Hundreds take to the streets of Colchester to march for the NHS

More than 800 people took part in a 'Save our NHS' march in Colchester. Picture: CASEY PEARCE

More than 800 people took part in a 'Save our NHS' march in Colchester. Picture: CASEY PEARCE - Credit: Archant

More than 800 people in Colchester took to the streets today to show their support for the NHS in a rally around the town.

More than 800 people took part in a 'Save our NHS' march in Colchester. Picture: CASEY PEARCE

More than 800 people took part in a 'Save our NHS' march in Colchester. Picture: CASEY PEARCE - Credit: Archant

The ‘Save our NHS’ march, organised by The Colchester People’s Assembly and the Colchester Trade Unions Council, was set up to prompt people to think of the health service before they got to the ballot box on Thursday.

A group of around 800 people gathered at St Botolph’s Priory at 12.30pm - but Raph Pigott, who helped organise the event, said even more joined the march as it made its way around the town.

He said: “There must have been between 900 and 1,000 people with us at the end.

“We want to put NHS spending in the public eye, to ask people to vote to save our NHS.

More than 800 people took part in a 'Save our NHS' march in Colchester. Picture: CASEY PEARCE

More than 800 people took part in a 'Save our NHS' march in Colchester. Picture: CASEY PEARCE - Credit: Archant

“We want to stop the cuts to the NHS and to provide it with proper funding.

“We had more people turn out than we expected.

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“It was big and lively, with lots of support shown by people who joined in the march and from people waving from the pavement.”

After the massive crowds gathered they marched along St John’s Street towards Head Street and down the High Street, finishing the march with a rally at the FirstSite Gallery.

There, a number of speakers got on stage to voice their views.

“We are just asking people to vote with the NHS in mind and to use their vote for whatever party they think will do the best for it,” said Raph.

“Without the NHS a lot of young and older people will be in trouble.”

Raph said it was encouraging how many young people were at the march.

“We had lots and lots of young people on the demonstration, from 13 and 14-year-olds to people in their early 20s. There was a big group of young people which is very encouraging in the run up to the election.”

Clare Marsh, who created the lead banner for the march, described the event as ‘universally positive’.

“It was very uplifting and it was wonderful to see the range of people joining in,” she said.

“There was a complete cross section of ages, lots of children and lots of older people.

“There is a lot of love shown for the NHS and a lot of passion.

“It was very positive, there were a lot of smiling faces.”

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