by | Feb 15, 2023

Reflections from a rider: Hannah Paylor

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.

Off the rollercoaster and onto the Campaign Carousel

“Charity asks, ‘what’s wrong, how can I help?’ Justice asks, ‘why is it happening and how can I change it?’ – Marshall Ganz

In 2022, a year when “perma-crisis” was added to the dictionary as Word of the Year, I became increasingly disheartened and impatient for change, like many people working on social justice issues across the UK.

A scandal. Several crises. Shrinking civic space. ‘Traditional’ methods of influencing seemed an inadequate response. I wanted to know more about how and where change was taking place, and to connect with others similarly questioning what was happening in the world around us.

I wanted to take action to bring about change. That’s why I joined SMK’s Campaign Carousel.

The Campaign Carousel is a syllabus for anyone who wants to learn more about different approaches to achieving social change. And it’s for people who are curious about how these tactics can effectively be used as part of a broader social justice movement. On the Carousel, I’ve had the opportunity to design and build my programme, selecting workshops to shape my own learning. From Influencing in Parliament, to Community Organising, and Communicating for Change; what I’ve loved about being on the Carousel so far is that every workshop is different. Each is carefully curated and thoughtfully designed based on the topic. And the energy during the sessions feels different from your regular training programme. It’s infectious.

I’m currently a member of the policy team at Carnegie UK, a social change organisation with an ambition to improve collective wellbeing. We want to see action taken to implement wellbeing approaches that change people’s lives for the better. It’s an important time for the organisation, as we get stuck into new programmes of activity. In the autumn, as we developed new proposals, it was invaluable to be able to embed campaigning strategies covered on the Carousel within our approach. And I felt emboldened to make the case for the inclusion of new and different methods, safe in the knowledge that they would give us the best chance of having an impact.

Campaigning is – ultimately – all about people. It’s about making connections that override systems, hierarchies, structures, and power. As 2023 unfolds, my hope is that those campaigning for social change feel empowered to take more risks. To trial new tactics. To work together for the people and causes that urgently require change.

Hannah Paylor

Hannah Paylor is Policy & Development Officer at Carnegie UK



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