by | Nov 15, 2022

Reflections from a rider:
Maria Booker

In SMK’s participant blog series you’ll hear first hand from Campaign Carousel™ riders about their reflections and learning journey’s on SMK’s campaign training.

I signed up to the SMK Campaign Carousel™ as Programmes Director for Birthrights, a charity that campaigns to improve maternity care through a focus on human rights.

My role had grown alongside the organisation over the last few years and although I come from a policy background, I had been learning on the job when it came to campaigning! I was really attracted to the SMK Campaign Carousel™ as a comprehensive introduction to the subject whilst having the flexibility to choose the modules that were most useful to me.

Whether you are reasonably experienced or relatively new to campaigning, the carousel offers the opportunity to step back from the day to day and to re-stock your toolkit. It was helpful to have a reminder of some tools I have seen before such as the problem tree, and the spectrum of allies. But analysing campaigns through the lens of the SMK social change grid helped me to broaden out my thinking.  It’s very easy to stick to tried and tested techniques such as lobbying MPs and putting out a press release. The course helped me to see how community initiatives and service provision are part of campaigning too, as well as understanding how to harness the value of organisations and individuals who are campaigning on the same issue but in a different way.

It was fantastic to take part in workshops that were run by experts in their field. For example, the Influencing Parliament and Central Government workshop was run by a former special advisor in No10, a senior government comms professional, and a policy advisor from an MP’s office!

I found the workshops on working with people with lived experience and on social movements particularly thought provoking but all of the modules are dynamic and interactive. One of the great benefits of the course is exploring the topics with colleagues from other charities and learning from each other.

If you are looking for new insights and ideas as well as an up to date and evidence-based theoretical underpinning to your campaigning work, I cannot recommend the SMK Campaign Carousel™ highly enough.  I certainly feel much better equipped to tackle the next campaign I work on and inspired by the organisations out there working to achieve social change!

Maria Booker

Maria Booker is a current rider on SMK's Campaign Carousel since April 2022.



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