At CPRE, the countryside charity, we believe in countryside and green spaces that are accessible to all, rich in nature and playing a crucial role in responding to the climate emergency.
With a local CPRE group in every county in England, we’re advocating nationwide for the kind of countryside we all want: one with sustainable, healthy communities and available to more people than ever, including those who haven’t benefited before.
We stand for a countryside that enriches all of our lives, regenerating our wellbeing, and that we in turn regenerate, protect and celebrate.
I am the Campaigns Manager at CPRE, which means that it’s my job to have oversight of each of our key campaigns on issues like affordable housing and renewable energy. I develop our strategies for mobilising public support for achieving government policy change on these issues, and line manage a small team of two officers, Kate and Mark, who do incredible work bringing our plans to life.
An ordinary day for me involves:
- meeting with my colleagues who lead on our engagement with MPs and the press to make sure that all our activities are joined up and having maximum impact;
- working with the social media and website teams to produce compelling story-telling content that will help raise awareness of the issues we are campaigning on and persuade new people to take part in our actions;
- meeting with other organisations and coalitions to plan campaigns based on our shared goals and values;
- supporting the officers I line manage, providing advice on any tricky issues and making sure that they are happy and fulfilled at CPRE, with a manageable workload; and
- talking to members of our countrywide network of volunteers to help them coordinate campaign activities in their local area with our plans at the national level.
In my role as one of three Community Workplace Reps at CPRE, alongside my colleagues Mark and Lewis, I have regular meetings with our senior leadership team to discuss our members’ priorities for improving working life at CPRE.
We succeeded in getting a recognition agreement between CPRE and Community in 2021, and since then we have represented staff through a major restructure, pay negotiations and an ongoing HR review.
As the Workplace Reps at CPRE, we hold regular drop-in sessions where members can raise key issues they feel are impacting on staff and how things can be improved. This helps us focus our efforts on the changes that will make the biggest difference to staff, like measures to improve wellbeing and reduce stress, and measures to help employees through the cost-of-living crisis.
We also carry out regular surveys of our members and provide one-to-one support for any colleague who is facing a problem that they want to talk about with someone other than their line manager.
Negotiations with our senior leadership team aren’t always easy, and we are still developing our role within the organisation after getting union recognition fairly recently, but month by month we are developing ways of working with the existing decision-making processes that are allowing us to ensure that staff views are heard on issues from operational planning to CEO recruitment.
It is tough work but always fulfilling!
Interested in becoming a Community workplace rep? Click here to find out more and register your interest.
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