My experience meeting Ed Miliband

Jess talks about how to prepare for a meeting with your MP

When I first found out about the Wilder Britain Campaign I was eager to get involved in as nature has always had a massive impact on my life, but I didn’t necessarily know how.

After reading up on the subject on Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website I found that one easy way I could help was to contact my local MP. I did this using the form on the YWT website and chose to write a personal letter asking for a meeting, as I thought writing my honest opinions in my own words would be much more effective.

After arranging a meeting with my MP, I quickly realised that I’d never done anything similar to this before, so was naturally quite nervous. I first chose to do some research on my MP (Ed Miliband) on TheyWorkForYou to have a look at his voting history and see if we had any common interests that I could bring forward when discussing the campaign with him. Luckily, I found that he had previously voted for things that would benefit the environment, making it quite easy to link his own beliefs and those of the campaign. I also found that he cares a lot about people, so thought about how I could show that a stronger environmental act would have a positive impact on his constituents. Once I had done by research, I made notes of what I briefly wanted to say to ensure I got all my points across.

Tomorrow's Natural Leader Jess with Ed Miliband MP

Tomorrow's Natural Leader Jess with Ed Miliband MP

The meeting itself was very casual – after all, MP’s are just normal people! Ed mainly lead the conversation but still allowed me to say everything I wanted to say, and showed genuine interest in my opinions. I was talking about something I genuinely care about, so found I relaxed into the meeting quite quickly. I had around 15 minutes to get across the three main asks, and I also chose to speak about areas within Ed’s constituency that meant a lot to me and would be affected by the new act. This helped to build a personal bridge between him and the campaign, encouraging him to also want to do something about it.

A few days after my meeting I chose to email Ed again thanking him for his time and also reiterating the three asks, as well as attaching a photograph we took, as this was likely to make the conversation more memorable.

The thought of meeting an MP can be very daunting, but it really is just a short conversation about something you care about! Ultimately, MPs want to do right by their constituents so many will be willing to listen to what you have to say, it’s just about taking those first steps to make it happen!