Whilst Senior Campaigns Manager at Age UK (Formerly Age Concern England)
Apart from your current organisation which other organisations that campaign do you admire?
It’s difficult to single out individual organisations as there are excellent examples of campaigning everywhere, but I regularly visit MoveOn.org and admire their creativity and how quickly they respond to events.
Who is the campaigner you most admire?
Again, it’s hard to pick out one in particular. At the recent NCVO campaigners conference, I was very impressed by Jackie Schneider who organised Merton Parents for Better Food in Schools. For someone who
described herself as ‘not a real campaigner like you lot’ she described
passionately the development and impact of a text book campaign.
Is there a campaigning organisation that you would like to see the back of?
Not really. Even those we disagree with can teach us something about how an issue can be seen from different perspectives and how campaign messages can influence how people think and act in entirely different ways on the same issue.
What advice would you give someone starting their career in campaigning today?
Don’t be afraid to copy (and improve on) other campaigners’ ideas, but also challenge yourself to come up with an idea that everyone else wishes they had.
What three things make a good campaigner?
Passion, persistence and a steady stream of good ideas
Which of these three do you have most of?
They may not all be good, but I’m never short of ideas
Which of these three do you think is missing most out of people who campaign or want to?
I think sometimes persistence can be lacking: it’s easy to get disheartened when achieving campaign objectives can seem impossible or a very long way off.
Generally are organisations getting better at campaigning since you began your career? If so, what’s changed?
There’s certainly a lot more campaigners than twenty years ago when I started. On the whole I think there is much more professionalism – I’m in the camp that sees this as a good thing – and high quality work.
If you weren’t a campaigner, what would you be?
Hopefully another job that combines opportunities for creativity with helping to improve things – I’m not sure what that would be so I’m glad I’m a campaigner.