For too long policy and lobbying has been seen as something which requires specialist knowledge, or something that is irrelevant or even boring. Age NI disagree. Anyone can engage in policy or lobby for a change. It’s interesting, important, engaging and fairly straightforward. It can even be fun!
Age NI want to support you to lobby for change on the issues that really matter to you. We want you to decide what that change should be. To start the process we are asking groups to come up with a campaign that will change one thing for older people, in their communities or even across Northern Ireland.
Age NI will not be lobbying or campaigning with you - we want to equip older people with the skills to lobby confidently themselves. We will however provide you with direction and skills to lobby on the one thing you want to change. We can help you to decide on an issue if needed. We can support you to use these tools; we can offer training and provide on-going support, direction and advice.
Download the whole Change One Thing Toolkit (2Mb doc)
The toolkit is quite long (188 pages) so it has been divided into sections so you can print only the parts you need. Each section can be used independently, however you should keep in mind that each directly relates to the other. In reality, you will probably need to dip in and out of each section to achieve a good understanding of how to lobby effectively.
Section 1: Raising Issues Effectively (184Kb pdf)
This section will provide a step by step guide of how to raise an issue of concern with a representative. It will provide guidance on choosing an issue to lobby on, building your case, who to approach and how you should approach them. It also gives tips on how to conduct a meeting with your representative.
This section further provides advice on how to develop a campaign.
Section 2: Tools of the trade (165Kb pdf)
This section aims to equip you with the skills you may want to develop to improve your lobbying efforts. It includes tips on how to speak in public with confidence, how to carry out your own research for lobbying purposes and, how to grab media attention on a particular issue.
Section 3: Templates (106Kb pdf)
This section includes templates which you can refer to when lobbying on an issue, for example, when writing a letter to an MLA.
Section 4: Profile of Government and Public Bodies in Northern Ireland (290Kb pdf)
This section of the toolkit explores the role of local councils, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the UK and European Parliaments. It describes the different functions of government as well as the differing roles of councillors, MLAs, MPs and MEPs. This should ensure that you target the right individuals in your lobbying efforts.
The section further clarifies the changes proposed for local government in terms of the Review of Public Administration and the opportunities that Community Planning will bring.
Finally, this section provides an outline of the functions of the new health and social care structures which have been created through the Review of Public Administration. It further provides an outline of community safety and policing structures. Section 5: Policy Development ( 171Kb pdf)
This section provides an insight into how government develop policy and includes a summary of key government policies which have an impact on older people.
This section also includes information on issues which should be taken into consideration by government when developing policy such as section 75 and the Human Rights Act. Section 6: Age NI Policy (215Kb pdf)
This section provides an outline of the policy focus of Age NI in the areas of Poverty, Health and Social Care, and Equality and Human Rights.
Section 7: At-a-glance Statistics (239 Kb pdf)
This section provides ‘at a glance’ statistics on matters relating to a range of topics including poverty, transport, health and social care etc.
The section also includes profiles for each of the trusts and councils where possible. This statistical information can be used to see what the biggest issues of concern are for older people in your area. The information can also be used to assist you in your lobbying efforts, for example, when writing a letter to an MLA.
Section 8: Key contacts (158 Kb pdf) (Updated with new Assembly contacts - June 11)
This section provides a list of key individuals and bodies you may wish to contact in your lobbying efforts.
While all the information contained in this toolkit was factually correct at the time of writing, please note that details are subject to change.
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