It's not all rubbish that's spouted on twitter, despite whatever your newspaper may say! Amongst conversation, debate and information sharing, there is an army of supporters on twitter who pass on messages and information about the Jessica's Trust campaign – often tagged with the #maternalhealth hashtag – and some of them are adept at bringing the cause to celebrity attention.
With some success:
ferretprincess: @jessicastrust Signed and retweeted. Very, very best luck with the petition - a highly important and worthy endeavor indeed #maternalhealth
Three members of Take That – Mark, Gary and Jason – have signed as well, although they're not on twitter themselves, a friend of one of theirs is.
More recently, a couple of days ago, a twitter friend of mine sent a request to Stephen Fry, asking him to retweet information about Jessica's Trust. He gets a lot of requests and has a very strict policy on how he does it, so success is rare. At the time his #fryretweet stream was also being spammed. The two of us were unsure whether the tweet would even be seen and we discussed it openly on twitter.
Two minutes later, Stephen Fry sent a DM (private message on twitter) assuring me that he was ignoring the chaff. I thought, 'wow that's nice of him to say, but he'll forget about us in a minute or two.'
How wrong I was. Yesterday morning at a little after 10am, messages of congratulations started flooding my twitter stream: “you got this week's #fryretweet,” people were telling me. And there it was:
An endorsement from the King of Twitter himself! For the next five or six hours our web server held up magnificently under heavy load – and it only resumed normal levels after about 12 hours.
It didn't stop there though, the beautiful Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight, got involved too. During an exchange of messages after she signed the petition, she wrote:
@jessicastrust yes of course no worries! i'm small but i got fight!! let's get 'em signing!! xxx #maternalhealth
and, urging her followers to get behind #maternalhealth and sign as well, she also encouraged Wossy to mention us again – which he did.
So if any more big twitterers would like to spare three minutes to sign and support us, we're here: where else can a tiny charity win the ear of such heavy weight influence?