Today sees the launch of our latest Postcards from the Edges campaign board. The question we want you to answer this time is: What are your hopes and fears for the General Election?

Postcards from the Edges was created in 2013 as part of United Response’s 40th anniversary. The project asks people with disabilities, and those that love, care about and support them, to create postcards about what matters to them. It is very much a project driven by you, which is why, in our January Postcards from the Edges e-newsletter, we asked what topics you wanted to see on our next campaign board.

The responses came flooding in, but we are pleased to announce that a theme has been chosen: Great Expectations 2015 – the General Election.

The question we want you to answer this time is: What are your hopes and fears for the General Election? What are you expecting to happen – both good and bad? You could make a postcard about any issue that affects you and your everyday life, from your support, safety or benefits to employment, transport or the environment.

Why the General Election?

This suggestion came from one of our artistic contributors in the north east, Pauline Heath (pictured right), who is a talented poet and actress. Pauline, who has cerebral palsy and dyslexia, has been a supporter of the project since 2013 when her first postcard, ‘The Wakening’, was exhibited at the Sage in Gateshead.

“I chose an election theme because we need to get the views of people with disabilities out there,” Pauline told us. “The election affects me and other disabled people so it is important to get involved. It’s time to show MPs we are here, we are voting and we should be taken seriously.

Pauline has created the first postcard for the new board: ‘A message to my MP'

“I made this card to highlight the issue of accessibility,” she explained. “If my local jobcentre just made simple changes like increasing the print size of documents to make them easier for me to read, or allowing more space on forms to accommodate my bigger handwriting, this would really help me. There also isn’t enough help available for older people with dyslexia.”

Share your postcard with your local MP

The Great Expectations 2015 board will be running alongside United Response’s Every Vote Counts campaign, which aims to get more people with learning disabilities voting in the upcoming election – and all political parties producing easy read manifestos that make what they will do if elected accessible for everyone.

Pauline added, “People should send their postcards to their local MPs so that politicians know what is important to their voters.”

We think this is a great idea. You can find out who your local MP is at – remember to be polite when contacting them though!

On your marks, get set… get creative!

Thank you to Pauline and everyone else who provided suggestions for the new board. Now, please get involved – roll up your sleeves, get those creative juices flowing and start creating your own postcards! You can share your hopes and fears by using messages, collages, photographs, drawings, paintings or poems – anything you like.

You can make one online via the super-simple ‘Create a card’ function on the Postcards from the Edges website, or click here to request a pack of blank postcards to decorate at home. We can’t wait to see what you create.

Laura Cook, web and digital communications assistant.