07 Sep 2023
What’s happening on 18 November?
On Saturday 18 November 2023, groups nationwide will be taking part in a Day of Action to galvanise support from local communities and politicians for our campaign demands. These are the rapid roll-out of street-by-street insulation, as well as urgent support for people dealing with sky-high energy bills, and an energy system powered by cheap, green renewables.
For this Day of Action, inspired by ideas you shared with us earlier this year, we’re doing something a bit different. Groups and local partners will be making their own United for Warm Homes community quilt, to be completed at a final community quilt-making event on 18 November.
This event will bring together creativity and activism to demonstrate the strength of support for warm homes. It’ll amplify our call for an emergency programme of insulation, and open up opportunities for new people to get involved in the campaign. Once the final touches to the quilt are put together on the day, it’ll provide an eye-catching centrepiece when you meet your MP and hand in your petition.
Short on time? If your group isn’t able to put together a community quilt, don't worry. You can still get involved on the day by taking a photo outside your MP's office. Order posters and placards to use in your photo.
Why’s the Day of Action important?
During the summer, attention shifts away from fuel poverty to other issues like forest fires and heat waves. But we know they’re all linked. They’re caused by the climate and energy crises, and exacerbated by the UK government’s continued inaction to prevent climate impacts and protect those most at risk from them.
Ahead of the coming winter and in preparation for a general election in 2024, the Day of Action will re-centre the campaign back on our agenda for current and future decision-makers. It’ll bring communities together to demand solutions to the climate, energy and cost-of-living crises, and to say enough is enough for people living in fuel poverty.
The Day of Action is important for engaging local politicians. By combining the community quilt with a welcoming event, we hope that politicians will see this as a valuable way to get involved and demonstrate their support.
How can your group get involved?
The first thing to do is to sign up to the Day of Action. Whether you’re already part of the United for Warm Homes campaign or you’re just getting started, please let us know if you’ll be taking part on 18 November so we can make sure you’ve got all the support you need to help make the day a success.
You can also sign up to our series of training sessions, which we’ve designed to support you at each stage.
Before the day
- Plan your event
- Invite your local politician
- Apply for funding
- Work with partners
- Begin the community quilt
- Boost your petition signatures
- Engage the media
- Use social media
Plan your event
The first thing to do is find a venue that’s welcoming and accessible to all attendees. To make your event as inclusive as possible, please refer to the “Centring inclusion and accessibility” section of our guidance on how to organise events for warm homes.
Day of Action events may well look slightly different for each group, for example drop-in craft sessions or more structured events with speakers. For all events, set a time for a photo opportunity when the community can show the finished quilt to the media and your MP.
Once you’ve decided the timings of your event, you’ll also need to set up an event booking page, which can be included in invitations. We recommend using Action Network for this, and you can use our template event invite. Please get in touch if you’d like us to set you up with an Action Network account.
We also have a template poster (coming soon) that you can download and customise to advertise your event.
Invite your local politician
Send an invitation to your local politician nice and early to ask them to save the date. You can find a template invite and some top tips on getting their attention in our guide to engaging your MP in the Day of Action.
Apply for funding
We know it can be costly to host an event, which is why, in addition to the £500 of Warm Homes funding already available, groups will be eligible for an additional grant of £100 to support their activities on the November Day of Action. Don't forget to register your group for the Day of Action so that you'll be eligible for this grant.
This funding can help you buy materials such as fabric, glue and pens to make your quilt. Providing these materials can increase the accessibility of your event so that people can just turn up and get stuck in. The fewer obstacles people have to joining your event (like needing to travel somewhere not connected by public transport, or needing to buy quilt-making equipment), the more likely they are to attend.
You could also use the extra funds to try out a new venue more in the heart of the community, to arrange some online adverts on social media before the event, or to print some promotional posters. On the day you could provide warm drinks and snacks.
Work with partners
Working with partners and others across the community is key to both our campaign and the Day of Action. By showing a wide breadth of support, we'll continue to build a diverse and united voice that’s more likely to capture the attention of politicians. For your community quilt, this might look like:
- Collecting squares at partner or other community events
- Hosting the event with a partner
- Adding partner logos to the quilt
- Asking partners to advertise the event.
If your group is just joining the Warm Homes campaign now, this is a good opportunity to start reaching out to potential partners in your community. So far groups have been working with a range of local partners including food banks, renters’ unions, faith groups and many more community groups. Use our guide on finding your campaign partners for advice on how to get started.
