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Feb 5th, 2015

Save Our NHS events – help page

By Rachel Oliver

Where can I find materials to print like NHS petition sheets, leaflets and posters?
Here’s the link to lots of NHS materials – you can print them out in black and white. If you don’t have a printer, hopefully someone else going to your event will have some spare to share with you.

What will the day involve?
Thousands of 38 Degrees members are coming together in town centres across England before the 7th May 2015 election to save our NHS. Together, we’re meeting on our local high streets to gather signatures on local ‘Save our NHS’ petitions.

We’ll remind people that our NHS is a precious, life-saving service – and ask them to join us in saying no to cuts and privatisation. The petitions target every local candidate running to be MPs at the General Election in May. Then, later that day, members will gather to hand in certificates with the number of signatures straight to MP candidates.

Check out this inspiring two minute video of the first Save Our NHS day, on Saturday 28th February:

Where can I see the online ‘Save our NHS’ petition?
You can see both the national and your local ‘Save our NHS’ online petitions here.

What to take with you:

  • Petition sheets to collect signatures – volunteers will receive these before Saturday
  • A camera or smartphone if you have one to take pictures so you can share what’s happening on social media or emailing the 38 Degrees office team
  • Any posters or placards you’d like to make and take
  • Leaflets to hand out – volunteers will receive these before Saturday
If you’ve ordered a pack of materials, or registered to attend the event on the election hub, the materials are now in the post and you’ll receive them by Saturday.

What do I do with the petition sheets once we’ve collected signatures?
Either on the day, or straight after, please add the names and details you collect to the online petition. Here’s the link. Please enter the petition signatures as soon as you possibly can, so they can be added to the total that’s handed over to your local candidates. If you miss this date, please make sure to have them uploaded by 07th May General Election. It shouldn’t take too long, and it might help to divide the work between your group. You can also check in with other members on the election hub about who can add signatures to the online petition.

Once you’ve added the signature online, you can tear the sheets up and throw them out. Remember that completed petition sheets contain some personal information so you need to take care with them. Don’t leave them lying around, and don’t let anyone use the contact details for any purpose other than for adding them to the petition.

Can I send my petition sheets into the office again?

Unfortunately, 38 Degrees is not able to receive any more petition sheets. This is because the office team does not have the capacity to upload them as a small staff team, and this activity is also regulated by the gagging law, meaning we’re unable to have members of the office team upload the signatures.

I really, really don’t want to upload the signatures.

Don’t worry, there are lots of members on the election hub who would like to be involved in the Day of Action, but can’t go out on the streets or don’t mind entering petition signatures. Try to find them before Saturday, and you can work together to make a plan.

What do I do if someone signs the petition without an email address?
Please encourage signers to add their email address, so they can be sent an update about the campaign. But don’t worry if they don’t,  they can still sign the petition and you can enter their signature by leaving the email field blank. At a minimum, everyone should be encouraged to give a postcode in order to prove they are a constituent.

What if the signature is difficult to read when entering signatures?

If you can’t read a signature, it unfortunately means it can’t be entered. Try to keep this in mind when collecting signatures: maybe ask people to sign or write clearly, or have a designated writer for postcodes and names.

I’m unsure if the signature was correctly added to the petition.

If you pressed ‘Add Signature’ or ‘I’m Finished’, the signature has been added to the petition.

What if someone lives in a different constituency?
The online form, where you type in the petition signatures you collect, will automatically add people to the right petition for their area depending on their postcode. So don’t worry at all about people signing from a different constituency to you. You’ll be helping to grow your neighbours’ petitions, and they’ll be helping to grow yours.

Is there a home page for the 38 Degrees Save our NHS campaign?
Yes! And it should have all the materials and links you could possibly need. You can see it here: www.38degrees.org.uk/nhs

I’m having trouble signing in to the event page!
If you’ve tried to log in but can’t get your password right, click “Forgotten password” and you’ll get an email that will tell you how to reset it. You’ll need to have made an account with your email address before you can access the event page.

Where do I send pictures and how can I tell the press what we’re doing?
If you’re on social media, please make sure you tweet using #SaveourNHS or share your pictures of the day on Facebook.

