As this group has shown, the online world is a great place to bring people from around the country, and indeed from around the world, together. However, I feel that you can’t beat meeting people in the flesh. Although this group was initially created on Facebook, one of the most satisfying things about it is when I see members meeting up in person. I can’t tell you how happy I felt when I saw the first local 48andBeyond group being set up in Reading. It is a great source of pride for us that local groups have now been set up all over the country. One of our administrators, Gemma, has been working hard on helping local groups and has produced a guide to creating local groups which will go live very shortly. Mel Brown has also created a map showing where our local groups are located. Here are my top five tips for getting active locally:
1. Talk to friends, family members and colleagues who voted Remain. Meet up at regular intervals and brainstorm ways to take action locally.
2. Contact your local politicians (councillors, MPs, MEPs) who campaigned for Remain. They could give you some ideas on the type of action you can take.
3. Get in touch with local newspapers, radio stations and TV channels. Local media is often interested in local stories which have a connection to wider, national issues. A sample press release will be made available very soon. August is also a pretty slow news month so get a press release together within the next few weeks!
4. Make sure everyone in the group is working to their strengths. Encourage members to use any professional or professional contacts you may have.
5. Maintain good records of all your members’ contact details and keep them informed of any events you might organise.
On a personal note, I am hoping to set up a Manchester group in September and will be working more closely with that group than with the Facebook group. As I said in one of my tips, people need to work to their strengths and I feel my strength lies in dealing with people face-to-face rather than in the online world.