The David Rendel Award – helping young people to get involved in by-election campaigns

David RendelDavid Rendel was MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005, winning the seat in a famous by-election with the largest majority ever attained by a Liberal Democrat. A campaigner of renowned energy, he was greatly admired both locally and nationally. At the time of his death in 2016, he still inspired huge loyalty within and beyond the Newbury and West Berkshire (NWB) Local Party and area. One of David’s key strengths was his ability to inspire other people, particularly young people, to become actively involved in politics.

NWB Liberal Democrats wish to establish an award in memory of David, the broad outlines of which were agreed with him shortly before his death. The David Rendel Award will provide funding to support a young person who commits himself or herself to joining the Liberal Democrat campaign team in a UK Parliamentary By-Election; David was specific on this point; he felt that a by-election would best generate the atmosphere that would draw the award-winner on to future commitment to the Party. The support might, for example, help the award-winner to travel to the locality of the campaign and to stay for its duration. Ideally, the award would be made to someone under 26 who is not yet a fully-committed Liberal Democrat activist but who is interested in politics and keen to experience the excitement of a by-election campaign.

The Executive of NWB Local Party invites donations in order to establish a corpus fund to be invested in keeping with Liberal Democrat ethos. The Executive has appointed an Awards Committee of five people to make awards and to manage the corpus fund in keeping with this declaration, and the Committee will draw up procedures accordingly.

The Awards Committee is:
1. Sue Farrant, Convenor ([email protected])
2. Gerald Vernon-Jackson
3. Baroness Sal Brinton
4. Elaine Bagshaw
5. Treasurer NWB Local Party (currently Tony Harris)

It is expected that the value of an award will be up to £1000. Applications for an award should be made as soon as possible after a by-election becomes imminent. More than one award may be made for a single by-election campaign should there be more than one suitable applicant and sufficient funds.

Donations are kindly invited to help build up the fund to allow such awards to be given and can be made in three ways, all administered by the Treasurer of Newbury and West Berkshire Liberal Democrats:

1. Donate by PayPal by clicking on the button below, which will take you to a special PayPal page for this fund:

2. Cheques should be made payable to Newbury and West Berkshire Liberal Democrats (David Rendel Award) and sent to NWB Liberal Democrats, Commercial House, 55B Kingsbridge Road, Newbury RG14 6DY.

3. BACS payments are also accepted; the Treasurer will provide account details on request. Please email the Treasurer via: [email protected]

If you know of someone who would be suitable for the award (or if you wish to apply yourself), applications can be made to Sue Farrant, the convenor of the Awards Committee ([email protected]).

Applications should cover:

• Brief details of the applicant and his or her relevant experience and interests.
• Why the applicant wants to be involved in a parliamentary by-election in support of a Liberal Democrat candidate.
• Names and contact details of two referees (not relatives) who may vouch for him or her.
• An outline of the travel, accommodation, subsistence and other expenses which the applicant would otherwise have to meet.

Decisions on an award will be made by the Committee based on the merits of the application but bearing in mind the following preferences:

• Younger applicants (ideally below 26).
• Applicants who live in West Berkshire.
• Applicants who live in the South Central Region of the Party.
• Applications to assist a campaign being run in the South Central Region of the Party.

On conclusion of the campaign, the award-holder should submit a brief report, including an account of expenditure, to the Committee.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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