Last week dozens of campaigners across the North brought the IF campaign to life. Here Mark Dawson, York Oxfam campaign coordinator, reports from the launch of the IF campaign in York.
The temperature was just above freezing as hardy souls, and seasoned campaigners, gathered to help launch the IF campaign in York.
I met with my fellow Oxfam'ers and our friends from Christian Aid ,CAFOD and the local Fairtrade group. We had a good site for the launch on York's main shopping street, Coney Street, just outside St. Martin's church.
As soon as we raised the giant, nine foot high letters 'I' and 'F' passersby took notice and we gave out nearly all our leaflets.
It was great that we were joined by Joyce Pickard, Honorary Freeman of the City of York (Dame Judi Dench also holds the same title). Joyce has campaigned on international justice issues for decades and was enthusiastic about this new campaign and its potential to bring about change.
We were interviewed by the York Press and a photographer came along. He insisted that we stand in the middle of the road and we had to dash back and forth to dodge the delivery vans. However there was a nice view of Coney Street's ornamental clock as a backdrop.We carried on and marched through the centre of York with the IF letters swaying wildly in the wind.
It's been quite a week for York with the announcement that the Tour de France will come here, the declaration of Yorkshire as the UK's first ever Fairtrade Region, taking place at the Mansion House, and now the launch of this important campaign. IF will bring together many organisations from across the city, including faith and community groups.
Despite the cold there was quite a buzz about the launch. All the supporters were enthusiastic about the IF campaign and it was great to be drumming up support alongside some old friends from other charities and agencies. 2013 really could make a difference and set us on the path to a world where no one goes hungry.
We are right at the beginning but if our local launch is anything to go by there will be a lot of public interest and activists will be fired up. Now is the time to get involved.