You can also keep other 38 Degrees members up to date with what you’re doing by sending pictures to emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

If you want to send a press release to your local paper along with pictures of the event, you can find a template at the top of this page to use as a guide:

Where are the events going to be?
To find out where members are meeting in your area, join here – it will take you to a page with a map and a list of events.

Events locations are written in the description of the event, and are represented on the map by the little blue icons.

Can I join an event in a different constituency?

If you’ll be in a different area on Saturday than your local constituency, you can search for events in any area on the election hub.

Who will be at my local event? What if plans change?
You can find out all the details about the event you’ve signed up for on the event page and in the discussion on that page. You can contribute to the discussion to make suggestions and find out the latest developments.

What if no one else turns up on Saturday?

Don’t worry if no one else turns up! You can get plenty done on your own – last time many members said that they had a great time and collected loads of signatures on their own.

Where can I direct friends/family/neighbours who want to join in local 38 Degrees events?
People who want to join 38 Degrees events should sign up here.

Where should I collect petition signatures? Is it legal to collect petition signatures or give out leaflets?
Try to find a prominent place with lots of foot traffic to collect your petition signatures. Gather together with other 38 Degrees members who have come along. You might also want one of your group to be in a nearby cafe to upload the petition signatures you collect straight onto the online petition.

It’s legal to collect petition signatures. There are a few different rules about giving out leaflets, but it’s definitely legal! In terms of Public Liability Insurance, our experience with past Days of Action has proved that if you are petitioning on public land, and do not block the right of way while doing so, you don’t need to worry about Public Liability Insurance.

Some councils have told members that you’re not allowed to stand in the town centre. This is wrong. Unless you are causing an obstruction (say setting up a table etc) then you don’t need any permission from the council. There’s a bit of legal guidance here on charity/political organisations which should clarify: https://www.gov.uk/permission-to-distribute-leaflets

If you’re in a public place, you’re well within your rights to hand leaflets out to the public if it’s for a charity, or a political or religious group. If anyone does ask you to move, put the ball back in their court and ask where you can hand them out instead.

If you’re meeting up somewhere that could be considered private property – like inside of a shopping centre – security or the centre’s managers could ask you to leave. If you are asked to leave somewhere by staff or security it’s best to do so and move to a public space to carry on collecting signatures or handing out your leaflets.

What if someone refuses to sign the petition?

If someone doesn’t want to sign the petition, respect their individual choice. You can be assertive when asking members to sign the petition, and have a conversation if they seem interested and you have time, but don’t be pushy. There will be lots of people who do want to sign.

What happens if there’s more than one event happening in my constituency?
That’s fine! The more events we have, the more noise we’ll be making about saving our NHS. Every constituency is a different size, so in some areas it might be more practical to have more than one event. For example, the constituency of Hexham in Northumberland covers a large area – it might be a good idea to have separate events in Prudhoe, Ponteland and Hexham.

I set up an event, so why am I getting an email reminder about it?
Everyone who signs up to attend an event will receive updates on the plan via email. This is to make sure everyone knows where to find other 38 Degrees members on the day. If you want to receive fewer emails, visit this page.

How do I stop getting an email every time someone makes a comment about the event?
To stop comments on your local event page being emailed to you, edit your details here
You might need to sign in with your email address and password.
This will take you to an “Edit your profile” page – here you can untick the box next to “Stop comment notifications” and you will stop receiving emails.

What do I need to know about the NHS?
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be an expert. Most people already agree with us about protecting the NHS from privatisation and funding it properly. If they need a bit more convincing, you could talk about your experience of the NHS and why it’s important to you.

You could also talk about why it matters to keep our health service free at the point of use – ask them to imagine having to worry how much it would cost to visit a doctor! Or you could talk about how a health care system should be focused on saving lives, not making money.

If anyone wants more information, feel free to direct them to the 38 Degrees website – the office team have added some facts and figures about the NHS which can be found on the NHS home page:

Where do I send the signed petition sheets?

You’ll need to type in the signatures online here. The office team can’t accept any petition sheets for this Day of Action, as we don’t have the capacity to upload them.

What happens next?

This is the final push to save our NHS in the run up to the election on the 7th May.

Once you’ve finished collecting signatures, you can add the signatures to the online petition and attend your local petition hand-in.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please send an email to emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

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