Tell your local candidates about your health partnership project and help to create an enabling environment in the NHS for overseas volunteering for the benefit of all
The UK election campaign was launched this week and the parliament dissolved. Although the government formally continues until a new one is formed, convention dictates it take no more major policy decisions, while the 650 members of the lower house of parliament revert to being ordinary members of the public. All MPs must refer to themselves as candidates, and between now and the 7th May ballot, candidates will be looking for your vote.
By asking candidates to support overseas volunteering, you are generating support for the work of health partnerships across the UK and for it to be made a priority in the next Parliament.
Now is the time to find out what your prospective MPs priorities are.
Start by getting in touch with them. Write to your MP and Trust and let them know how overseas volunteering with health partnerships not only does extraordinary things abroad, but also benefits UK health workers and the NHS as a whole.
Read the DODs report “Road to 2015: Key issues, arguments and individuals” and find out the position of each party on Foreign affairs, defence and international development.
In the run up to the election you may get canvassers on your doorstep or in your workplace asking for your vote. If you do get people calling use the opportunity to raise the issues which are important to you.
If a candidate comes to your door tell them about Engaging in Global Health, information for health sector workers and employers about the opportunities and benefits of volunteering abroad, tell them your story. Ensure that they understand what is important to you as an active participant in overseas development and a member of the health workforce in the upcoming election.
Share your story online via Twitter, Facebook. Use social media to raise the profile of volunteering in health partnerships; let people know about the benefits for health workers in developing countries and the benefits for the NHS too.
Why not contact your regional press or the communications team within your institution and tell them your story. Journalists want to hear from local people who have had inspiring experiences.
Let the UK know why international volunteering is important.