Patrick Sullivan: Conservatives in the Community
Patrick is standing for the CF Exec
Politics is about making life better for people. I joined the Conservative Party because I want a better Britain. A better Britain is a country with a neighbourly society, where people care for each other and faceless state intervention is rarely needed. This type of society by its very nature cannot be created by state action but only through empowering the voluntary sector.
However, it is all very well talking about empowering the voluntary sector but we need to turn our words into action. If we do not we allow ourselves to be open to the criticism that our talk about the voluntary sector is just code for cutting public services. The only way we can show people that the voluntary sector has an increasingly important role to play in the 21st century, is by helping it make a difference in communities throughout Britain.
One of the things that I am proudest of doing during my time at Nottingham University was an event called Returners Week. This was the first ever freshers week put on for returning students. I put it on under the banner of the Students’ Union charity organization Karnival. Our costs were only £50 and we made over £6,500 for charity.
Conservative Future needs to get more involved in local communities. If I get elected I will push for all CF associations to set up ‘Conservatives in the Community’ programs. These programs would have CF branches help organize events like neighbourhood clean-ups, raise money for local charities and have a greater involvement with the voluntary sector.
In their personal lives many of our members do dedicate a lot of their free time to community causes and helping charity. What the ‘Conservatives in the Community’ programmes will do is offer a structure and organisational support to those members as well as encouraging more of our members to get involved in these activities. In addition to this ‘Conservatives in the Community’ can undertake specific projects such as working with local councils to assist in the renewal of run-down publicly owned areas.
If we do these things through this programme we will show people what good the voluntary sector does and what more good it could do. We will also show them that not only are Conservatives compassionate but they put their compassion to practical use and the benefit of the whole community.
Conservatives are also renowned for being excellent fundraisers. One of the things that I want CF to become is much better fundraiser for the party. However, I also want CF to assist charitable organizations in raising money for good causes. It is important that our party is well-funded but it is equally if not more important that we use our organisational capacity to ensure that the most needy in our communities, both local and global, are adequately cared for.