How to influence policy

If you're interested in influencing policy in your field, the webinar below offers hints and tips on how to do it - whether at local, national or professional level.

In the webinar, Fellows share their experiences and answer questions from listeners. This covers how to start influencing, present your message, target influential people and reach a wider audience. Listeners commented:

"I applied what I learned as soon as the webinar ended. Within less than half an hour I got a personal reply (from the top) with an introduction to five other key policymakers expressing support and an invitation to meet up. That's what I call a result!  I am so glad that I waited until after listening, to send the email."

"The webinar has instilled me with a sense of confidence that I didn't have before and has increased my capacity and knowledge in approaching policy-makers and what I can do to create impact."

The speakers in order of appearance are:

  • Jonathan Lorie (host) is the Communications and Events manager at WCMT. He has co-ordinated influencing programmes for charities for three decades, including political relations with Whitehall and Westminster.
  • Eva Okwonga is a musician, activist and researcher with lived experience of mental illness. Her 2016 Fellowship to the USA was based with the Me2/Orchestra, the world’s only peer-led classical music organisation for those with mental health problems and their carers. Since returning to the UK, Eva has presented her findings to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Well-Being at the House of Lords, and has contributed evidence to a report the Group is producing on its work since 2014.
  • Professor Alison Leary is a researcher with a background in nursing, medicine, maths and physical sciences. Her 2016 Fellowship to the USA and Switzerland explored what healthcare can learn from other safety-critical industries. Alison is currently Chair of Healthcare and Workforce Modelling at Southbank University and is working on cancer-care modelling for London.
  • Lindsay Graham is a former community nurse, civil servant and specialist in School Food and Health programmes. Her 2014 Fellowship to the USA saw Lindsay research the federally-funded Summer Meals programme, and took her recommendations back to UK government regions. As a result, she changed her career to become a Child Food Poverty Policy Advisor and has become a well-known lobbyist and campaigner on UK Child Hunger.

For more advice on your influencing activities, you can contact Jonathan on [email protected]