Why are there foodbanks in a rich country?
15 October 2018 by Ben Foley
Quakers seek to balance active campaigning with constructive dialogue with government and political representatives. Sometimes this dialogue takes the form of responses to government consultations, submissions to government and select committees, or meetings with political representatives.
Our political engagement work involves three key strands: supporting Quakers, engaging directly with parliamentary and political institutions, and engaging with other campaigning groups and other faith groups around political issues.
We can provide advice and suggestions on political engagement. Perhaps you would like to raise an issue with your MP or another elected representative? Or perhaps you have heard of a government consultation and would like to make a submission? We can help you to contact your elected representatives, to understand local and national policy suggestions, and to submit your views to official consultations. We can also give you advice on how to use your local media in order to speak out on issues which matter to you.
Claire and Mairi also give occasional talks to meetings on political engagement and run workshops at Woodbrooke or at Yearly Meeting. Claire is based in London and Mairi is based in Edinburgh. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or your meeting contact with your MP, MSP, AM, another elected representative or a member of the House of Lords, please let us know about political engagement by filling in a short form. (We ask for it as a form as it makes it easy for us to see which politicians have been contacted recently and on which issues.)
We attend some of the party political conferences every year, often as part of a delegation with the Baptists Union, the Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church. In 2016 we attended the conferences of the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the SNP. We have also previously attended party conferences of the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Co-operative Party.
We regularly respond to government consultations, write briefings on legislation being considered, and send letters to the government. Depending on the issue, this can be jointly with other organisations, or can be on behalf of Quakers in Britain. You can find the most recent statements and government submissions from our Quaker concerns page.
We work on political issues to do with the UK Parliament in Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and local councils. We also work with the Quaker Council for European Affairs (off-site link) on Europe-wide issues.
If you would like advice on engaging with politics, please contact us at email@example.com. You could also download our political guides on writing to elected representatives and holding political events.
Please email us if you are going to meet one of your elected representatives. We suggest that before meeting an elected representative you brief yourself on other current Quaker concerns.
If you have a political concern which isn't currently a Yearly Meeting concern, then please test this with your local meeting. If your local meeting wishes to adopt it as a concern, they can send it to the area meeting, which can send it on to Meeting for Sufferings.
For Westminster, Wales, local councils and the EU:
Parliamentary Engagement Officer
020 7664 1107
Scottish Parliamentary Engagement Officer
07419 991 246