After just over one year of organising, networking, and campaigning, Warrington Young Labour (WYL) is now the largest & most active political youth group in Warrington.
Our main aim is to create a unified and engaged youth community through effective campaigning, local volunteering, and unique social events. At our 2013 AGM, we elected a full committee to lead us into the New Year, and our first action was to ensure WYL had a bold presence at any event, so we invested in bright red T-shirts branding our logo and the locally iconic Golden Gates. Eye-catching, vibrant and easily recognisable, they have given us a professional image, and well recognised local identity at any event.
Warrington has a thriving and diverse music scene, therefore WYL’s first social was an event which brought those bands together onto the same stage. On the night, twelve acts performed, including ‘Above The Underground’ who had just come back from a US tour. The event was a great success for its wide appeal and minimal political agenda; the only connotation to Labour was the name ‘Rock The Red’, and our members simply received a discount on their ticket. Our second event was even bigger, with around 100 students in attendance for "Rock The Party" where three local DJ's performed a Dubstep night in a local bar. We are looking to host our third event this Summer, where individuals can purchase a "One Nation" wrist band and receive discount drink & food deals within Warrington's upcoming "Cultural Quarter" venues.
Gaining an online presence we found was crucial in engaging the 26,000 young people in Warrington. Our Facebook and Twitter has had thousands of hits, through simply posting pictures of every time we are together campaigning, socialising, or at an event. In each photo, we reiterate what WYL is all about and how people can join, which has actually led to many sign ups over the last year. When it comes to campaigning, every Tuesday our members host the CLP phone bank, which has risen from approx. 400 contacts to 1,450 a month since WYL was established. To keep the moral high, we offer Domino’s Pizza on the ‘Two for Tuesdays’ deal (other pizza delivery companies are available!), which rest assured goes down well with our members.
But an important part of WYL, is our work outside of the Party. Over the last year, we have worked with Warrington Pride, Hope Not Hate and local mental health charity HeadStrong in supporting their work across the town. A group of our members also signed up for the National Citizen Service, and took part in Social Action Projects to help local charities.
But whether it’s leafleting or dialling digits, hosting or holding Labour stalls, or doorknocking with our candidates, Warrington Young Labour is active all week round. It was a privileged to receive "Best New Young Labour Group 2014" at Young Labour Conference, and is testimony that through friendship and good fun, we are building our party, changing the face of our party and through direction action, ensuring the Labour Party maintains its control of our Town Hall and continues its successes south of the ship canal, to win back Warrington South in 2015.
Tom Jennings is the Chair of Warrington Young Labour and tweets @TomJennings94.