Now more than ever, charities have a crucial role to play in devising resourceful solutions to society’s problems. Catching Lives are more than service providers; we are direct channels to all the things that could be changed for the better within the homelessness sector. Catching Lives are advocates of the unheard and campaigners for change.
Campaigning is a critical element of civil society. It is a way of making our voices heard, establishing rights, and changing behaviour or the law. It is one of the tools we use to help build a good and fair society.
But it’s our closeness to the people using our services and whom we represent that’s unique. Advocacy, campaigning, voice, whatever you choose to call it, means using our experience to amplify voices, influence government decisions and shape services. To really improve people’s lives and the world around us, however, we need the doors and ears of people in politics to be open to us and for them to value our expertise.
Catching Lives can shine a light on new issues and needs that haven’t yet been picked up by policy-makers. We work at the grass roots, so must communicate to our local authorities and government about how well policies are working. No doubt where there are problems the public will respond, and so Catching Lives will step up to campaign because we’re led by the needs of our users.
Catching Lives Campaigners provide a lightning rod that conducts the passions and interest of the people they represent to decision-makers. If their voices aren’t heard, a critical pillar of democracy will be lost.
We emphasize our connection with the people we represent, the people we work on behalf of and the ways in which we aim to improve people’s lives. This is, after all, the reason we exist and the reason we often choose campaigning and influencing as a way of achieving our aims. The rapid pace of change around us makes this no mean feat, but by understanding and adapting, we can focus our own passion and expertise on influencing it, on shaping it, on challenging it.
Amid so much change, and with much more to come, campaigners must understand the world around them and make strategic campaign decisions. Campaigning is not only about planning, but about being responsive and flexible enough to act quickly and decisively. This is why we can now focus on creating winnable campaigns in today’s changing environment. We have to concentrate on making a bigger impact with fewer resources.