Learn from experienced changemakers

Our Masterclasses offer campaigners and change-makers the opportunity to take a deep dive into some of the key challenges in making social change happen. The Series invites experienced campaigners, researchers and commentators to share their high quality advice, knowledge and expertise. These workshops provide detailed technical information and insights on strategies and tactics, providing campaigners and change-makers with:

  • Practical information and advice about effective campaigning tools and tactics.
  • Ideas and advice on how to overcome specific campaign challenges.
  • A space for discussion and shared learning.
  • A peer network of campaigners working on similar issues.


Wednesday 6th November, 3-5pm.

Fee: £90

Location: The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, SE11 5RR

Understanding news and how it can be used to maximum effect is vital for any campaigner looking to secure a win. Not only can journalists raise awareness of your campaign but they can be extremely powerful when trying to influence change.

Kirsty Good is Head of Campaigns at and Megan French is the site’s Assistant news and features editor. Together, they have worked on national, ground-breaking campaigns which have caused real change for consumers saving them thousands of pounds. They both have an extensive career in news rooms and have reported some of the biggest financial events of the past 15 years.

This fun, two-hour masterclass aims to give you some insight into the world of news, how it works and you’ll even be put through your paces as an aspiring news reporter. We will then look at the ingredients of a successful campaign and provide some useful tips on how to further your campaign by tapping into the media.

Kirsty and Megan are running this masterclass for a very special reason. They have both signed-up to a huge trekking challenge in Ecuador to raise money for the MSE Charity and The Prince’s Trust. At the end of this year, they’re planning to climb one of the largest active volcanoes in the world (5897m). The fee for this masterclass will go in its entirety to the charities and SMK is kindly offering the use of their facilities for free. For more information, please see Kirsty’s JustGiving page:

If you’re interested in attending this masterclass, please email Megan and Kirsty directly for full information and details of how to donate:


This three-hour masterclass gave participants a grounding in how to get the most from meetings. Whether it’s a one on one with a minister, a reception or a public event, the workshop explored all the basics of how to prepare for a meeting, how to take part successfully and how to follow up.

Participants learnt how to approach each meeting with the right amount of preparation, understand how to behave in meetings to achieve the maximum desired effect, and understand how to build ongoing relationships from meetings.

The workshop also explored formulating an ‘elevator’ pitch and where, how and when to make useful interventions at other people’s events. Finally, participants learnt how to cope with disagreement in meetings both emotionally and intellectually and how to develop further relationships with those who oppose them. This Masteclass was lead by Emma Burnell, who worked in political communications for think tanks and pressure groups for fifteen years. She is now a freelance journalist and communications consultant.

This special extended workshop explored Communications for Change with the renowned Frameworks Institute headquartered in the US. Nicky Hawkins, the new UK Communications Strategist for the Institute, shared her insights into how effective framing can change the way the UK public thinks about the most important issues of our time.

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

In this challenging external climate for campaigning, how can you work effectively as a change maker and ensure your senior management team and governance team are on board and act as a source of support? You have an amazing campaign, user led, strategic, well thought through, clear targets and innovative to boot - then some internal questions put the brakes on. This workshop explored some real-life examples of how such concern was handled to build internal support for campaigning.

Attendees heard from campaigns consultant, Jonathan Ellis, reflect on his attempts to build such support and suggest some key principles, as well as Anna Bird, Executive Director of Policy and Research at Scope, who shared lessons from Scope’s strategic transformation, which involved stopping delivering statutory services in order to focus all the organisation’s resources on social change.

This seminar was presented by two organisations who have put the law to use different ways. The Public Law Project want to make justice effective and accessible. They shared their work on using the law to get what you want from commissioning and their experience of challenging unfair systems through the courts.

UNISON shared insights on their ground-breaking use of strategic litigation and how they ended up going to the supreme court with their case to ensure people would not have to pay fees in employment tribunals.

This Masterclass pulled together leading experts in the field of digital campaigning to talk through the latest digital tools for change and the latest thinking and trends.

The workshop featured Lightful, an amazing new platform that helps charities transform how they do digital, by helping them to be more effective in digital marketing and fundraising. For learning from best practice, Outlandish and their award winning School Cuts Campaign spoke about their creation of an interactive data tool and how it unleashed the potential of digital campaigning and made a real difference.

This masterclass focused on using campaigning to change people’s behaviours and attitudes. Helen Halls and Jo Bullock from RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) who - for almost 100 years - have 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.

The workshop also featured Claire Everett and Lizz Brocklesby from Rethink mental illness - a partner in Time to Change, which was one of the first projects in England that aimed to change behaviour, rather than just attitudes; and Professor Peter John, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University College London, who is using experiments to study civic participation in public policy.

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.