Sheila McKechnie Awards 2008 for emerging and grassrootscampaigners – apply by 5pm 14th March

Sheila McKechnie Awards 2008

The Sheila McKechnie Awards are an annual bursary scheme for emerging and grassroots campaigners. Campaigners are a powerful force for change in our society but we know that the reality is often hard work and a lot of frustration. Our awards have been created to equip campaigners with the skills that they need to be successful. We focus on the ingredients for campaigning success and seek to share them with campaigners across the United Kingdom.

In 2008 we will be making 12 awards across key fields of social action http://www.sheilamckechnie.org.uk/showSub.php?id=55&page=3. Categories in 2008 have been sponsored by the following organisations / individuals.
* Conflict Resolution sponsored by Peace Direct
* Consumer Action sponsored by Which?
* Economic Justice sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Foundation / Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
* Environment sponsored by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
* Global Action in memory of Guy Hughes
* Health & Social Care sponsored by Age Concern
* International Award sponsored by Concern Worldwide
* London Social Justice sponsored by City Parochial Foundation
* Shout Out! Award sponsored by City Bridge Trust
* Social Inclusion sponsored by Shelter
* Transport sponsored by Simon Norton
* Young Activist sponsored by Foyer Federation / YMCA England

The package of support we offer is completely bespoke to the individual, comprising an initial assessment; one-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions; development workshops; and shadowing opportunities http://www.sheilamckechnie.org.uk/showSubSub.php?id=59&page=3&last=87.

The awards do not offer cash prizes but focus on sharing the key ingredients for campaigning success by drawing on the expertise of experienced campaigners and using a model of action learning to share knowledge and acquire skills.

Who are the Awards for?

The awards scheme has been developed specifically for campaigners new to the field or operating with very little resources to equip them with the skills they need to make a greater impact and achieve real change.

The awards are for people who want to make a greater impact with their campaigns, whether it be to change policy or raise their issue’s profile at a local, national or international level. You could be working as a campaigner in a national pressure group or campaigning charity or you may be working alone or in an organisation where campaigning is a very new activity. The awards can also help you if you are campaigning on a voluntary basis in your spare time. Many of our award winners have been volunteers and we have helped them secure new resources to support their campaigns and focus on how they can use their limited time to best effect. (In the last 2 years, we have awarded 49 beneficiaries of which 34 have been women)

What will I learn?

The awards can help develop a campaign strategy, examine the impact that you have made so far or consider how your can build support for campaigning activity in your wider organisation. You will get direct advice from people who have a track record of running successful campaigns and others who have a strong insight into how policymakers approach key decisions.

The awards are also a chance for you to learn new skills & tactics. For example, you might have a lot of experience in media work but not know about the tactics necessary to influence ministers in Whitehall. You might want to expand your skills in specialist areas, such as understanding the campaigning opportunities present in the Freedom of Information Act. The awards are also a chance to get an independent assessment of your campaign, considering areas like how you can expand your alliances and identify how much progress you have made towards achieving your objectives.

The awards can help you get a better understanding of how government works. For example, previous award winners recieved public affairs coaching from experts at AS Biss & Co and were given the opportunity to shadow ministers relevant to their campaign.

The awards will put you in contact with campaigners who share similar challenges to you but work in other sectors. We recognise that there are many opportunities to work together across issues and sectors and discuss challenges and successes.

The awards provide opportunities for you to develop skills that are relevant not simply to the campaign you are working on now but to campaigns that you may work on in future.

What’s the time commitment involved?

The programme runs over a period of 6 months. However, because the awards programme is bespoke to each campaigner, the support package is very flexible to your needs and timescale will be determined in consultation with you.

http://www.sheilamckechnie.org.uk/showSub.php?id=87&page=3

Applications for the Foundation’s awards scheme can be made by downloading a form from the http://www.sheilamckechnie.org.uk/awards or by emailing awards@sheilamckechnie.org.uk

APPPLICATIONS CLOSE 5PM, 14 MARCH 2008

(Originally posted at http://freecharity.org.uk/pipermail/womeninlondontraining/2008-March/date.html)



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