When I first became involved with the formation of Activate, I was hopeful but not overly confident of success. Activate wasn’t manufactured and there was little-consolidated direction in its origin, I struggle to pinpoint a date where I transited from just another young Tory to an Activate activist. This is because it grew very organically, I and a few others were part of a number of groups, chats and small communities of young conservatives who were looking for an outlet, a youth organisation that they can call their own, some of these groups fizzled out into nothing but elements from each eventually made their way to the final formation of Activate, it wasn’t founded by a single individual but by a collaboration of passionate young conservatives.
Then suddenly, Activate hit the national stage, we were overwhelmed, we had media requests coming out of our ears, members signing up left right and centre and the entire country trying to find out more about us, Activate wasn’t prepared for this and almost instinctually we the wider organisation retreated into a shell, in its infant stage Activate wasn’t ready for the harsh realities of British politics. It was at this time that I took very public role in Activate, with the intention of keeping our presence visible I was the only member of Activate outside of the “shell” and it was a brutal baptism of fire. Today though we have reconsolidated and reorganised and we are ready to take Activate to the next steps.
Throughout the last couple of months Activate has grown from an idea to a real tangible thing, with a substantial member base, funds, and resources that despite seeming small when compared to other more established organisations, will allow us to take Activate to the next stages. For us, that next stage is fully launching all our divisions and escalating from a community of young conservatives to a force which campaigns for youth representation and conservative policies. Our next stage will come in three parts, the first and most important is getting ourselves ready for the 2018 Local Elections, we will be organising campaigning sessions up and down the country and this will all be kicked off with a launch event in London where local candidates will be in attendance alongside Activate members so that the two groups can share ideas and coordinate their strategies together. Activate will look to organise training sessions across the UK to help get local candidates and activists ready to hit the doorstep and make a real difference in next year’s elections.
Theresa May campaigning during the 2017 General Election
The second stage is the launching of our policy department, we are currently interviewing a number of candidates to assume the voluntary role of our Policy Director, this person will then serve as our lobbyist. They will build a team to scrutinise existing policy and develop new policy using the mass consensus of the Activate membership, this role will be vital in helping to ensure that young people are represented by not just this Government but any future Governments as well.
The third stage could be called our entry into adulthood, when we will hold our first Annual General Meeting, this will be significant date for Activate every year and every member will be invited to attend and join in the debate, where we can look back on our successes and failures and plan together for the future, but more significantly with our first AGM it will become the point where we democratically elect our chairman and representatives so that Activate’s membership can truly have control of the organisation and its future.
I am highly optimistic about Activate’s future and our first real test will be throughout the campaigning season next year. Our next steps will see Activate move through its infancy all the way to full maturity and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its direction in these early days.