Masterclasses

Learn from experienced changemakers

Our masterclasses invite highly experienced campaigners, researchers and commentators to share their knowledge and expertise. These workshops provide detailed technical information and insight about strategies and tactics designed to provide campaigners with:

  • Practical information and advice about effective campaigning tools and tactics.
  • Ideas and advice on how to overcome specific campaign challenges.
  • A peer network of campaigners and an opportunity to learn from each other.

Next session

Location

Date
Time

Address

Communications for Change

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation is delighted to be hosting a special extended workshop exploring Communications for Change with the renowned Frameworks Institute headquartered in the US. Nicky Hawkins, the new UK Communications Strategist for the Institute, will share her insights into how effective framing can change the way the UK public thinks about the most important issues of our time.

Nicky will share insights from FrameWorks’ research into how people understand a range of issues including poverty, homelessness, children and our economy. She will be joined by Neel Parti from the NSPCC who will share their work to re-frame child maltreatment. Participants at this workshop will gain an invaluable insight into how this ground-breaking methodology can drive a different approach to communications to achieve lasting change.

Thursday 23rd November

14:00 – 17:00

The Foundry
17 Oval Way
London
SE11 5RR

Previous Masterclasses

This is a hands-on workshop for anyone looking to work on their influencing skills, presence and charisma, whether your focus is on building strong relationships in one-to-one meetings or expressing campaign messages succinctly in front of an audience. We all have natural presence, sometimes we just don’t know how to amplify it or our nerves stop us from accessing it. Viv Groskop draws on her experience as a comedian and BBC Radio 4 presenter for this masterclass on achieving a compelling connection in any context, anxiety-free.

Viv is a sought-after workshop leader and facilitator known for bringing sensitive, individualised feedback and humour into training in the corporate and charity sectors. She specialises in presence, public speaking, assertiveness, influencing skills and leadership development. With a background in stand-up comedy, she has a particular interest in authenticity and impact and in helping others to develop a powerful and individual voice. Viv is a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review and Front Row and has appeared on Newsnight and Any Questions.

Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. Earlier this year Matt and his team secured a significant change to housing policy by intervening in a case before the Supreme Court. In 2014 Matt and his team at Action for Children secured new legislation to protect children from emotional abuse.

Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. Steve has worked on successful legal challenges against the Department for Work and Pensions, Islington Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and at the European Court of Human Rights. Steve has worked in senior campaigning roles for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.

This session looked at strategies to secure election manifesto commitments. Ed Matthew is the coordinator of a major alliance campaign, the Energy Bill Revolution, which is trying to get manifesto commitments from all the major UK parties to the world’s most ambitious home energy efficiency programme. The aim is to end fuel poverty and reduce UK carbon emissions at the scale and speed required. Ed set out the strategy that has been developed to achieve the manifesto commitments in support of the Energy Bill Revolution. He will drew on his campaign experience to set out the key elements of a successful charity campaign to influence election manifestos, including how to build an effective political strategy, build powerful alliances and develop a successful communications strategy. Ed also discussed where the different political parties are on the road to the 2015 election and identify some of the key politicians who will influence the manifestos.

Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis. Since the mid 1970s, we’ve not built enough homes. Yet the looming shortage of homes hasn’t been a big political issue for years. Until now. Antonia and Jon from Shelter spoke about how the charity has helped moved public opinion on housing, to make sure the next government builds the homes Britain needs. From being a low priority for voters, housing has risen up the political agenda and is now consistently one of the top five issues of concern for the general public. The session featured how Shelter developed a theory of change, using research and insight, and how Shelter uses both elite and mass communications campaigns to highlight the issue and make the case.

In March 2012, CAMRA embarked on a year-long campaign to persuade the Government to scrap the damaging beer duty escalator. Their campaign included a 108,000 strong e-petition, three Parliamentary debates and a Mass Lobby of Parliament attended by 1,000 people. They secured the support of over 300 MPs. As a result of our campaign, the Government scrapped the beer duty escalator and introduced the first beer duty cut in 50 years – saving beer drinkers £1 billion over five years.

The focus of this masterclass was on using campaigning to change people’s behaviours and attitudes. Our main speakers were:

Helen Halls and Jo Bullock from RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). For almost 100 years, RoSPA has been quietly working behind the scenes to change both legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents. From the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and the campaign to stop drink driving, to the Cycling Proficiency Test and to the more recent ban on handheld mobile phones behind the wheel, RoSPA has been instrumental in shaping our society for the better, preventing millions of deaths and serious injuries along the way.

Claire Everett and Lizz Brocklesby from Rethink mental illness. Rethink are a partner in Time to Change. Time to Change was one of the first projects in England that aimed to change behaviour, rather than just attitudes. As a result of the campaign in the past 9 years more than two million people have improved attitudes, and more people than ever are able to be open about their mental health problems.

Professor Peter John, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University College London. Peter is currently using experiments to study civic participation in public policy, with the aim of finding out what governments and other public agencies can do to encourage citizens to carry out acts of collective benefit. This work came together in a book with Bloomsbury Academic, Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Using Experiments to Change Civic Behaviour which was published in 2011.

The focus of this masterclass was on using legal processes to secure campaign wins. Our expert speakers for the masterclass were:

Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. In 2015  Matt and his team secured a significant change to housing policy by intervening in a case before the Supreme Court. In 2014 Matt and his team at Action for Children secured new legislation to protect children from emotional abuse.

Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. Steve has worked on successful legal challenges against the Department for Work and Pensions, Islington Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and at the European Court of Human Rights. Steve has worked in senior campaigning roles for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.


More training

1-Day Workshop

We run half-day and one-day introductory level campaign workshops throughout the UK to equip people with the skills to bring about change at a local or national level.

5-Day Workshop

Our flagship five-day training programme for campaigners and change-makers looking to take their skills to the next level. The course touches on the basics of planning and delivering a campaign and then builds on this to look at best and next practice in campaigning and social change.

Commissioned Consultancy

We offer a wide range of consultancy support in all aspects of planning, delivering and evaluating campaigns. Our services are delivered by SMK staff and our network of over thirty SMK Associates, all of whom are themselves highly experienced and knowledgeable campaigners.

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