How to create a petition and grow your mailing list

A petition is a great way to engage people with your campaign and demonstrate public support. It can also help build new partnerships with other groups and organisations that might be able to host the petition alongside you. Here’s how you can set up a petition and use it to make your campaign stronger.

29 Sep 2022

To secure warm homes for everyone, we need to show that the public wants politicians to act. The more people involved in your campaign, the stronger and more impactful it’ll be. 

One way to show strong public support is to set up a petition. A petition is an effective way of growing your mailing list, recruiting new people to your campaign and demonstrating to decision makers that there’s collective support for our solutions to the energy crisis.

We need your group to gather as many petition signatures as possible throughout this spring and summer. We’ll then hand in these petitions to our local politicians during a day of action in autumn 2023.

We’ll make it clear to our local politicians that their voters care deeply about this issue, and that to get elected next time they need to commit to taking action. 

When to set up your petition

It’s a good idea to have your petition set up before starting activities in your community to build local support

By having your petition ready to go, you can make all your other campaign tactics more effective. Every time you hold a stall, organise an event or post on social media, you can gather more petition signatures and show the local strength growing behind your campaign.

Woman wearing coat and gloves standing outside some homes holding a clipboard
A person petitioning © Pavel Danilyuk via Pexels

Petition aims

Our petitions are calling on decision makers to take action on our 3 main campaign goals

In England and Wales the petitions are aimed at our local MPs. We want to make clear to MPs that, in order to get elected in the 2024 general election, they need to commit to taking action for warm homes for all.   

Due to devolution of decision making and specific national opportunities, in Northern Ireland the petitions are aimed at Members of the Legislative Assembly. 

Setting up your petition

We’ve created everything you need to get going, including online and paper templates. To get started, simply fill in this form and let us know you’d like to host a petition.


We’ll then contact you to set your group up with a petition on Action Network – a digital platform designed to support local campaigning. 

The United for Warm Homes online petition template for groups in Northern Ireland, hosted on Action Network
Petition template

Paper templates are also available for in-person activities in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland. We’d encourage you to use the online version where possible to save time adding signatories to your mailing list. 

We recommend using the petition wording included in the templates so that we’re all calling for the same thing within each nation. This’ll make our collective voice stronger and amplify our demands. However, you can make the introduction and explanation locally relevant so that it’s more engaging to the people signing it. 

The wording about future communications in the templates is also GDPR-compliant, so we’d encourage you to copy it to ensure you have consent to keep in touch with people about your campaign.  

Using your petition to build partnerships

Your petition will also be a great way to invite local partners to support the campaign. If you haven’t yet reached out to other groups or organisations working on the energy and cost-of-living crises, this could be a good first step. And, if you’ve already established campaign partners, then collaborating on a petition is a great way for them to get involved.  

Having a partner support the petition might involve asking them to:

  • Add their logo to show the community they back the campaign’s demands. You can add their logo as an image on Action Network and insert it next to yours on paper versions. Not only does this add more authority to your petition, but it also makes the campaign more collaborative.
  • Share it with their mailing list. This’ll help grow the number of signatures and raise awareness. 
  • Have a physical copy in their space and at events. This works particularly well when you’re able to partner with organisations working with people most impacted by the crisis.  
  • Share it on social media. Ask them to use the hashtag #UnitedforWarmHomes and tag your account. 

By working with partners, we can grow support for the campaign and ensure a diverse range of people are demanding warm homes. Read more about working in partnership and why it’s central to this campaign

Gathering signatures and growing your mailing list

Asking partners to share your petition is a great first step. You should also share it during all your community engagement activities and campaign tactics. Use your petition at every possible opportunity to keep building your support base and collective power. Check out our guide to promoting your petition for ideas on how to share it far and wide.

A warm homes campaigner carrying flyers is speaking with a local resident, who is writing something down
Warm homes campaigner speaking with local resident © Credit: Kristian Buus

As more people sign your petition and join your mailing list, it’ll be important to keep them engaged. Stay in touch with your mailing list at regular but reasonable intervals – no more than once a week ideally. 

If someone’s taken action with you once, it’s quite likely they’ll do so again. You just need to give them the opportunity. Offer something for everyone to get involved with – from signing petitions to coming along to meetings – so you can keep growing your campaign and make our demand for warm homes too powerful to ignore.

For more email tips, read our guide to persuading your email list to take action.

Next steps

Here’s a quick summary of next steps: 

  1. Set up a local petition.
  2. Get in touch with other groups working on the energy and cost-of-living crises in your area and see if they’ll host the petition alongside you.
  3. Get out into your community to gather support. Make sure you have your petition available throughout all your campaign tactics to help build power. 
  4. Build the number of signatures throughout spring and summer, ready to hand in to local politicians in autumn 2023. 

We’re here to help – get in touch if you’d like support to set up or promote your petition.