Guest post from Sophie Colman who works for the Exeter National Citizenship Service, a project for 16 and 17 year olds to build their skills for work and life, take on new challenges and meet new friends.
Would you believe that a group of 16 and 17 year olds with no campaigning experience could get 150 people to make a difference in just two days? Nor did many of our Exeter National Citizenship Service at the start of our five-week campaign.
A light bulb went on
The programme began with a stay at Bicton College.
Now, if you put a group of teenagers into a room and ask them to pay attention for a couple of hours while it’s bright and sunny outside, it doesn’t always work. But when Karin Gray from Scope told us about the difference the organisation makes to the lives of disabled people, a light bulb went on in many of our minds.
After the talk, our group decided to help out with Scope’s Britain Cares campaign. It really spoke to us.
Making T-shirts and booking Otters
We started planning straight away and came up with the idea of going out into Exeter High Street and telling the public about Scope and their campaign. We designed T-shirts that said, “I care, do you?” for our photo action. That was in line with the campaign’s aim to show the government that Britain Cares about everyone who needs social care getting it.
While the more artistic made T-shirts, the rest of us contacted people to secure a place to campaign, prepared campaign materials and booked the Exeter Otters – a wheelchair basketball team who kindly agreed to come along and demonstrate some passing routines. This helped us get a lot of photos for the campaign.
Amazing public response
Finally, it was time to put on our smiles, get out there and sign people up to the online petition. Most of us were slightly scared about going up to strangers, but we were astounded by the positive response. The Otters performed brilliantly, and people listened to every word and saw how enthusiastic we were. We managed to sign up 150 people.
Overall, the campaign went much better than we thought. I would campaign again for Scope, as I know it would help many people in the future.
A massive thank you to everyone who helped us make this project possible, everyone who signed the petition and to our project leaders for putting up with us!
Join Britain Cares
It’s really easy to join the Britain Cares campaign by uploading a photo.