Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a world of rising chaos, extreme divisions and persistent change, one could definitely argue that the need for people standing up for what they believe in, working together and striving for positive change is more vital than ever before. Whether it be the topic of mental health as I’ve avidly campaigned around the last few years, or any other issue across society (e.g. hate crime, climate change, abortion), it’s vital that we as human beings are able to express opinions that represent our values and speak up for those most vulnerable without the innate fear of ridicule, hatred or embarrassment. While to some a particular opinion may be less heard of or perhaps considered irrelevant, what we should remember is that each person’s life experiences are unique to them. Just because you or anybody close to you hasn’t been affected by such an issue, that doesn’t mean that somebody else shouldn’t stand tall and fight to eradicate potential injustices. Yes mistakes are part and parcel of everyday life and everybody makes them, however if they are made, it’s great that people can come together and try their very best to move the world forward and make it a better place. A world where people are not disadvantaged for their race, colour, sexuality, gender, faith or mental/physical ill health. A big ask, but a man can dream right?
When I recently discovered that a thing called ‘Campaign Bootcamp’ existed during a training session with Time to Change, there was no question that I would do everything I could to get involved. From taking the time to browse through their website, it was intriguing to find out that they hold a week-long residential in London approximately 2-3 times per year- the next one being May 2020.
Bringing together 35 campaigners of various ages, sectors and backgrounds, taught by fantastic facilitators and expert trainers from a variety of campaign fields,often with their personal experiences of the bootcamp, the clear aims of the week are to improve confidence and team work in delivering a chosen campaign message, better understand strategies/methods which will make a piece of campaign work more effective, learn how to engage with people through a number of mediums such as social media and events, in addition to equipping us with the necessary skills to put a range of ideas into practice. Simply due to my own passion for mental health campaigning and trying to create and sustain a positive impact, I know firsthand just how difficult it can be to put certain thoughts/ideas into action, therefore I’m hungry to increase my skill set and become a far better campaigner. Not only that but I would have the chance to meet so many other like-minded people too! It’s not too often opportunities like this turn up, so why on earth would I turn down the chance to apply?
If you like me are a passionate campaigner, with a hunger to make a difference, and are based in the UK, I urge you to head straight over to the links attached below. Initially I was worried about the possible expenses should I attend, however information around scholarships and whether you could be eligible for one can also be found on the website. Rest assured that the Campaign Bootcamp places huge emphasis on providing equal opportunities!
For all those people out there who dedicate so much of their time to campaigning, I want to say a massive thank you. Without you I myself wouldn’t have discovered the enjoyment, power and impact of campaigning, and most importantly, you are playing a significant part in making our world a better, safer and more accepting environment. That should never be underestimated!
P.S. The deadline for applications is 9am on Tuesday 10th March 2020.
Best of luck if you end up applying- my fingers are crossed!
Thanks for reading,