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Democracy Matters Newsletter Apr 2013

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APRIL 2013

Apologies for this late newsletter, but I was ill and my computer died: both are now restored.
The death of Mrs Thatcher is a powerful reminder of the profound impact politics has on everyone’s life, the importance of ideas in politics and the continuing divisions in our society. Increasing participation in politics enables everyone to help create the society they want.
This month we are featuring the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK), Shout Out UK, Citizenship Education, the Health Select Committee inquiry into the NHS reforms, Unlock Democracy’s campaign on lobbying and other events to promote democracy.

This month we are featuring the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) on our website. SMK offers campaigners great support through activities such as

  • on Wednesday 24 April the People Power conference will be a day of stimulating debate, workshops, networking and talks to help make campaigning more effective;
  • one day workshops for people new to campaigning are on 19th April in Gloucester (with GAVCA) and 26th April in Brighton (with Brighton CVS) they have (see details)
  • “Transforming politics: how women activists can participate in electoral politics” networking event Wednesday 22nd May from 4.15 – 6.30pm – see booking details
  • The 2013 SMK Campaigner Awards are now open: Apply now or nominate someone by 1pm Monday 10th June – see award categories
  • The SMK Campaign Central website aims to connect, inform and support campaigners.

Citizenship education

Michael Gove confirmed that citizenship will remain a National Curriculum subject (click link to read it). Now we need your support to help ensure it is the best it can be.
The Government’s consultation on the new citizenship curriculum ends this Tuesday 16 April. Democratic Life urges everyone to respond and has made it easy by creating a handy form. It is pre-filled with their response, which you can keep, edit or replace. When you click ‘Send’, it goes straight to the Department for Education and a copy is sent to you.
The ACT conference is in London on July 9th – for this and other teacher training opportunities go to events. ACT members get discounts: become a member hereShout Out UK is a new political education social enterprise producing a newspaper distributed to UK Universities. Written by and for young people, it aims to “lift political awareness and discussion between young people in the UK and to report on issues and news stories otherwise ignored by traditional media”. Find out more on 20th April in Harrow Town Hall, NW London, from 2 – 4pm with 2 short films and discussion on how to make politics work for young people: see details and to book here

Implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 – call for evidence:

The Health Committee is looking at how prepared the NHS is to move to the new system and seeks comments on a wide range of issues: The deadline for written evidence is noon on Wednesday 24 April 2013. For information visit:

Unlock Lobbying:

Unlock Democracy is campaign to get lobbyists out of the Lords and urging people to write to their MP to ensure that the government keeps its promise to legislate for a lobbying register. Read More


Volunteering with Democracy Matters: Volunteer Meeting.

22nd April, 11am – 1pm (London) If you would like to help develop Democracy Matters, we are holding a volunteer briefing on 22nd April from 11 – 1pm in London: To find out more, please email .

People Power Conference: London: 24th April

People Power, the one-day annual campaigning conference on Wednesday 24th April to help charities, not-for-profit organisations and individuals campaign more effectively. For information about the line up, tickets and bursaries, please see here.



SMK: One Day Campaign Workshops:

Gloucester with GAVCA: 19th April
Brighton with Brighton CVS: 26th April
ALL @ 9.45-4.00
For details and to book go to Sheila McKechnie Foundation .

Inspiring Local Leadership: London: 24th – 26th April

A 3-day residential programme for senior managers of local community support organisations with NAVCA – details here

UK Youth Parliament:

Run by young people, the UK Youth Parliament gives 11-18 year-olds a voice to bring about change: enter your postcode to find local activities and representatives and get involved.

Civic Day: 22 June

Annual Civic Society day of events to celebrate where people live: download booklet,’101 Civic Ideas’ for inspiration here.


Women and Democracy: 15 – 23 Nov 2013: It’s not too early to start planning how you want to make the most of Parliament Week!

Visit our fabulous new website: Democracy Matters can support our members and people getting involved in politics in many ways:

  • Use the Democracy Diary to find opportunities to influence decisions and events by members, post your events at and subscribe to get events into your calendar.
  • Use the Democracy Café to share links, images, videos, and other rich content from the web, discuss issues and campaigns you are involved in.
  • Campaign Clinic lets you post questions about things you want to address, so that we can learn from each other.
  • Join the community to connect with people, use forums and strengthen democracy.

To search websites of over 30 national organisations, simply use “search our members’ websites” on the top right of the home page.

Please pass on this information to your networks, acknowledging Democracy Matters, and let me know what you’re doing. Best wishes,

Titus Alexander Convener, Democracy Matters


may be copied, adapted & used with attribution for non-commercial purposes, with acknowledgement to Democracy Matters
Democracy Matters is an informal alliance for learning practical politics which grew out of nine regional events involving over 600 people. Download Campaigning is OK!
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