Wanted: the next generation of Community Champions

Most young people aren’t interested in politics. So how do we build Liberal Youth branches, bring new members into the party, and engage the next generation? I believe that one way we can start is by getting back to community politics.

The art of politics, in so far as it is electioneering, is of obvious importance to what we do as a party, but it shouldn’t be everything. If we only focus on getting the next Lib Dem elected then we will only ever attract a narrow pool of talent, which, however bright, will be made up of those young people who see themselves with a future in politics.

Instead, I believe if we seek to engage young people on issues that they care about, and give them the support and resources needed to campaign on these issues, then we can transform Liberal Youth into a vehicle for community driven campaigns, led by and engaging the next generation.

On Sunday July 8th – the weekend after Liberal Youth hosts its annual Activate training weekendLondon Liberal Youth are piloting a program designed to do exactly this and get young people running local campaigns, building skills and practising community politics.

Through a series of workshops with experienced campaigners, our plan is to mentor a group of young Liberals to design campaigns based on issues affecting young people in their local area. It will then be down to these young leaders to take a lead in delivering the campaigns, with the support and resources of their local parties and London Liberal Youth.

If you know any young people in your borough who might be interested in getting involved, please encourage them to get in touch or directly apply on our website. Our training day is especially aimed at those new to the party, or young people who have expressed interest in getting involved but not necessarily joined yet. We would also encourage applications from those outside of London, though local parties are strongly encouraged to support travel costs and will need to play a strong part in the follow-up campaigns.

* Sean Davey is the Chair of London Liberal Youth

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