The Sheila McKechnie Foundation is the UK’s leading provider of training and support to those seeking to bring about positive social change. We act as a powerful voice for this community, and celebrate excellence through our National Campaigner Awards.

Training & Consultancy

We deliver a wide range of training including one-day campaign workshops and our five-day Influencing Change course, plus intensive masterclasses.

Advanced Campaigner Seminar Series
Best use of the Law: Wed 26 Sept
New Digital Tools: Tue 2 Oct
Getting Your Voice Heard (part 1): Thu 8 Nov
Getting Your Voice Heard (part 2): Mon 26 Nov
Winning Internal Support: Mon 3 Dec

Influencing Change London
Day 1: Tuesday 22 January 

  • In the time since I started the course, I have successfully executed – and won – a campaign to overturn a government decision.

    5-Day Workshop
  • The skills have equipped me with growing confidence to challenge decision makers failing the community and question what would be the best tool or skills essential for a desired effect/outcome instead of the old passive predicted routine.

    5-Day Workshop
  • The programme has inspired me to do more networking with other campaigners! The course has given me such a good foundation of knowledge – especially for someone who is relatively new to campaigning.

    5-Day Workshop
  • Really brilliant course overall – feel lucky to have been a part of it. I really appreciated the pace of the course – having the days spread out worked really well and have time to digest everything. John is also a really great trainer and I feel he tailored the course to our needs.

    5-Day Workshop
  • I have a much better understanding of the full process of planning and delivering a campaign, being completely new to a campaigning role this has been invaluable. The varied programme that was tailored to the needs of the attendees was really beneficial to my development. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this excellent training.

    5-Day Workshop
  • Since taking part in the programme, we have gained significant media coverage for our campaign which saw much more political and public interest in the matter.

    5-Day Workshop
  • I believe my ability to influence different audiences has increased a lot, and allowed me to be more confident in approaching politicians and media.

    5-Day Workshop
  • It was lovely to meet other organisations and make connections with people who are passionate about campaigning and making a difference.

    5-Day Workshop
  • Bringing together thoughts into a deliverable campaign strategy workshop has been really helpful. Also, setting out all the elements of a campaign and understanding what aims are realistic. Fantastic training programme!

    1-Day Workshop, Manchester
  • I’ve got some practical actions that I’m going to go home and get on with!

    1-Day Workshop, Bristol
  • Really thorough overview - good content, and not too daunting. Made me feel ‘’Yes, I can do this!’’

    1-Day Workshop, London
  • The day has given me a good grounding in what is required to get started with my campaign.

    1-Day Workshop, London

Thought Leadership

We work to ensure the public and policy environment for campaigning is supportive, and undertake research to inform thinking and practice in campaigning and social change.

We work in collaboration with all those interested in campaigning and social change and seek to act as a positive voice for this community.

The Social Change Project

For the last 18 months, The Social Change Project has sought to answer one critical question: what can we learn about how social change is happening today that can strengthen civil society’s future efforts?

What we have learnt is in a new report which urges civil society to unleash its “Social Power” by being much bolder and braver.

  • I’m such an admirer of the work of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation – really inspirational work – and so important to remember that all of us have it within our gift to contribute to making the world a better place. Our Fair Funerals campaign staff members have both learned a lot from your work.

    Judith Moran, Director, Quaker Social Action
  • I just wanted to say what a great piece of work it is; truly inspiring and insightful.

    The Social Change Project Report Launch
  • There is now recognition at board level and from our members that campaigning needs to be central to what we do now and in the future.

    Catherine Harrington, Director, Community Land Trust Network
  • It’s been invaluable to have SMK involved in the work of the Charity Operating Environment group. They’ve ensured we’ve been able to reflect the views of grassroots campaigners as well as provided strategic insight into how best to influence government on this important agenda.

    Tom Baker, Head of Campaigns and Engagement, Bond
  • It is an excellent report, its findings chime with much of our experience in Scotland of building an anti-poverty network. It reflects the various challenges that arise trying to bring civil society organisations together around a common agenda- thanks for producing such a useful report.

    The Social Change Project Report Launch

Connecting & Celebrating

We bring together the campaign community and celebrate success. Learn more about our events, including the National Campaigner Awards and People Power conference.

Latest Events

National Campaigner Awards 

Our annual Awards celebrate the very best campaigns and campaigners each year. Our interest is in finding those who have made change happen – effectively, creatively and courageously. Take a look at this year’s Awards!

  • Winning the SMK Award for Environmental Justice has been an important landmark in my career as a campaigner, as well as for my organisation, City to Sea. I'm personally very proud to have won the award and feel it's been very significant.

    Natalie Fee, City to Sea, Environmental Justice Award winner 2017
  • Professionally, being able to say I'm an 'award winning campaigner' really helps me have more credibility in what I do. Personally, it has given me more confidence to spread my 'gentle protest' approach to activism and craftivism and it really encourages me when I'm tired or doubting the impact we are having (activism is hard to measure as we all know!).

    Sarah Corbett, Craftivism, Economic Justice Award winner 2017
  • The award really supported our case to get another year’s funding for our work and we have been training other young women in the North East to act as Domestic Abuse Champions in their schools and colleges and to reach as many young people as possible.

    Laura Christer and Sophie Murtha, Domestic Violence Peer Education Champions, Gender Equality Award winners 2016
  • It has been inspiring and a boost to us. To know organizations, such as SMK and the sponsors, care about giving us, the people, a voice is amazing. To help enable people to campaign effectively and speak up for what they believe in, whether it be environmental justice or other worthwhile cause, is a fundamental human right.

    Barbara Richardson, Frack Free Lancashire, Environmental Justice Award winner 2016
  • Winning the award for our Inside Out Campaign has not only filled our staff and supporters with a great deal of pride but it gives gravitas to the message we are trying to spread through the campaign. Our Inside Out campaign is ongoing and being able to now promote it as a Sheila McKechnie Foundation National Award Winner gives it real kudos. Thank you so much for your support.  

    Shirley Smith, Inside Out, Health Award winner 2016
  • Receiving the SMK Campaigners Award for Transport gave my campaign (#LondonBusWatch) a significant morale boost at a critical time.  Although none of us campaigners do what we do for recognition, to find myself in the company of such an accomplished and energetic group of activists was both inspiring and gratifying.  

    Tom Kearney, London Bus Watch, Transport Award winner 2016
  • The National Campaigner Awards are a breath of fresh air for us; awards where real impact is acknowledged, celebrated and supported in a way that also helped to share knowledge and experience rather than pitting nominees against each other. We were delighted to win an award and it was wonderful to celebrate in the success of all the other winners and nominees on the night.  

    Outlandish, School Cuts, Best Digital Campaign winner 2018
  • UKWIN is honoured by this recognition of the courage of our inspiring volunteers. UKWIN’s members bravely take on, and support each other to face up to, the many challenges that arise when demanding environmental justice for our communities.This award will strengthen the anti-incineration movement’s determination, and I want to thank the Sheila McKechnie Foundation on behalf of everyone involved with UKWIN. We are determined and we are grateful  

    UKWIN, David and Goliath winner 2018
  • We are incredibly honoured to receive this award. We are just one of the many campaigns representing the diverse queer community across the city, who have seen so many of their vital spaces taken away. This award is a recognition of how important this issue is, and that by joining together we can fight back!  

    Friends of the Joiners Arms, Best Community Campaign winner 2018

We’re leading the way for campaigning and we want you to join us

Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear about news, courses and events.