Lobbying your MP makes a difference
14 May 2018
Lobbying your MP as an MP Correspondent is a great way to get your voice heard by people in power. If you care about issues affecting our world; like global poverty, climate change and human rights, signing up to be an MP Correspondent is a must. Being an MP Correspondent is easy and a critical way for you to make a difference. Read more about our recent MP Correspondent event at Parliament and how you can sign up today.
Take your lobbying to parliament
"I became an MP Correspondent because I recognised the importance of trying to influence parliament leaders and valued the opportunity of becoming informed myself, through CAFOD, of various issues so I could write to my MP with more knowledge.”
Justine Sulcock, from Manchester
MP Correspondents are essential to our work. As an MP Correspondent you will write three to four times a year to your MP to call for action on issues affecting disadvantaged and marginalised communities around the world.
Once a year, to strengthen your relationship with your MP, we will invite you to a reception in Parliament. This reception gives you the opportunity to talk directly with your MP.
Sam Caldwell, from Sheffield, was among the 50 MP Correspondents who joined us at CAFOD’s recent reception in Parliament. During the reception he met with his MP Angela Smith and said: “I think meeting my MP was a very positive experience. She shared some good tips on how we can move forward, as well as saying she would be willing to write to a minister concerning the issues - modern slavery and trafficking - we talked about.”
MPs say lobbying makes a difference
Thanks to the hard work of our MP Correspondents, 27 MPs joined us at our annual MP Correspondent reception in Parliament. During the evening, MPs mentioned that the MP Correspondent scheme makes a difference, adds a personal touch and stands out from many emails that repeat the same thing.
Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North and the Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of CAFOD, reminded us of the importance of MP Correspondents’ work during the reception. She spoke about the need to act in solidarity with our sisters and brothers worldwide.
“It’s inspiring to see so many passionate CAFOD supporters, young and old, meeting in Parliament with their local MPs to discuss issues which really matter to them."
"It is vital that organisations like CAFOD continue to call on the UK government to protect the rights of the poorest and most marginalised people, to respond to the needs of those in crisis situations across the world, and to ensure that the UK as a nation helps our brothers and sisters overseas who are in need of our support.”
Feel empowered by your lobbying
Sheila and Becky Higgins, a mother and daughter from Solihull, came to the recent CAFOD reception in Parliament. They spoke to their MP Dame Caroline Spelman about their concerns. Sheila mentioned that Becky took a special interest in politics and that events like these were key to getting their voices heard.
Becky highlighted that: “…the impact and action happen after events like this. Keeping the pressure on our MPs is the real test.”
Our partners get to speak in Parliament
The MP Correspondent scheme also gives our partners an opportunity to highlight their work. This year we were joined by our partners OKUP – a community-based organisation which supports women and girl migrant workers in Bangladesh. Their hard-hitting presentation put a face and a voice to the work we do on speaking up for the rights of migrants.
Shamsun Nahar, a female migrant worker from Bangladesh, told MP Correspondents and MPs at the event how she was forced into slavery when she left her home to find work as a domestic worker in Kuwait.
"I want no women to face the same experiences that I did. Here in this important meeting with MPs and other dignitaries, I am begging you to stand up, protect our rights. Stand beside us so that we are treated as human beings."