My tips for setting up a young Labour group.
I know that this post is going to be of limited interested interest to a limited number of people but it’s one that I really wanted to share. Besides while my experience relates directly to young Labour, the concepts and idea’s are one’s that can be applied to any organisation and are relevant to anyone wanting to create a group for young people.
I am by no means an expert and the group that I helped create- Rhondda Young Labour- is still being moulded and shaped as we speak. It’s by no means a finished product but recently it’s seen a huge surge in activism and thanks to our new organiser, we actually seem to be getting things done!
I’ve been trying to establish a youth structure in the Rhondda for over a year and during that time I have learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t. So these are my top tips on setting up your own young Labour or any kind of young person group.
Welcome pack // Most organisations will provide some sort of welcome pack, whether it just be a membership card or an in-depth guide to the group and these are essential for a young member group. Never be afraid to create or develop your own welcome pack because this is a sure fire way of engaging young people and ensuring they are made to feel inclusive. I made one for Rhondda Young Labour, feel free to take inspiration from this.
Catch ’em quick // When someone joins any kind of institution, whether it be a sports club, a political party or a charity, they do so with enthusiasm and passion. It takes giant leap to turn an idea or an interest in to a membership card and catching them in that enthusiastic flurry is crucial. Always send a friendly email to the new recruit, offer to meet them for a coffee so that you can personally welcome them and encourage them to get them involved. The longer you leave it, the harder and less likely it will be that you actually see them in the end.
Remind people why they joined // Once you have them hooked and they are regularly attending events, it’s essential that you constantly remind them of the reasons why they joined.
Invested // Where possible try and give everyone a role in the group, make them feel like they matter and ensure that they are invested in the group. Some people will be able to hand a lot of tasks, other’s might want to do something small such as managing the twitter account and try to assign tasks using their strongest skills.
Events // Essentially it’s regular, well-organised and consistent events that will keep people coming back and make sure that these events are interesting and relevant to the groups subject. It’s always best to have a consistent meeting time and place because if people can rely on an event happening at a certain time and place they are far more likely to attend.
Resilience // This is absolutely essential because without resilience there is almost no chance of succeeding. I have lost count of the times that I sat waiting for people to attend only to be on my own for the entire evening. Not fun but I kept going and the number of young members active now was totally worth it.
Have you ever tried setting up a young members group?