Influencing parliament and central government

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This workshop will provide you with an insiders perspective into where power in our political system lies. You will learn about the three arms of the central government machine, including Parliament, 10 Downing Street and Whitehall, the home of civil servants.  

Parliament is the ultimate arbiter of how change does or does not happen. But it can seem arcane and baffling to those who don’t know how it works. Similarly with Whitehall and 10 Downing Street. This can make it seem daunting to those who want to change or amend the law. Where do you start in trying to influence these apparently impenetrable institutions? 

Our trainers will draw on personal experience of working in Parliament, No.10 and Whitehall to help you understand how central government works, and how you can go about influencing it.   

Three things you will do in this workshop: 

  • Understand the role of Parliament, No.10 and Whitehall  
  • Examine methods of achieving change through these key institutions  
  • Learn what it’s like to be on the inside, and the basic dos and don’ts of influencing MPs, ministers and civil servants  

Find out more about the Influencing Parliament and Central Government workshop in the short video below. 

This workshop is led by a team of 3 SMK Associates, namely Abdi Mohamed, former policy advisor to the Shadow Minister for Disabled People; Jo Gibbons, a former 10 Downing Street policy advisor and Deb Hermer, a former civil servant.

Workshop dates
Tue 26th Nov 2024 10am-1pm
Tues 18th March 2025, 10am-1pm
Weds 18th June 2025, 2-5pm

The Campaign Carousel runs on a progressive pricing model.

Small orgs: turnover of £10k – £100k = pay £797.50 plus VAT
Med orgs: turnover of £100k – £1M = pay £1155 plus VAT
Large orgs: turnover of £1M to £10M = pay £1650plus VAT

Individuals not affiliated to an organisation pay the ‘small orgs’ fee. If you would like to speak to someone further, please email

Campaign Carousel dates

Starts September 2024

Starts January 2025

Starts April 2025

Shaista Aziz

Abdi Mohamed

SMK Associate 

Abdi’s interest and expertise is influencing policy makers and mobilising local communities on disability issues and other areas of social justice.

Read more about Abdi here

Shaista Aziz

Deb Hermer

SMK Associate

Deb is a former senior civil servant with more than 20 years’ experience in Whitehall.

Read more about Deb here

Shaista Aziz

Jo Gibbons

SMK Associate

As a former Number 10 policy advisor, Jo has worked at the highest levels of government.

Read more about Jo here

What participants say:

Siana Bangura

Emmanuelle Andrews

Policy & Campaigns Manager, Liberty

”It was an incredibly helpful workshop, have been recommending it to more people at my organisation, Liberty. Thank you!’’ 

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