On Thursday 15th February year 12 Arthur Terry Politics students had the unique opportunity to travel down to the London offices of campaigning group 38 Degrees and meet with Executive Director, David Babbs, Laura Kim, Head of Operations and three members of the group’s campaigns team.
David Babbs confirmed that Arthur Terry are the first ever school to have visited 38 Degrees, who have more than two million active members and in excess of 8 million occasional supporters.
38 Degrees is a people-powered campaign group who aim to ensure their members’ voices are heard by government and parliament in an ongoing way. Through voting and crowd source funding, members determine each and every campaign and recent successes include: persuading Environment Secretary, Michael Gove to abandon the use of neonicotinoid pesticides due to their harmful effects on bees; pressuring the government to provide additional funds to navigate the recent 2017/18 NHS winter crisis and convincing the largest retailers of cotton buds to switch from plastic to cardboard sticks.
The afternoon was amazing in terms of the year 12 students understanding the ‘nimble’ nature of 38 Degrees’ campaigning strategies, the different approaches to garnering support from members of the Commons and the Lords and the exciting opportunities for democratic engagement due to the precarious government majority, post 2017 snap election.
A huge thanks once again to the whole 38 Degrees team for their generous welcome and in particular Head of Operations, Laura Kim who made this unique insight for our students possible.
Check out 38 Degrees current campaigns or even start your own at https://home.38degrees.org.uk/