We need MPs to support our Running on Empty campaign

Young Lives vs Cancer is going to UK Parliament on Tuesday 13 June to launch #RunningOnEmpty to Members of Parliament (MPs). Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Young Lives vs Cancer, Lauren Marks, explains why MPs need to be involved in the campaign, and how you can get involved.

Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Young Lives vs Cancer, Lauren Marks (left) and Campaigns Officer, Sian Shah (right)

You may have seen we recently launched our  #RunningOnEmpty campaign, calling for better financial support for children and young people with cancer and their families having to travel for treatment. You can read more about it here.  

The aim of #RunningOnEmpty, is to ask governments across the UK for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund, and for the Scottish Government to expand the existing Young Patient Family Fund so all young cancer patients can access it. This is desperately needed, as the majority of young people and families we support, are struggling to meet these costs, and it has a huge impact on them both financially and emotionally. The fund would cover travel costs for all young people with cancer and their families, so they can focus on what matters – getting to treatment. 

If you haven’t already, you can show your support for #RunningOnEmpty by signing our petition 

Thanks to the support so far, we’re going to UK Parliament on Tuesday 13 June to launch #RunningOnEmpty to people who can help us make change happen – Members of Parliament (MPs). We’re holding an event to launch our research report (including evidence of the impact of travel costs and why we need better support) and for young cancer patients and their families to share their experiences directly with MPs.  

We want as many MPs as possible to hear why a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund is so important. To help get their attention, you can ask your MP to attend on 13 June.  

To achieve the change we’re aiming for, it’s really important that children and young people with cancer, our supporters and MPs come together with Young Lives vs Cancer to champion #RunningOnEmpty. Here’s some more information on why and how we can do this…  

Why go to Parliament?  

UK Parliament is the home of the House of Commons. MPs from the whole of the UK represent their local area (constituency) in the House of Commons, which is where new laws are proposed and considered, and issues that matter to MP’s constituents are raised. The UK government is accountable to the House of Commons.  

For #RunningOnEmpty, we need the UK government to recognise the issue of travel costs for young cancer patients and their families and commit to helping us put in place a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund. One way we can do this, is by talking to MPs, getting their support, and asking them to help us.  

How do I ask my MP to be there?  

Contacting your MP is quick and easy – you don’t even need to worry about what to say! We’ve set up a simple tool which will work out who your MP is, and in a few clicks send a pre-prepared email straight to your MP for you.  

If you don’t want to use our tool, you could find your MP’s email address and write your own email to them. You’ll need to make sure you include your name, address and postcode, so your MP can confirm you live in their constituency.  

What happens after I write to my MP?  

When you write to your MP, they or someone from their office should send you a response to acknowledge they have received your email. This probably won’t be the direct response to what you’ve said.  

MPs and their offices should read all correspondence from their constituents and write back to you responding to what you have said and where possible, share what they intend to do to help.  

In response to your email about #RunningOnEmpty, your MP might offer to do things like:  

  • Attend the #RunningOnEmpty event on 13 June, and support the campaign 
  • Meet with you to discuss why you think #RunningOnEmpty is important 
  • Meet with Young Lives vs Cancer to learn more about our work and the campaign 
  • Raise a parliamentary question (either written or verbal) to a relevant government department, like the Department of Health and Social Care. The department would then need to respond to the question, which will help understand the government’s views 
  • Raise the issue for debate in Parliament where other MPs will be able to contribute, via submitting a motion 
  • Meet with colleagues to discuss the issue and how we can make change happen  
Ask your MP to attend

Author: Alison

Posted on Tuesday 6 June 2023

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