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Campaigning is all about creating change, and can be one of the most effective ways to achieve your aims. It can give a voice to those without one, or bring people together to rally behind a particular cause.

A good campaign can change mindsets, influence politics, and attract resources to put towards solving or helping the problem. Sometimes a problem is so large, or so widespread, the only way to address it is through a campaign.

 International Youth Day 2017
More than 50 people attended Restless Development’s ‘Unfiltered’ event for International Youth Day 2017 at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London. Panellists spoke about the need to break out of the ‘echo chamber’.

What you can do

If you don’t know where to begin, you can start small by signing a petition or attending a march or demonstration. Writing to your local MP is another quick way to draw attention to something you care about.

If you’re feeling braver, you could meet with policy makers or create a group to lobby politicians around your chosen cause – you might want to start a campaign around the SDGs, perhaps to raise awareness of their importance or highlight one of the 17 issues that’s most important to you.

Got an issue that no one’s talking about? You can shine a spotlight on it by starting your own campaign. Think about how you can bring people together, and what actions you will take to get people’s attention.

The campaign doesn’t have to be huge – you could even just start a campaign in your local community or uni campus.

What are other volunteers doing?

Previous volunteers have organised a big sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness, attended a political party conference and met their MP face-to-face to share positive stories from their placement. You don’t have to be outspoken to work on a campaign for your Action at Home, as Sarah Corbett’s TED talk below discusses.

Introverts could be the key to making a difference to our lives. If you think you lack the confidence to get out into the world and make an impact, watch this video.

If you’re looking for more inspiration and ideas, try:

  • Global Justice Now – network of youth activists taking action against issues like corporate power, inequality, climate change and racism
  • HIV Activists Network – want to influence decision makers on issues around HIV? Join this virtual network to help those living with HIV have a greater voice
  • Friends of the Earth – if you care about the environment, join your nearest local groups around the UK campaigning for everything from saving bees to stopping fracking
  • Global Citizen Rewards – read up about the latest social action taking place across the world, earning points which you can then convert into rewards
  • Oxfam – join their network of Constituency Campaigners to be connected with other people in your local area of Great Britain to make change politically

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

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