If you organise events in your community for Breast Cancer Now, you can help increase your impact by inviting your local MP, or other elected representative such as the local mayor, to come along.
Working with your MP in the constituency demonstrates to MPs how breast cancer affects people in their area. Meeting face-to-face with people who care about or are affected by the disease helps show how breast cancer is affecting real peoples’ lives, and the passion you have in setting up your events helps MPs realise how much people care and will encourage them to raise these issues in Parliament.
Who is my MP and what is their job in my local area?
Your MP is elected to serve you and your local area in Parliament. That means sticking up for the issues you care about and representing your views. In your local area MPs represent individuals who need support, and meet with members of the community to find out about key issues, such as breast cancer.
Five reasons why you should give it a go
- People affected by breast cancer at your event will be able to share their experiences, showing MPs the impact of the disease on local people, encouraging the MP to take action and raise this issues with key decision makers
- Having your MP there will help you get in the local press, allowing you to raise the profile of your event and, hopefully increasing the amount of money raise
- Engaging the MP within your constituency will help show how Breast Cancer Now supporters are active in their local area, which helps us stay influential in Parliament
- MPs will be keen to get involved because it shows they are working for local people in their community
- It’s easier than you think and will increase the impact of your event
Where to start?
To make your event and the MP’s visit as useful as possible, follow our checklist.
When should I hold my event?
Most MPs spend Monday to Wednesday in Parliament and Thursday/Friday to Sunday in their constituency, so it is much better to arrange something at the end of the week. Having said that, if you haven’t set a date yet, why not call the MP’s office to find out when would be best for them?
Inviting your MP
- Find out who your MP is and get their contact details by entering your postcode at www.parliament.uk.
- Invite the MP to your event by email then follow up with a phone call – MPs get so many emails this type of invite may get lost. Remember to explain why you care about breast cancer, this will make your invite more persuasive.
Tim Farron MP at one of our events
Getting your event in the news
Speak to the MP’s office about issuing a press release to local media. They do this all the time so should be happy to arrange it for you. If not, contact email@example.com and we will help. You may want to issue a small note of the event in advance and a longer press release with photos afterwards.
On the actual day
- You might want to assign a friendly person to look after the MP while they are at the event, particularly if you have lots of other logistics to think about.
- What about photo opportunities? Can you make sure the MP is pictured with some Breast Cancer Now merchandise so it’s clear who they are supporting? You could suggest that they share photos on social media
- Make the most of your MP’s participation on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Share posts linking to their profile which also include a link to a place where people can donate to Breast Cancer Now.
What should I talk to my MP about?
You will be most effective if you talk to your MP about the reasons you are supporting Breast Cancer Now, any experience you or a friend or relative may have of breast cancer, and any ways in which diagnosis, treatment or care could be improved in your area.
After your event
- Make sure this is the start of a productive relationship with your MP by following up after the event. Send a thank you note by email and social media. Consider whether it would be helpful to ask to meet them at their regular surgery to discuss breast cancer and any issues with local services in a more formal setting.
- Let us know how it went and what you discussed with your MP by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for increasing our impact by taking part in our campaigning and influencing work. If you want any support on inviting your MP to community group events, please do contact the Policy and Campaigns team at Breast Cancer Now on email@example.com