Help Us to Make a Change
Do you want to use your voice to improve the lives of care-experienced children and young people? Then you’re in the right place. NYAS is a leading rights-based charity who work across England and Wales to support, safeguard and empower care-experienced children, young people and vulnerable adults.
You can help us to create change for care experienced children and young people simply by turning your passion into action and working with us to help change young lives. Whether it’s taking part in some of our campaign specific actions, or pursuing a project that is close to your heart, you can make a difference.
Below, we’ve shared some advice that will give you the advice you might need to get started on your campaigning journey.
The best policies are created when people they will affect the most are listened to. NYAS campaign to make sure every care-experienced young person has a say in the decisions that can shape their lives
Ben Twomey, NYAS Director of Policy and Research
Once you find an issue that you feel strongly about, and you’ve done your research, it’s time to take action. One of the best ways to create change on a large scale is getting in touch with your local MP.
Politicians have the power to change things – that’s why NYAS often work to influence decision-makers on a local, regional and national basis surrounding key issues that affect children and young people in care. Your local MP has been elected to represent the views of local people - like you - in parliament.
It’s your MP’s job to make your voice heard in Parliament whether you voted for them or not. They represent their local area and can raise the concerns of local people.
- vote on issues in Parliament
- write to the Government Minister responsible for the issue or make an appointment to see them
- ask questions in Parliament (‘Parliamentary Questions’ or PQs) about issues you raise
- ask for a debate in Parliament. A relevant Minister will always attend this debate to respond to your MP on behalf of the government
NYAS sends letters, research and policy reports to MPs, but they’re unlikely to pay any attention if they think an issue doesn’t affect their area. When you talk about issues affecting local children and young people with your MP, you’re adding your voice to our national campaign demanding change.
MPs usually have an office in their constituency (your local area), and in Parliament. You can contact them at either office by telephone, letter or email.
During this time, we would recommend that you write or email your MP. You can download our letter writing tips to make sure that your communication with your MP is as effective as possible.
If you have more questions about writing to your MP, please email email@example.com.
Campaigning Tip #3: Share Your Story
If you have personal experience of the issues related to your campaigning efforts, sharing these can be a powerful tool to make your voice heard. It’s important, however, to only share your story when you feel ready and comfortable. Do not let other people force you to publicly tell a story that you are not ready to share.
If you are ready to share your stories, they can be a powerful tool for change. Successful movements for change are often born from personal experience. Sharing your story across social media, blog or news articles can bring awareness to your campaign efforts, and often help to bring other people on board to support you and your cause.
NYAS are always keen to hear about the experiences of care-experienced young people, so if you want to share your story with us directly, just get in touch.
Campaigning Tip #4: Local Collaborations
There is certainly a power in numbers, which is why collaborating with like-minded people and organisations will help to power your campaigning efforts. At NYAS, we frequently partner with organisations across our sector and beyond to help enact change - and you can do the same.
After you’ve identified the social issue you want to tackle, find a local organisation (like NYAS) who is fighting for the same cause. Consider volunteering with them, or asking for their support in your campaigning efforts.
If you’re not sure where to start, we can offer support by putting you in touch with local charities that we work with. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.