What it's like to campaign with Oxfam
Al Kinley Digital Influencer
15th Aug 2014
I've never really thought of myself as a political activist (and still don't!) but I have always felt a strong moral obligation to speak out against injustice and to help unheard people have a voice. Due to the forces that govern and preside over our society, one of the most significant ways to represent unheard people is to lobby politicians - to ensure that they're challenged and their policies confronted when they make decisions that might perpetuate suffering and hardship.
The Oxfam Constituency Campaigner Programme is the ideal platform from which to do this. Not only do you feel part of a network of likeminded proactive individuals across the country, but Oxfam ensures you have the information that you need to make a persuasive argument that challenges political complacency and demands resolute action. MPs are there to represent constituents - that means we have every right to question their actions and hold them to account. We can
challenge their actions or in some cases their inaction.
An additional aspect of being a Constituency Campaigner is having the opportunity to combine it with my role in the Leeds Oxfam group. I've been encouraging members of the group to write letters to their MP on Oxfam's campaign issues such as climate change and food poverty. This has the potential to really amplify our voice - and empowers people who are committed to Oxfam's values but perhaps haven't ever written to their MP before.
My involvement with Oxfam since starting this programme has snowballed; I have since had involvement with Trailtrekker and am currently helping to organise a fundraising abseil for the Lift Lives for Good campaign. This year I will be supporting the Leeds Oxjam Event as a venue manager and stewarding for Oxfam at the Beautiful Days festival. The only cautionary note to others about Oxfam involvement is beware - there are so many great things to get involved with!
If you'd like to know more about the Constituency Campaigner Programme have a look on our website, contact Diane on 0161 2342792 or email CCP@oxfam.org.uk.
If you would like to join an Oxfam group, find out if there is one near you by contacting Kelly on 0161 2342786 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest blog by Constituency Campaigner Tina Kelly
Photos: Constituency Campaigner Tina Kelly; Tina Kelly and Pauline Neale from the Oxfam Leeds Group