1. Know who your MP / MSP is
If you’re in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you’ll be contacting your MP but if you’re in Scotland it might be best to contact your MSP.
To find your MP and their email address, visit the find your MP website and put your postcode in. (If you’re at Uni you’ll have an MP at home and one at Uni. If you feel comfortable contacting both then definitely do!)
To find your MSP visit the Members of Scottish parliament website instead.
2. Contact your MP
The best way to contact your MP is either through an email or by ringing their office to arrange an appointment. If you ring their office, you will speak to someone who works for your MP. We’d recommend emailing, and have written a template you can copy. Make sure you edit it, so it sounds like you.
Note: some MPs are really slow at responding! If they don’t get back to you in two weeks, email again and ask for a reply, or call their office. If you still don’t hear back, message them on social media and let us know.
3. They’ve agreed to a meeting!
Reply to their email to say thank you and agree a time. Attach the relevant briefing document below and explain that it tells them more about the campaign (make sure you read it too, and let us know if you have any questions!).
4. Invite people to come with you
Once you’ve set a date and time with your MP, invite others in your church to come with you: your youth group, church leader, student group or others.
You could also ask your youth leader or church leader if you can speak at church about Take A Stand and ask everyone to pray for your meeting. (If you do invite others, keep your MP updated, so they know who to expect!)
5. Prepare: plan good questions & research your MP
Write down some questions you really want to ask your MP before the meeting. We’ve drafted a few questions related to the campaign to start you off, but ask some of your own questions too. We recommend you ask 4 or 5 questions and you can choose based on how comfortable you feel asking hard questions.
You could have a practice interview with a friend, family member, or fellow Take a Stand-er, just so you feel comfortable asking the questions.
Researching your MP before you meet is also a great idea, and helps to get an idea of what their response to the campaign might be, as well as helping you to feel more confident and ready for the meeting. It could also help you find common ground or find things to challenge them on.
You can see how your MP has voted here and your MSP here, or check theyworkforyou.com which gives a concise and clear view of their votes and actions – they call it “plain English analysis” and it’s a great tool for getting an overview of them.
Lastly, google! If you google your MP’s name and “environment” or “climate change” (or whatever you want!) then interviews, things they’ve written in newspapers, or things written about them etc, will all come up.
6. Meeting time! Ask them to Take A Stand
Deep breaths! They don’t expect you to be an expert, and they want to hear from you and why you, personally, care.
Have your questions written down so you remember to ask them all, and try to write down their answers afterwards if you can. Before you go, ask them the question at the end of the meeting about a next step for them to take, to speak up for you. You can find those questions in the questions to ask document.
Well done, you did it!
After your meeting, let the Take A Stand team know how it went – email us – so we can celebrate with you.
One of the Tearfund team will message and find a time to chat together, when we can celebrate what you’ve done and pray for your MP.