My name is Will and I work as a GP at the Hart Surgery in Henley-on-Thames where I've been a partner since 2018. I'm not what one would consider an eco-warrior living off the grid or anything like that. I suppose one might say I'm just a fairly normal average guy.
I've had the beginnings of the One Week idea for quite a few years in some shape or form. Until relatively recently it's been buried in a list of potential projects still to do. I'm no longer completely sure of the exact origins as it was more of a gradual conception. I think the vague idea - that of lots of people working harder than usual to do something positive all at the same time to create something extraordinary - came about from reading about various examples of teamwork and collective sacrifice. Think codebreaking during the war and the Dunkirk evacuations etc.
More than once over the years, I've mused over the fact that, if everyone in the UK donated £1 during charity fundraising events, the total raised would be in excess of £60 million according to however big the population is. The message behind this idea is important - a small gesture from a lot of people can be incredibly powerful even if it seems insubstantial on its own. There are so many other things that cost us nothing that can make at least as big a difference. And with the teamwork and collective sacrifice that comes with it lies the potential for an additional benefit - that of some collective spirit and unity. Something that has been lacking of late - a fact not lost on me during this whole process.
As the Ukraine war broke out, I began to dust off the idea after hearing someone mention how much oil we could save if the motorway speed limit were reduced to reflect fuel efficiency. The more I thought about introducing a week during which people could really focus on one thing by putting in that extra mile, the more I thought it was actually a really good idea. And so simple. It costs people nothing other than hard work and the benefits can be felt at an individual level as well as a national level. It reminded me that there are so many positive actions an individual can take in relation to so many different problems.
Energy seemed like the obvious place to start considering what's going on at the moment and it is also a really easy way to demonstrate the overall concept. As it's only me, I took some time to deliberate over the best way to go about things. I decided that the most important thing - indeed the only thing really - was to spread the word. To that end, I created this website, paid someone to do a logo and a video that people could share around on social media.
Clearly One Week can't be every week, but I envisage perhaps two or three of them annually depending on the need for collective action. And in the future, if it catches on in the UK, there's no reason it can't spread internationally.
I'll be learning along the way so am always welcome to suggestions, ideas and advice on the ways to make this an established movement that provides a powerful and effective mode of action on all the challenges we face. Just as the idea relies on lots of people putting their heads together towards a collective goal, there's no reason to say that same process can't be used to develop One Week itself. So join in, tell us how you got on and tell everyone you can about it!