SMK Training

Masterclasses and specialist workshops

 

SMK’s masterclass and specialist workshop series invites highly experienced campaigners and others to share their knowledge and expertise about campaigning. These workshops provide detailed technical information and insight about strategies and tactics. The masterclasses and specialist workshops are designed to provide campaigners with:

  • Practical information and advice about effective campaigning tools and tactics.
  • Ideas and advice about how to overcome specific challenges facing their campaign.
  • A peer network of campaigners and an opportunity to learn from each other.

 

 

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Previous masterclasses

Legal Masterclass

 

  • Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. Earlier this year Matt and his team secured a significant change to housing policy by intervening in a case before the Supreme Court. In 2014 Matt and his team at Action for Children secured new legislation to protect children from emotional abuse.
  • Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. Steve has worked on successful legal challenges against the Department for Work and Pensions, Islington Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and at the European Court of Human Rights. Steve has worked in senior campaigning roles for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.
'Securing election manifesto commitments'
This session looked at strategies to secure election manifesto commitments. Ed Matthew is the coordinator of a major alliance campaign, the Energy Bill Revolution, which is trying to get manifesto commitments from all the major UK parties to the world’s most ambitious home energy efficiency programme. The aim is to end fuel poverty and reduce UK carbon emissions at the scale and speed required. Ed set out the strategy that has been developed to achieve the manifesto commitments in support of the Energy Bill Revolution. He will drew on his campaign experience to set out the key elements of a successful charity campaign to influence election manifestos, including how to build an effective political strategy, build powerful alliances and develop a successful communications strategy. Ed also discussed where the different political parties are on the road to the 2015 election and identify some of the key politicians who will influence the manifestos.
Shelter - 'Shaping Public Opinion'
Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis. Since the mid 1970s, we’ve not built enough homes. Yet the looming shortage of homes hasn’t been a big political issue for years. Until now. Antonia and Jon from Shelter spoke about how the charity has helped moved public opinion on housing, to make sure the next government builds the homes Britain needs. From being a low priority for voters, housing has risen up the political agenda and is now consistently one of the top five issues of concern for the general public. The session featured how Shelter developed a theory of change, using research and insight, and how Shelter uses both elite and mass communications campaigns to highlight the issue and make the case.
The Campaign for Real Ale's Beer Tax Campaign
In March 2012, CAMRA embarked on a year-long campaign to persuade the Government to scrap the damaging beer duty escalator. Their campaign included a 108,000 strong e-petition, three Parliamentary debates and a Mass Lobby of Parliament attended by 1,000 people. They secured the support of over 300 MPs. As a result of our campaign, the Government scrapped the beer duty escalator and introduced the first beer duty cut in 50 years – saving beer drinkers £1 billion over five years
Changing behaviours and attitudes

The focus of this masterclass was on using campaigning to change people’s behaviours and attitudes. Our main speakers were:

  • Helen Halls and Jo Bullock from RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). For almost 100 years, RoSPA has been quietly working behind the scenes to change both legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents. From the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and the campaign to stop drink driving, to the Cycling Proficiency Test and to the more recent ban on handheld mobile phones behind the wheel, RoSPA has been instrumental in shaping our society for the better, preventing millions of deaths and serious injuries along the way.
  • Claire Everett and Lizz Brocklesby from Rethink mental illness. Rethink are a partner in Time to Change. Time to Change was one of the first projects in England that aimed to change behaviour, rather than just attitudes. As a result of the campaign in the past 9 years more than two million people have improved attitudes, and more people than ever are able to be open about their mental health problems. 
  • Professor Peter John, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University College London. Peter is currently using experiments to study civic participation in public policy, with the aim of finding out what governments and other public agencies can do to encourage citizens to carry out acts of collective benefit. This work came together in a book with Bloomsbury Academic, Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Using Experiments to Change Civic Behaviour which was published in 2011.

 

Using the law to secure campaign wins

The focus of this masterclass was on using legal processes to secure campaign wins. Our expert speakers for the masterclass were:

  • Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. In 2015  Matt and his team secured a significant change to housing policy by intervening in a case before the Supreme Court. In 2014 Matt and his team at Action for Children secured new legislation to protect children from emotional abuse.
  • Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. Steve has worked on successful legal challenges against the Department for Work and Pensions, Islington Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and at the European Court of Human Rights. Steve has worked in senior campaigning roles for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.

 

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