With the organisation facing additional policy pressures due to the unprecedented scale of the Syrian refugee crisis and the associated crisis in the Mediterranean, we worked within the Advocacy and Influencing team to successfully lobby for the creation of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. Once the Government had agreed to the scheme’s establishment, we developed a parliamentary strategy in order to ensure its expansion.
Our work included, for example, co-ordinating cross-party letters to the Prime Minister from MPs and Peers; lobbying key MPs and Peers to secure debates and ask relevant questions in Parliament; planning and implementing engagement with Ministers and Shadow Ministers, and drafting briefings for supporters to use when lobbying their MPs and/or parliamentary candidates.
Given the re-structure that was being undertaken, our flexibility was particularly appreciated, with our support increasing and decreasing dependent upon the needs and requirements of the organisation. For example, we significantly increased our work in the lead-up to the General Election in line with the increased workload of the Advocacy and Influencing team, given the need to ensure that refugee and asylum issues received due attention in the election campaign.