Begin the community quilt
Making the quilt presents an opportunity for your group to come together and bring in people who might never have got involved with local campaigning before. This is also a perfect moment to invite any partners to contribute, or to reach back out to groups you’ve previously contacted to ask if they’d like to provide a square for the quilt.
And if you’re reading this and thinking “quilting isn’t for me,” you don’t need to worry. Our guide has ideas for making a quilt without even picking up a needle and thread. There’ll also be plenty of different roles that need filling to make this activity a success. So if crafts or sewing aren’t your thing, you can take on another important part of making the day possible.
Boost your petition signatures
Alongside quilt making, it’s still really important to keep pushing for petition signatures. The more signatures you have, the more likely your local MP is to take notice of our demands. For top tips on growing your numbers, read our guide on how to promote your petition, or watch our latest webinar on how to double your petition signatures, which includes examples of what’s worked well for other groups.
Engage the media
Sharing the details of your event with local media will help get the word out. The more people who know about the event, the more people are likely to attend. Even if people can’t join on the day, hearing about the event could still build local support and add new signatures to your petition.
Take a look at our template press release and consider how you could tailor this with local data to get the attention of the media. You can also use our MP constituency briefings, which provide data for individual constituencies. Can't find a briefing for your constituency? Please get in touch and we'll provide you with one. Don’t forget to sign up for our training in October on getting your Day of Action in the local media.
Send your press release to local media 1 week before the action and invite them to take photos on the day. Don’t be disheartened if the press doesn’t turn up. You can still email them your photos on the day.
Use social media
You can use your group's social media platforms to advertise your event and build support. If you’re working with partners or other groups in the community, why not ask them to share your posts too? See our social media pack for template copy and images, and remember to continue to promote your petition ahead of the day.
On the day
- Finish your quilt
- Engage your local politician
- Hand in your petition
- Take a photo
Finish your quilt
Your community quilt-making event on the Day of Action is the moment to make the final touches and to put your quilt together. Find tips on doing this in our quilt-making guide.
Engage your local politician
By the day you should know if your local politician will be attending the event. If they are, be sure to download our MP briefing for your constituency and/or our general MP briefing ready to give to them, and draw on the advice in our guide on how to engage your MP.
If they’re not, don’t worry, this is still a valuable opportunity to make them aware of your campaign. Be sure to send them photos of your event and your MP briefing so they can see how many people in the local community are joining the demand for warm homes. You could even suggest a meeting so they can see the quilt and read their constituents’ messages.
Hand in your petition
Petitions are a great way to represent support for your demands. If your group feels ready to hand in your petition, now’s a great moment. However, if you need more time to increase signatures, you can still tell your local politician about the petition. Find out more in our guide to handing in your petition.
Take a photo
Make sure to get some eye-catching photos on the day that you can share on social media and with the local press. Ideally these will be of any partners or members of the community alongside your local politician with the completed quilt.
You might also like to encourage people to wear Warm Homes stickers or to hold some placards, which you can order online. Please note that we require 2 weeks' notice to pack and dispatch orders.
If your local politician doesn’t come then don’t worry, this is the start of your relationship with them, and these things take time. Even by just inviting them to your event, you’ll have put our campaign demands on their radar. You might even consider the same photo but with an empty seat if you feel it’s appropriate.
Remember to also share your photos online, tagging your local politician and any community partners, and using the hashtag #UnitedForWarmHomes.
Capturing stories in the lead up to and on the day itself allows us to document the real-time experiences and genuine reactions of the people involved. You can tell us more about the work you’re doing by filling out our stories form.
Another effective way to capture stories is by asking people to share their experiences and recording them on a smartphone or other camera. You could ask them questions about their motivations for participating and why the campaign matters to them. Remember to get them to introduce themselves, where they’re from and how they’re involved. If they’re members of your group or your partners, be sure to include that in the introduction too.
If you’re not keen to be on camera, then you can do a voice recording instead. All smartphones should have a built-in voice record app that’s easy to use.
It's essential to secure consent from the individuals you record using the downloadable consent forms in the "Photography and video" section of our data protection guidance. Once you have consent, you’re free to use the content on your social media accounts.
If you come across someone whose story stands out, one that you envision being featured in newspapers, magazines, our future campaign materials or fundraising appeals, please do share the story with us, along with the consent form, a short bio about the individual and their contact details. Please make sure they’ve given you permission to share their email address or chosen form of contact with us.