Getting stuck in at North East England’s Action for Change inspiration weekend

Workshops on parliament, periods and self-promotion – our participants had a blast at North East England’s inspiration weekend

05 May 2017

They’re not called ‘inspiration weekends’ for nothing!

Could you come up with a campaign idea in 15 minutes – armed with only a hairbrush, lego and a whistle as your promotional tools?  After a packed weekend of fantastic speakers and practical workshops, our Action for Change participants in North East England were ready for any campaigning challenge!

Here’s what happened when 40 young members met at The University of York, to kick off an exciting year-long journey working on their very own social action project. 

Stellar speakers

Stevie Wise said she got so many signatures in such a small amount of time. And she wasn’t like a big head of company or anything like that. She wasn’t ‘made for campaigning’. It means that any person can do it – Emily, Peer Educator and Young Leader with 2nd Alnwick Brownies.

To kick things off, our participants heard about campaigning and influencing from those who know it best – including David Ward from the House of Commons, Apprentice star Claire Young and Stevie Wise, who recently convinced Boots to change their sexist pricing on toiletries.

Chella Quinn got us thinking #periodpositive with an analysis of sanitary product marketing through the ages, and led us in a ‘menstruation mambo’ (which was as silly as it sounds!). 

Getting involved

When we did like the problems trees, we went more into the root causes of issues that you need to target. Don’t just change the consequences; you’ve got to change the core problem, so you can make the most difference –Betty, Skyrack Rangers, Leeds

Throughout the weekend, participants got a chance to flex their campaigning muscles. First, they were also set the tough challenge of designing a fake campaign (this one was for more cake in schools) equipped with only a bag of  random objects and a mere 15 minutes to plan!

After some fun and games, they got cracking on their own ideas, creating ‘problem trees’ to map out the causes and consequences of issues affecting girls, and taking part in a workshops on video production, public speaking, working with local media and targeting key decision-makers.

Making connections

Two girls here only live about 6 miles from each other and had never met ‘til this weekend. They’re now best of friends - Jill, Acting Chief Commissioner for North East England

But it wasn’t all hard work – games of rounders in the sun and a tasty chocolate- making workshop from Cocoa House gave everyone a chance to chill out. Girls had lots of time to get to know their network group, and to put their heads together to test out each other’s ideas.

Rio Elam, 1st Filey Senior Section member from Scarborough, says ‘I was scared about coming because I didn’t know anyone, but everyone’s so lovely and motivational. And if you don’t have an idea, they’ll help you come up with one!’.


Go on your very own inspiration weekend

Join Action for Change and spend an amazing year working with other girls and young women to change the world for the better. 

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