Having finally got more involved with the party in the 2017 General Election I decided it was time to spend some time working out what my longer term contribution to the party could be. Like others in the party I have a range of skills that I’ve developed outside the party that would be useful, but it was important for me to be sure I was helping where it was needed most.
During the General Election I had been helping campaign for the fantastic Amna Ahmad in Sutton and Cheam, as well as helping to return the brilliant Jo Swinson to the green benches. From those campaigns and some further campaigning with the Southwark party, I had learnt a lot about the bread and butter of campaigns, but I still felt there was more I could offer.
Then, in late October I noticed a post about the upcoming Kickstart weekend run by ALDC with free places for young people and BME members so figured it was worth applying. I did and was fortunate enough to be offered a place. I’m so glad I did.
The weekend had a number of useful elements
- Mentor Groups – it was really useful to have some tailored sessions running through the weekend to give us some space to think about our priorities and also to help us navigate the weekend.
- Training – there were a wide range of sessions pitched to different levels of experience with a great set of resources to look back in summarising the key elements of the training for future reference
- Idea sharing – the weekend also provided an opportunity to share ideas and build connections with other local parties and hear about what they do well
It was also great for the future leaders group to have the opportunity to develop our own personal action plans at the end of the weekend. Our mentors were also great at helping us to tackle our objectives for the weekend, providing some shorter bespoke training sessions for parts of the group.
If you were considering going to a Kickstart weekend and havent been yet I would definitely recommend it. It gave me the head space and the support to be able to work out what I could bring to the party and how I could make the most worthwhile contribution. I’m already nearly through my personal action plan from the weekend, and additionally stepped in to the role of member development secretary for Southwark!