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Contacting your local politicians

Someone using a laptop

Contacting your MP is much easier than it sounds!

Their job is to represent local people, so they expect to be asked for help, it's what they're there for.

Remember, MPs and councillors are human too: they have brothers and sisters, parents and children, and they do genuinely care about issues affecting the local community. Many of them may well have personal experience of arthritis too.

A friendly, professional and polite letter or email to your MP explaining your campaign is a sensible first step. We’ve included a template letter (word doc, 109 KB) in this toolkit, but it’s a good idea to use this as a guide and to personalise your letter as much as you can. 

Here are some tips on how to make your letter stand out:

Provide evidence

Why is your campaign important? What impact would a change make on the lives of local people living with arthritis? It's vital to make your politicians understand what you're campaigning for and why. Our MSK Calculator is also a good tool for this, it can show you how many people in your local area have the most common forms of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the knee and hip, and back pain.

Keep it local

MPs respond best to local issues raised by local people. Think about the local angle to your issue – this could be statistics on arthritis in your area or a local example of our manifesto challenges for example.

Use real stories

Talking about your personal experience can really help to get across to your MP why it’s so important that they back your campaign, and also become an Arthritis Champion.

Finding other people directly affected by the issue you’re campaigning on is another great way to emphasise to politicians the impact the issue has on your community.

Keep your campaign non-party political

To deliver a successful campaign you need to appeal to as wide a section of support in the community as possible. Keeping political affiliations out of the campaign will mean you can get the maximum level of support and coverage.

Don’t overcomplicate your message

The simpler the message, the more likely you are to be successful. MPs have a limited amount of time, so your message needs to be clear and easy to understand.

Finally, ask for support and a meeting

The key point is to make sure you get across what you want MPs to do. Request their support for your campaign, and encourage them to become an Arthritis Champion if they aren't already (you can find out from our list of Arthritis Champions).

You might also want to ask them for a follow up meeting or MP surgery appointment to discuss the issue in more detail and get across your points in person.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.