Thursday, 18 October 2012

Andy Aitkins Visit

Andy Aitkins is the Executive Director of Friends of the Earth. He sent us a letter saying

I’m keen to spend more time with local groups over the next year and am writing to you as I’d like to visit you and your area.  I greatly value the work that Local Groups do and I’m convinced that a strong grass roots movement is essential to bringing about the urgent and large scale changes that we need in society to achieve something akin to sustainable development.  My twin aims are to update my first-hand knowledge of how local groups are tackling environmental issues locally and nationally, and to learn lessons from this; and to share analysis on the fast changing context and our new strategy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland responding to this.

I would like my visit to be of maximum use to you in your campaigning.  So, for example, as well as me meeting the group, I would welcome you using my visit as a hook to engage more people for example by doing a public meeting, getting your local MP along, or doing some activist activity in which I could participate.   You could also use it strengthen your relationships with leaders of the local council or a local green business for example.  I could speak around a particular theme like Environmentalism in a time of economic crisis or a particularly locally resonant subject you might suggest. Whatever I speak on, I would be keen to link back to any national campaign you are working on locally and other local issues you would like support on.  

At our meeting we suggested using Andy to speak to local business and union groups about green jobs. Andy's trip will be sometime between January and July 2013 so we hope to build on the ideas from this meeting over the coming months. Let us know if you have any ideas at admin@sheffieldfoe.co.uk