Hello, I’m Lisa, I’m from Newcastle and went on the first Campaign Bootcamp back in 2013. Bootcamps have so far always happened near London, but I’m really excited that the next one will be happening in the North in October!
If you live in the North - this is your moment, apply for the first ever Northern Bootcamp! But hurry, there's only two weeks left to apply:
A Northern bootcamp without any Northerners would be like having a stottie without any pease pudding, or chips without gravy. It would be awful. It doesn’t matter if you think ‘I don’t have any professional campaigns experience’ or ‘I don’t really think this is for me’ - I felt like that too, and Bootcamp was exactly what I needed.
I know how difficult it is you see to get into campaigning when you don’t live near London.
After a volunteer stint in politics I knew very quickly what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to campaign on the issues that mattered to me with the political party that I loved and I wanted to be in a job where I could empower volunteers to do the same. I wanted to be a Labour Party Organiser.
I applied for job after job for 3 years, with the feedback ‘you need more experience’. It was true, I did need more experience, I would have been a pretty terrible organiser without it. But looking around, every opportunity to gain the skills I needed seemed to be in London. I did what I could here and there but I needed something that would take me to the next level of campaign genius.
Then in 2013, along came the first Campaign Bootcamp. Within a week of hardcore campaign training, I had learned more than I had in the previous 3 years. I was learning things that I didn’t even think I needed to know. And perhaps more importantly than that, I was welcomed into a community that had my back, even if I did live at the other end of the country. I felt so much more hopeful and less alone.
Fast forward 2 years later, and I have the dream job, I work for the Labour Party, as an organiser, with volunteers and everything. I even got to work on a General Election campaign. Not only that, I am a better organiser than I would have been without Campaign Bootcamp, and I am a braver campaigner knowing that I have a community I can go to for advice, for a pep talk or just to have a rant now and then.
That takes me back to this business about bootcamp moving to the wilds of West Yorkshire. If you have an idea about changing the world, no matter how big or small and you recognise yourself in the frustration of my story, it’s not that you should apply. You have to apply. Who knows, having more well connected campaign geniuses in the North might mean that less people have to feel the way I did in the future.