You’ve realised that something needs to change, or a change is happening and you disagree, but what do you do now? If you’re supporting one of Beat’s campaigns, we’ll have done lots of this planning, but if you want to campaign on something else, the points below will help you to prepare.
You find yourself alone for 60 seconds with the key decision maker who can make your vision a reality. What do you say? Planning your pitch in advance is a great way to clarify your campaign, and be ready to have that all important conversation. Picture the specific individual you will be speaking to as you outline the problem, solution and ask.
Planning an elevator pitch can also be a great way of getting to know one of Beat’s campaigns better, so that you can talk confidently to a decision maker when you need to.
It is important to back up what you are saying with evidence that proves it is a problem. You could:
Showing that your issue affects many people and ensuring that a decision maker hears their voices and personal stories can persuade them that they need to act. This is why at Beat we regularly ask our supporters to add their name to our petitions and raise awareness of our campaigns with their local decision makers.
But don’t be put off campaigning if you can’t find statistics to back you up. Sharing your own story and how this has affected you is extremely powerful on its own. This page contains some useful statistics that can be quoted.
The best possible approach is to propose a solution and show that this will resolve the issue. This isn’t necessarily as daunting or difficult as it may initially seem – there might be research that shows your solution would help, or another area or country might do what you are suggesting. Gathering information about this will strengthen your case. If you can’t find concrete evidence, you can still outline why you believe this will help. In some cases the best way forward can be to suggest that the kind of changes you’d like to see are trialled first within a specific area. This might be referred to as a ‘pilot’ project.
Don’t be put off if you can’t think of a solution. Some issues can be complex and will take time and teamwork to resolve. Highlighting the problem is an important first step on the journey. The Campaigns team may be able to provide you with statistics or advice on getting what you need, and you can also quote any Beat resources. Contact the team via email.
There are many ways that you can get your voice heard about your own campaign or to raise awareness of one of Beat’s campaigns. Here are a few:
If you’ve been public about your campaign, people may contact you seeking support. It’s important to take care of yourself and direct them to appropriate support, such as the Beat Helpline.
Identifying where change needs to happen and who can make the change you want can be a challenge. The political and health systems can be complex, but you don’t need to be an expert in how they work before you can get started. The worst that can happen is the person you contact can’t help you, but they might know who can.
Parliament are the group of all politicians from different political parties who have been elected in their area to help set laws and make decisions about policy, legislation and funding. The Government is made up of members of the political party who have the most elected politicians. Initial decisions about policy and funding are made by the Government, but have to be debated and agreed by Parliament. That’s not to say that if your local politician is not in the ‘ruling party’ that they can’t have an impact on Government decisions – they are equally able to apply pressure to the relevant Ministers in Government. Find out more.
The NHS in each country decides how to spend the funding given by the Government and implement policy and legislation. Health care is devolved, which means decisions are made in the countries own Parliaments. If you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, writing to your MP about health related issues can help, but it will be your Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs), Members of the Senedd (MSs), or Northern Ireland Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) who is best placed to be able to help with changes in your country.
In England some decisions are made nationally, and others are made by regional health and care groups such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). Read more about how these work.
Your local politician and your local health commissioners will be able to help in different ways, so contacting both will be a great way of getting your message heard by all the right people.
There can be a lot of jargon to wade through in the political and health systems. We hope our Jargon Buster can help!
We want to see a society where people with eating disorders experience care and understanding, and can quickly access effective treatment. To achieve this, we are calling for changes to be made by Government, the NHS and others in several key areas.
The changes we want to see:
We want to see a society where people with eating disorders experience care and understanding, and health systems where they can quickly access effective treatment.
Want to start making a difference? This page will help you work out who the most relevant person to contact is. Find out how this differs across the UK, and get specific advice about contacting politicians and local NHS leaders.
With all of our campaigns, we hope we can move a step closer to getting everyone with an eating disorder the early treatment they need and deserve.
The UK Parliament is made up of three parts: the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Monarch. They are responsible for creating laws, representing the views of people across the country and keeping a check on the work of the Government.
Decisions over health funding and policies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are taken by their respective Governments. As a result, the structure of the NHS varies between the different countries of the UK.
The mental health system is full of acronyms and jargon that can make it difficult to understand, whether you want to raise awareness, take part in a consultation or contact your local politician.