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Dec 20th, 2013

An Intern’s Tale

By Megan Bentall

My name’s Megan. I’m 24, from Maidstone, and I’m one of three paid interns at 38 Degrees. I wouldn’t be working here without the 38 Degrees members who donate regularly by direct debit.

The paid intern programme was launched in March – after 2000 more 38 Degrees members set up direct debits at the end of 2012. Direct debits help 38 Degrees plan and pay for the longer term stuff like the rent, the computers, and the staff and interns to organise campaigns.

There are now over 6,000 38 Degrees members who donate regularly by direct debit. This year their contributions meant 38 Degrees could invest in a new generation of campaigners – including me!

I hope everyone who donated would agree that they got good value for money. I’ve certainly been kept very busy! I’ve helped behind the scenes on a huge range of the campaigns which 38 Degrees members have voted to run.

Highlights have included helping stop a nuclear dump in the Lake District, saving Friern Barnet Library, and the court action to save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E. Most recently I’ve helped organise public meetings for the gagging law campaign – working alongside local 38 Degrees members to hold their MPs to account.

If just 800 more 38 Degrees members pledge a regular donation for the year ahead, 38 Degrees can double the number of paid interns next year. That would mean more young campaigners getting experience at 38 Degrees. And it would mean more hands on deck working alongside 38 Degrees members to make the world a better place.

So, please would you consider becoming a regular donor – chipping in just £2 or £3 a week – and help expand what we do together? Please click here:

Looking to 2014, there’s so much to do together. There are huge threats to our NHS and worrying changes to schools. Climate change just gets more urgent. There are local and European elections and then a big General Election in 2015. And then there’s all the local campaigns to save libraries, protect green spaces and fend off hospital closures.

More donations would mean more interns joining the office team. That would mean 38 Degrees can support more of these important campaigns.

There’s another side to this story too. Thanks to 38 Degrees members I have learnt skills that I’ll use for the rest of my life. Before I got this job, I was working at Waterstones. In the future, I hope to use what I’ve learnt at 38 Degrees to contribute to many more people-powered campaigns.

Being a 38 Degrees intern has given me new skills to help make the UK a fairer, greener, and more democratic place. And working alongside thousands and thousands of 38 Degrees members has inspired me with the belief that we really can change things if we work together.

As a community, 38 Degrees is driven by its values. For me, the internship programme embodies those values. Because they are PAID internships, they’re open to young people of all backgrounds – it’s about talent and commitment to making the world a better place, not about coming from a rich family.

So, if you’d like to help 38 Degrees grow in 2014, and could afford to make a small regular contribution, please click here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/please-start-your-direct-debit

I feel really lucky and excited to be part of 38 Degrees. I’ve already learnt so much and been so inspired working for you all! Thanks so much for this past year. I can’t wait to be part of the next one.

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