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Help us represent patients throughout the year! Early diagnosis and improving the survival rate of pancreatic cancer is a challenge and we still have a long way to go. It can sometimes feel difficult to know the best way to help and how to make a difference. One of the simplest ways of campaigning is by contacting your local politician.
Your local politician is there to help with matters that central government are responsible for. This includes the health service and policies that affect pancreatic cancer. Your local politician represents the concerns of their constituents, this is on average around 70,000 people. Therefore, your local politician is likely to receive a lot of communication and it‘s important to have a simple and powerful ask.
It also helps if local politicians receive communication from multiple constituents. Asking local family and friends who share your concerns to write may help to amplify your voice.
When contacting your local politician, you can discuss the issues about pancreatic cancer that concern you, but also let them know how they can get involved.
Current concerns include:
You can ask them to:
One of the best and easiest ways to campaign with us and raise the profile of pancreatic cancer is by writing a letter to your local politician.
If you feel daunted by the idea of writing a letter, you can use our local politician template letter and adapt it to highlight your personal interest, meaning your local politician may pay greater attention to it.
With many public figures using Twitter, tweeting your local politician is an easy and personal way to engage with them.
When tweeting it’s best to:
Very few people lobby their local politician by phone but it can be a great way to get heard and initiate discussions. If you decide to call them, prepare in advance what you want to say and keep it concise to include, at most, your top concerns or issues.
All local politicians hold constituency surgeries, usually on a Friday. Though sometimes weekends and evening slots are available. You can phone or email your MPs office to arrange a date and time to meet them.
If you decide to meet with your local politician, then it is a good idea to plan what you want to say to them beforehand. They are unlikely to be well informed about pancreatic cancer and therefore you may need to lead the conversation and explain your concerns. You can take them some of Pancreatic Cancer Actions awareness materials to help you make your points and give them something to take away. It is also a good idea to take a pen and notepad to take notes on your conversation.
If your local politician does agree to act on the issues you have raised remember to thank them. At this point you may want to organise another meeting to develop ideas with them about what more can be done to progress the issue.
And remember, if they have not done what they had agreed to do, contact them to ask them if they are still intending to carry out what they had agreed and if there’s anything you can do to.