05 Sep 2022
Building local support for government action on the energy crisis is critical for the United for Warm Homes campaign.
After setting up a petition, take a look at some of the different types of tactics included in this article that you could use to draw attention to your local campaign, and choose whichever work for your group.
Running activities like these will help you communicate the campaign message and attract the attention of your local community. They’re also an opportunity to share your petition and add to its numbers.
Set up a petition
Signing a petition is a quick and easy way for people to show support for the campaign. And as the numbers increase, you’ll be able to show local politicians how many people in the community are calling for change.
It’s a good idea to create the petition before you start talking to your community about the campaign, so that you’ve got something concrete to offer as an action they can take.
Read our guidance on creating a petition, including template petition text. Once you’ve set this up, choose as many tactics as you’d like to build local support for your campaign…
Start the conversation
Building a strong local campaign means getting out into the community and speaking to people face to face!
- Visit your neighbours Take a street-by-street approach and get as many people as possible in the surrounding area to sign your petition.
- Meet people on their own turf Ask for a space at local events, libraries, religious services, food banks, or other spaces where people gather. Take your message to places that people visit regularly.
- Survey your neighbours Create a survey to find out more about how the cost of living crisis is impacting people in your community and the solutions they think are needed. Surveys are a great way to engage new people - they provide a straightforward reason to knock on a door and start a conversation.
Use these opportunities to share information about the campaign and get signatures for your petition.
Read our guidance on how to talk to your community about United for Warm Homes.
Make your campaign visible
Put up posters. Spread the message by putting up posters on community notice boards, in local shops and cafes, and at community centres. Ask people and businesses to put up posters in their windows to show their support.
Think outside the box and don’t just target your usual haunts – reach out to community centres, places of worship, local businesses and spaces in the community you’ve not visited before.
Hand out leaflets in places that get regular footfall, like the train station or outside schools.
Organise stalls in a busy area, for example in supermarkets or in the town centre.
Take a look at our guide on conversation starters, with tools and tactics to help engage people on your stall.
Organise events and activities
Organise events. Gathering people together is a great way to share more about the campaign – think about what type of event would work best for your goals and for reaching out to a new audience.
Take a look at our guide on community engagement events for examples of events you could organise.
Use craftivism. Appeal to people’s creative side and come up with hands-on ways to get people thinking about the energy crisis and warm homes. For example, you could help people make draft excluders with campaign slogans stitched onto them.
Use our craftivism guide to find something that could work for you.
Organise a stunt. Get your creative hats on and think of a memorable way to communicate your campaign message.
A well-executed visual stunt is a great way to get the attention of passers-by, and you could even use the opportunity to invite local public figures down to hear about the campaign. You could take photos of the stunt to share on social media and gain some local media coverage that way too.
Use social and local media
Using social media is an easy way to get your campaign message out and can help reach new people. As well as using social media to advertise upcoming events, you can use it to promote your petition and share key campaign updates and relevant news stories.
Media coverage is also a great way to get your message out to people and draw attention to your local United for Warm Homes campaign. Ask your local newspaper or radio station to publicise an upcoming event, report on a creative stunt, share local fuel poverty data and publish quotes from your members. Check out our guide to getting your campaign in the local media for more info.
As awareness and public support build for your campaign, start thinking about how to take the message to the politicians.
Don't forget you can apply to the United for Warm Homes Fund if you need financial support for your campaign activities.
Once you've built up some support in the community, it's time to start talking to politicians about your demands.