|Consultation:||Young Greens AGM|
|Agenda item:||A Reports|
|Proposer:||Ben Parker (Harrogate and District)|
EC5: Ben Parker - Co-Chair
Young Greens Annual Report
Ben Parker & Hannah Graham, Young Greens Co-Chairs
It’s hard to know where to begin with this report as there is so much for us to tell you about! Take what’s below as a flavour of our activities over the year, but know that you can view all of our monthly and quarterly reports on the members’ website here for further detail. A big shout out - and thank you! - must go to our full-time staff member Georgia, the Young Greens Executive Committee, Young Greens Senate, Structures and Procedures Committee, as well as all of our local reps and members, without whom the below wouldn’t be possible.
Working with the main party
This year, we have tried to focus on finding further ways to work more effectively with the wider party, where appropriate. We have developed a positive relationship with GPRC and continued working with others on GPEx to streamline our efforts towards common goals. We have also inputted into the Holistic Review process and encouraged Young Greens participation there. We have fostered a strong relationship with the staff team at the Biscuit Factory, supporting each other with different projects. In particular here, we have worked very closely with the Young Greens Organiser, Georgia. Relating to Green Party members more widely, we have formally rolled out our Young Greens Officer scheme which aims to support local parties to attract more Young Greens, providing a further link between our work in the Young Greens with that of local parties on the ground. The scheme aims to increase engagement between local parties and Young Green members, increasing capacity and outreach. Where historically some relationships with other bodies within the party have fallen away, we have felt a shift in our working together this year which has been welcomed by all.
Young Greens of England and Wales also produced a substantial and in depth Wales Separation Impact Report, to weigh up the impact of Welsh Green Party separation. This can be viewed here and was disseminated to all Young Greens in Wales ahead of the Welsh referendum, in order for them to make a balanced choice in their vote.
Our campaign work has continued this year and we have enjoyed working with groups - both internal and external to the party - to bring these to fruition. Our priority campaign this year has been “Reform PIP!” raising awareness about, and encouraging the government to amend, the current process for claiming Personal Independence Payments. The campaign has been working on several different projects including: producing an informational video about PIP; writing a guidance document for individuals claiming PIP; writing a motion to conference to insert a statement about PIP into the party’s Record of Policy Statements; writing a report based on freedom of information requests about the PIP process. We have also continued our work on the ‘People Not Numbers’ campaign, attending Yarls’ Wood demonstrations protesting against indefinite immigration detention, and looking at producing a report (again, based on freedom of information requests) into the hostile environment / forced deportations. The campaign has also further developed links with student organisations supporting international students. We also re-launched our 10:1 campaign this year, with a new report written and launch event held at Queen Mary University during their occupation as part of the UCU strikes. We’ve also been pleased to have several Young Greens on the main Green Party Campaigns Committee, working alongside the GPEx Campaigns Coordinator and others to synchronise campaigns.
Following the successful model of years previous, the Young Greens Senate co-ordinated action days to support candidates in May’s local elections and, amongst the Green successes more generally, it was pleasing to see several Young Greens elected this time round. We hope to see these numbers grow in years to come. To support Young Green candidates this May, with the support of the main party, we produced literature for some ‘Target to Win’ candidates and hosted a suite of training webinars too. At Spring Conference we also ran a full day of training for Young Green candidates which was well attended. Moving forward we are working with the Association of Green Councillors and Local Government Association to provide year-round support to candidates (and prospective candidates) as part of the ‘Young Greens Candidate Community’. We hope to build on previous efforts to create a supportive network of Young Greens keen to be elected to public office, and to provide local parties with a pool of keen and clued-up members ready to stand for election. We launched the Young Greens Candidate Community at Autumn Conference with a panel made up of target to win candidates and elected Green Party councillors. We have started to gather a list of candidates and potential candidates to benefit from the community this following year. If you’d like to be added to this list, please email email@example.com.
30 Under 30
We were overwhelmed with interest in our 30u30 training scheme this year, receiving 94 (!) applications for the 30 places available. Following a full week of interviews, 30 participants were selected and will finish the scheme at Autumn Conference. The training weekends are organised thematically - Campaigns and Elections (March, London); Policy and Structures (May, Newcastle); Press and Media (September, Nottingham) - and the scheme also includes a trip to the European Parliament in Brussels (July), a trip to Conference (October, Bristol) and a mentor scheme, where participants are matched up with experienced party members to learn more about aspects of the party / Green politics they are interested in. This year, we have attempted to incorporate further practical elements into the scheme including canvassing sessions during Weekend One, policy writing (and submission to conference) in Weekend Two and press writing and video recording in Weekend Three. We have also formalised aspects of the mentor programme this time round and have been delighted to see many members of this year’s cohort already getting involved with party structures. The culmination of the scheme was at Autumn Conference where we enjoyed a mini-celebration with our graduates. Applications for next year’s 30u30 will open in December/January. Please promote to Young Greens in your local parties and groups.
Events & Demos
We have organised a Young Green presence at several demos this year, both in conjunction with the main party and alone. We worked with the People’s Vote campaign and main party to coordinate a big presence of Young Greens during the People’s Vote March in both June and October and were pleased to work with the main party organisers during the Stop Trump demo this year too. Members also attended the Yarls’ Wood demonstration earlier in the year. Events wise, elected representatives joined us for two residential weekends held in Brighton and London where we discussed our priorities for the year and learnt about regional organising, allyship and developments within the Young Greens, amongst much more.
Green Party Conference
As always, we’ve been extremely active at both Spring and Autumn Conference this year, with Young Greens meetups, 30 under 30 volunteers, our merchandise stall, the infamous Young Greens Quiz along with the launch of our Young Greens Candidate Community.
We have continued to grow our international presence this year with representatives attending the Federation of Young European Greens General Assembly, passing several amendments there, as well as seeing one member elected to the Federation of Young European Greens Executive Committee. We were excited to welcome the Macedonian Young Greens to Green Party Autumn Conference this year. We have also been pleased to see Young Greens involved in the main party International Committee and other members attending different Federation of Young European Greens events over the course of the year.
Media, press and social media
Our media subcommittee has continued to build our momentum on social media developing engaging content with lots of success. The Young Greens podcast continues to go from strength to strength and we have had episodes discussing our People Not Numbers and PIP campaigns, as well as lots of details about local groups / member activity too. We are also in the process of revamping the Young Greens website with the support of the main party staff team.
Lots of work has gone into stabilising the Young Greens finances this year, and we have worked closely with the party to track our income / expenses more effectively than in years previous. We applied for two trust funds this year but were unsuccessful. We are in the midst of devising a fundraising strategy to support our campaigns work, and training schemes like 30u30.
The Young Greens timeline for the year closes at Young Greens Convention where the new committee will be elected. We wish the next team the best of luck.
If you have any questions for the Young Greens or want to get in touch with us about anything in this report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.