And so it was on Valentine’s Day, that arbitrarily assigned day of romance, that I strengthened my passion and commitment to the Green Party in attending my very first Green Party training day!
Even before arriving at the event itself there was evidence of a considerate day ahead. I tramped up West Street and espied a familiar face in a high-vis jacket signalling to me and another green member nearby. He was positioned to make sure that anyone unfamiliar to the city could find the venue, The Circle, a tardis-like building tucked away behind a coffee shop, accessible only down an alley with an unlikely capacity of a 120 seat hall and topped with office spaces.
Bread and jam, coffee and biscuits and at least six types of tea helped attendants to settle in and get chatting despite, it seemed, many people not knowing anyone else. Shortly we were called to our respective training sections, some to the serious business of public speaking, hustings and media training. Others, including myself, to a more general initial orientation in what the Green Party actually is and how to get involved from the ground up.
The overarching theme of the sessions I attended throughout the day seemed to be this – it’s all very well and good to talk about specifics if you like but if there is anything to be taken away from today it’s how to revise this information for yourself. Go to my.greenparty.org.uk and look through the articles, if you need direction it’s there. Start and grow a local party, generate media, fundraise, campaign, help to generate policy (or join the discussion to help to decide how to generate policy). The Green party can and will support its members but really it wants its members to support the Green Party.
At the start of the day a speaker had asked a question: “How many people have been a member for less than a year?” At least two thirds of the room raised an arm in response. It’s the pattern being repeated across the country, members aren’t just waiting for orders, we’re taking the initiative, we’re growing exponentially and pushing to get ourselves involved. This training day has simply provided the scaffolding to grow upon.