, and genders keen to be involved.
To get a deeper understanding of this brilliant campaign we decided to speak to ReportOUT’s very own Events Coordinator, Donna McKay to find out more.
ReportOUT recently launched the Ride For Rights campaign. Tell us a little bit more about it and what it involves?
As part of my role I promote ReportOUT and raise awareness of what we do. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has forced all of us to stay indoors as a matter of public health and safety. We did not want our work to cease simply because we are not in the office. Our volunteers have been fantastic and work hard behind the scenes from home to continue to provide the services we deliver.
As part of the Government regulations the UK are allowed one hours exercise a day. We wanted to create a campaign that is achievable under the current circumstances and something that the public could enjoy as part of their daily exercise, while also highlighting the injustices faced by SOGI people.
RideForRights involves three simple steps, which are fully explained on our website. Firstly, you can donate through the link on the post, or through the website. You then take advantage of the one hour’s exercise by riding a bike or being more creative. Some people even choose to walk. It really is something everyone can be involved in. The final step is to upload your photo on social media and nominate three friends. We hope this will encourage more people to take part and support us in our campaign to raise awareness.
What has the response been like so far, especially on social media?
We have had a fantastic response from the public. We have been tagged in many photos and it has been wonderful to see how creative people have been in their methods. We have had people riding unicycles and playing racing games on computer consoles. We have had a local scooter club taking photos on their ride outs, and dog walkers involving their pets in the campaign. It has been heart-warming to see the involvement, not only from our supporters but from their friends who may have been unaware of ReportOUT until now. Tagging friends really has been beneficial in the campaign gaining recognition.
Would you agree what makes Ride For Rights that extra bit more special is not only is it something everyone can be involved in, but also helps raise awareness of the importance of standing in solidarity to protect SOGI rights?
Absolutely. What I have really valued is the support we have received from our Trustees. This has allowed the campaign to gain Global momentum, which is invaluable to our development and recognition as an organisation.
Do you have any other events coming up in coming months so people can make sure they are able to save the dates in their calendars?
Lockdown restrictions have hampered any events we did have planned- the big one of course being Newcastle/UK Pride 2020. This has been postponed until 2021 so look out for that next year. It is going to be huge for the region. The best thing to do is join our mailing list to keep abreast of any future events we do have. We do celebrate specific dates in the SOGI (LGBTQI) calendar so always check in with our social media platforms for anything that we have going on. The next date observed in the calendar is The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) on May 17th so keep an eye on our social media for that.
For anyone who may have only discovered ReportOUT for the first time via this great campaign, what are some of the other ways that people can continue to show their support to the charity?
There are various ways in which people can show their support for ReportOUT. As a volunteer led charity, we rely on donations to enable us to continue the work we do. To support us, you can donate either a one off, or monthly amount through our website www.reportout.org/donate.
You can sign up to our bi-montly newsletter which keeps you updated on all that we do at ReportOUT https://www.reportout.org/want-to-hear-from-us
You can also add us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Share our posts, invite your friends to like our social media pages, and talk to people about what we do. Open up conversations and encourage others to familiarise themselves with ReportOUT and all that we do.
Come along to any events we organise and show your support. These will always be advertised on our social media platforms.
We also offer volunteer positions so keep an eye on our website for any vacancies that may arise. We welcome applications from like-minded individuals who want to help raise awareness of human rights violations.
A big thank you to Donna for taking the time to speak to us. As mentioned, there are various ways to be involved, but if you are wondering where to begin, then a great starting point is Ride For Rights. So what are you waiting for? Get your helmet and bike at the ready and lets spread those positive vibes.