Hope for the Future began in 2013 as a small Yorkshire-based campaign in the lead up to the 2015 general election. The organisation was then founded as a charity in 2017 by Michael Bayley, Chair of Trustees and a retired Anglican priest, along with Jo Musker-Sherwood, our founding Director and Sarah Robinson, our founding Assistant Director.
The campaign’s original aims were to mobilise church-goers to engage with climate change and get their voices heard by parliamentary candidates ahead of the general election, but our work soon extended far beyond this original remit to engage everyone.
We quickly realised that while great resources are poured into mobilising climate campaigners, very little training is available to ensure their lobbying is as effective as possible at the point of delivery.
Many campaigners—as well as MPs and councillors—report conversation breakdown during lobbying meetings, resulting in frustration on both sides and a lack of tangible action.
We also recognised the need for outreach to ensure that everyone gets their voices heard, tackling barriers to political participation. We developed Youth and Faith projects, built partnerships with diverse groups, and have organised and supported community events all across the country.
Many campaigners and constituents say that they simply do not know what they can ask their MP or councillor to do, or how to speak with representatives with differing political values. In response to this training need, we developed tailored support and training, in order to promote sustainable and effective campaigning by local constituents.
Our approach draws from a range of disciplines including conflict resolution, counselling, influencing theory and climate communications. Having gained charitable status in 2017, we now deliver our training to hundreds of concerned constituents, campaigners, youth groups and major climate NGOs every year.