Nesta New Radicals 2018 Award Ceremony

On the 20th September - my second day in the job - I had the honour of attending the Nesta 50 New Radicals 2018 Award Ceremony where Just Treatment were named as one of the winners!

Clare with the Nesta New Radical Award

Clare with the Nesta New Radical Award

Who am I and what is that? You may well ask. My name is Clare Groves and I have taken on the organiser role at Just Treatment. I have been involved with the campaign for over a year as a patient leader. High drug prices have impacted my life very directly, so I’m really pleased to be working for an organisation dedicated to fixing the broken pharmaceutical system.

Just Treatment is the only organisation in the country working with patients to help them overcome the barriers to fair and affordable access to medicines on the NHS. That’s why we, together with our host organisation, NEON, were named as one of Nesta's 50 New Radicals 2018. Recognising our work as innovative and radical.

Since 2012 Nesta and The Observer have pulled together a bi-annual list of 50 radical thinking individuals and organisations who through their campaigns are creating a fairer and better society.

You could say that these radicals are part of society’s immune system at work - responding quietly to threats, breakdowns and problems in ways that the official systems can’t do
— Geoff Mulgan - Director of Nesta

I felt honoured and slightly out of my comfort zone to be asked to represent Just Treatment at such an important event. But I believe that our work challenging the unjust patent laws that allow the greedy pharmaceutical companies to charge extortionate prices that are keeping life-saving treatments from patients who desperately need them fits closely with the vision of the New Radicals awards.

This award is great news for our campaign and will hopefully raise awareness of our cause.

I was inspired  to meet with and talk to other winners about the campaigning and activism they are doing. I was especially impressed with Libraries Unlimited, from Devon who fought back against the closure of rural libraries by forming new models of community ownership, and my time who formed against the backdrop of cuts to carers services. They organise much needed breaks to carers by collaborating with hotels, restaurants, spas etc… and Synergi Collaborative Centre who are combatting unfairness towards ethnic minorities with severe and enduring mental illnesses. All very different but each as radical as the next.

As I get stuck into my work as an Organiser at Just Treatment I’ll be able to look back with pride on the night where I got supplied with champagne and nibbles and had our hard work recognised. There’s lots to do and more need for radicals than ever before.

Clare Groves