Trailblazers joined forces with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and Virgin boss Richard Branson, as well as other social leaders, community activists, policy makers and business leaders on 18 November 2008, at an event on London’s South Bank, aimed at generating new ideas for social change.
Twenty-one-year-old James Lee and 20-year-old Laura Merry, both from London, led a workshop on Campaigning for Social change talking about their experiences of campaigning as part of their role in the young campaigners’ network Trailblazers. Also speaking on the panel was Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy & Development at The Refugee Council.
James and Laura are Trailblazers ambassadors for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s groundbreaking new project that empowers young disabled people to fight against discrimination and campaign to improve local services.
The inaugural Chain Reaction event, the brainchild of Gordon Brown, brought together over 500 people from the UK and abroad to connect, collaborate, and commit their energy to inspire and catalyse ideas for positive social action that will change the world.
Commenting after the event Trailblazer, James Lee, said:
“I was really pleased to see my name on the list of speakers, next to Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, Richard Branson and Hazel Blears MP.
“It was fantastic to have the opportunity to exchange ideas and talk about how a little bit of action from each of us can bring about so much external change, provided we all work together.”
Trailblazer, Laura Merry, from Roehampton, who has congenital muscular dystrophy, said:
“I was delighted to have been invited to speak at a workshop so close to my heart – Campaigning for Social Change.
“It was a great few days filled with inspirational speeches, workshops, debates, and activities. I have come away realising that the part I play as a Trailblazer can really make a difference in making way for change.”