by Rachel Oliver Feb 25th, 2015
Why does the petition delivery need to happen between 25th and 29th April?
– The candidates will almost certainly be in their constituencies the week before the election – they may be busy, but surely can pledge half an hour to listen to voters committed to saving our NHS?
– Local newspaper deadlines are usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays – together we need to make sure the pictures and quotes from the petition delivery event make it into the papers before the election. This way the events will have more impact!
– The last big 38 Degrees NHS day of action before the election is happening on Saturday 25th April – thousands of 38 Degrees members will be on the streets across England. Your petition delivery could take place straight after this – say 4pm, as all those who’ve been out collecting signatures can hand their petition sheets straight to the MP candidates!
Where shall we hold our event?
It’s completely up to you! You want as many people to come along as possible, so go for a public place – outside the town hall, by a famous landmark, in a central square. You’ll know where’s best – as long as it’s convenient for 20-30 people to gather for half an hour. Passers-by may want to join in too – the more the merrier!
What if when I invite the candidates, they say they’re too busy?
There’s a couple of things you could do:
– Remind them the event will last just 30 minutes, and it’s a chance to meet lots of their potential voters/constituents the week before we go to the polls – most candidates should want to be there! They know their absence will be as obvious as their presence…
– Tell them there’s likely to be local press and media attending – what prospective MP says no to a photo opportunity?
Here’s your step-by-step guide to organise the petition delivery in your constituency!
Set a time and pick a location: Decide on a good time and local place for a half hour event between 25th and 29th April.
Create an event online: Once you’ve got your time and location sorted, create an event on the 38 Degrees election hub. Click the orange ‘List an Event’ button over in the NHS Petition Delivery part of the website. It’s important to do this as soon as you’ve set the date and location, so other 38 Degrees members on the hub know someone’s organised the hand-in. It’ll get the word out!
Invite the candidates: A phone call followed up by an email should do the trick.
Remember, you’ll find some of the telephone contact details here: http://www.yourcandidates.org.uk/ – but not all candidates have made their telephone numbers public, in which case just send an email.
If you want a ready-made email to send to candidates, click here to use one the staff team have put together: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-organise-petition-hand-in-email-candidates
It’s best to get this done ASAP so that the candidates can get it in their diaries.
The office team will help other 38 Degrees members to invite the candidates to come too. But we can only do this once you’ve set the date, time and location, and you know that at least one candidate will definitely be there.
Once everything is confirmed, the office team will:
– send out a pack with everything you need to actually deliver the petition – instructions, some posters and maybe a big orange box to help make the delivery more visible! What you actually deliver to each MP candidate will look like a certificate – on it will be a website link where they can see a list of all the signatures.
– email you with more hints and tips to make sure you have a successful event!
The office team will be in touch again soon to help with the finishing touches (like visual props, getting the media there and more!)