Gail Ward is one of the foremost activists in the UK on disability rights. She has an impressive CV when it comes to both raising awareness of the issues at hand, as well as fighting and winning battles on behalf of disabled citizens like her across the UK.
She is currently standing for the position of Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) Disabled Members Representative in the forthcoming elections for that committee.
Her work on Universal Credit and disability rights has won her plaudits from other campaign organisations and charities and brought her to the attention of the United Nations.
Gail is particularly keen to express her solidarity with disabled people who feel utterly discarded and ‘tokenised’ by mainstream politics, and to discuss how mainstream political leaders must listen to progressive disabled activist voices.
Despite her severe disabilities she continues to support ordinary people. Gail was co-founder behind the Defend Tynedale Hospital campaign and she was out helping the community during the floods that hit communities in the Tynedale Flood Appeal.
In addition, Gail was a Trustee at West Northumberland Food Bank based in Hexham. She organised some of the opposition to the bedroom tax which she feels penalises those at the bottom of the ladder and she contributes to public speaking events across the UK against austerity measures. She meets politicians on a regular basis to discuss the effects that government policies have on ordinary people’s lives.
Gail founded the Hands 2 Mouth Project which helped many across the UK understand and navigate Universal Credit when it was first rolled out. This was done mainly via workshops. She has worked with the TUC Northern (Trades Union Council) on both Universal Credit and Universal Credit and Disabled Workers under COVID -19
Gail also submitted evidence to United Nations Conventions for the Persons with Disabilities(UNCRPD) Inquiry on how Universal Credit violated disabled people rights for those needing state support and to the social security advisory committee, and she has written reports contributing to discussions on policy.
You can read about Gail’s campaign here.