Campaigning group needs younger members

A CAMPAIGNING group in Clevedon is folding due to a lack of members.

A CAMPAIGNING group in Clevedon is folding due to a lack of members.

North Somerset Amnesty International Group, which meets in Clevedon, has been running for 35 years but is shutting down due because there are no younger members to keep it going.

Over the years members have been involved in writing to politicians and sending off petitions about a number of topics ranging from arms control and violence against women to the diamond trade and child soldiers.

Group secretary Sheila Wakefield said: "We are very sad we have to close it. It's very disappointing.

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But none of us are young and of the people who come regularly to monthly meetings, four of them are over 80.

"It needs to be restarted with somebody younger. We would give them any help we could."

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The youngest member is 65 and the group is appealing for young campaigners to take the group on.

The group, which has nine regular members but around 25 supporters from Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead, used to take it in turns to meet at each other's houses once a month.

They have campaigned on behalf of people who have been locked up for their religious and political beliefs and even handed out leaflets about the diamond trade when Blood Diamond was shown at the Curzon Community Cinema.

Sheila said: "I have learned a tremendous amount about the backgrounds of countries that I didn't know existed and how easy it is for people to get on the wrong side of the system. It's really quite frightening how people can be locked up for their beliefs."

Anyone interested in taking over the group can visit the Amnesty International website at

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