Relational Meetings: A comfort zone outside of my comfort zone

Author: John Tuckey, a volunteer in the communications team for The Centre for Progressive Change. He’s a journalist who’s worked for the BBC and national press, and an editor and trainer in communication for development.


In holding relational meetings to build power, I did something I thought impossible an hour earlier. 

In the Centre for Progressive Change’s foundation course Session 5, you’re expected to have a meeting with someone you’ve never met before, in order to find a mutual interest that can help you work together. How on earth can you do that?

I’ve just finished the Centre for Progressive Change’s foundation course in organising for social change, and I’m really enjoying being taken outside of my comfort zone of negative assumptions about certain concepts. These are the need to: build power, understand someone’s self-interest and compromise. For many people who consider themselves progressive, these are...

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How we won the campaign to get Heathrow Airport become a Living Wage employer

By Amanda Walters – Director at Centre for Progressive Change

In the summer of 2016, I took over the campaign to get Heathrow airport to become a Living Wage employer. The campaign had already been running for two years but there had been a 6-month period of inaction.

Leveraging Interests

We started by researching online to help us paint a fuller picture of the airport’s interests and challenges, and to see what potential opportunities we could utilise. In October 2016, Theresa May’s Cabinet was going to decide on whether to back the third runway at Heathrow airport. We knew that the last thing the airport would want ahead of that decision is any public action and bad press. Therefore, this presented an opportunity for us to cause reputational problems for the airport as a way to disrupt their bid unless they became a Living Wage employer. This would give us one month to organise workers into action.

Identifying Leaders

Fr Gerard, from St Anselm’s church...

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How to start a campaign

organising starting Oct 06, 2020

by Amanda Walters - Director at the Centre for Progressive Change

Initiating a campaign can feel like a daunting task! It can be hard to know where to start, and it can feel like there is a lot to do.

However, through my own Organising, and researching organisations that win campaigns, I have seen that there is a tried and tested formula for starting an effective campaign. Below you can see the steps that the best Organisers out there follow and a brief breakdown of each step.



Power Structure Analysis

A Power Structure Analysis is a tool that allows you to see how much power those that have a stake in the fight have. It is key in order to design an effective strategy so that you can build your power and influence those that will be making the decision on your issue.

Identifying Leaders

In order to win a campaign you need to have a mass of people in your community or workplace with you. Otherwise decision makers, such as politicians, can decide...

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Why I became an Organiser

organising winning Oct 06, 2020

by Amanda Walters - Director at the Centre for Progressive Change

Another Fail

As we waited in the freezing December cold, I took out my phone one more time to see if the news had come in yet. My fingers frozen from being kettled for hours made it hard to work the pad. Finally, the screen lit up, but I could see no headlines had come through yet.

The mood in Trafalgar square was ominous as we waited for the results of the vote on whether the government were going to rise university tuition fees from £3,000 a year to £9,000 a year. Everyone in the square was cold, tired and hungry. Some people were building fires, some were trying to break into the Treasury, while thousands of others were standing around waiting impatiently for the results.

The last 6 months prior to this point had been relentless. For me, as the Campaigns Officer at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, every waking moment in those months I spent engaging students in Manchester and moving...

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