Sponsored content: Jordan Daly of UK Parliament on helping communities and individuals bring about change
Author Earl Nightingale once remarked that “everything begins with an idea”, and in my experience as Scotland's community outreach officer for UK Parliament, I have witnessed the truth in this simple quote.
From an informal discussion about fairness among friends in a community centre, leading to a group letter to their local MP calling on fair pensions for women affected by changes to the state pension law; to a group of young adults voicing concerns about employment prospects and channeling their energy into an organised petition calling for investment in skills development - all change begins with ideas, and with the realisation that we can all make a difference.
I have visited community groups across the country to deliver free workshops, from the central belt to the Highlands, and each time I have been reminded that sometimes all it takes to achieve meaningful change is the right knowledge of where to start first.
Sometimes all it takes to achieve meaningful change is the right knowledge of where to start first
That is, effectively, my role - to educate about how UK Parliament operates, and share how members of the public, with their own ideas for a better society, can best utilise the Parliament’s structures in order to turn those ideas into action - and, ultimately, to have their voices heard.
I am currently delivering free online sessions for community groups. No prior citizenship training or knowledge is needed to participate, and each session is specifically tailored for a Scottish audience. At the moment I am particularly keen to engage with adult audiences from disenfranchised communities.
I want to work with those who feel that their voices aren’t heard, and help to rectify that - because that is where the best ideas come from. Coronavirus has affected our lives in many different ways, and it is vitally important that people across Scotland have access to practical advice and resources to learn how to influence national decision-making.
As the nation emerges from lockdown, we are going to need all of those new ideas that have emerged over the last few months - the ones shared over a virtual coffee by members of a local community group, staying connected on a Zoom call; the ones discussed by friends on the same sports-team, conversing about what should be done to rebuild society.
From mental health and wellbeing, to economic investment and stability, to employment opportunities, to fairness and equality - it is perhaps more important than ever before that those very ideas, often spoken and shared but never taken further, are put into action. Let me help you do that.
Book one of my free tailored online session for your community group here.
You can also get a regular newsletter packed with the latest information on free activities online and around the UK to help your organisation get involved and make a difference. If you would also like to receive tailored emails with opportunities for your organisation to engage with UK Parliament on different issues, all you need to do is tick which topics you are interested in. Sign up here.
Jordan Daly is UK Parliament outreach officer for Scotland.