Campaign! Make an Impact!

This cross-curricular programme uses historical campaigns to teach and inspire and teach campaign communication skills, enabling children and young people to be able to run their own campaigns about issues that affect them today.

CASE STUDY: What to expect

For our campaign study we decided to use the Tin Miners’ Support Group campaign of 1986 that was organised to save Cornish tin mining. The children of Cape Cornwall Secondary School who took part volunteered their time and gave up two weekends in order to take part in the project.

The school visited Geevor where they had the opportunity to visit the museums and meet with two former miners involved in the original campaign. Ian Davey worked for 16 years at Geevor and has written several books about his experiences. He explained what daily life working underground was like and how the men felt about their jobs and the prospects of losing them.

Former miner Mick McArdle, who was Geevor’s Transport and General Workers Union Branch Secretary in 1986, spoke to the group about the campaign’s organisation and offered advice for the group’s own campaign. 

The group chose their campaign topic whilst onsite at Geevor and began to formulate a campaign strategy. The decided to campaign for free parking in the town’s car parks over the Christmas period. This seemingly simple campaign turned out to be a highly emotive issue. 

The school’s second visit to Geevor provided space and materials for the children to produced badges, banners and to plan their own campaign. Taking the advice of Mr McArdle, the children contacted local politicians, members of the council, the press and local businesses in order to drum up support. They also took to the town centre in order to collect signatures for a petition. Over one thousand signatures were collected and the campaign did receive the support of the local Chambers of Commerce, a letter of support from our local MP and extensive coverage in the local newspaper.

The children took their signatures to the Council Offices and had a meeting for two hours with officials to state their case. Although they were not successful in gaining the outcome they wanted the students said that they felt empowered by the experience.

What to gain

The children can learn the real difficulties and issues involved in running a campaign in the very buildings and offices they were planned in. They can hear from the people who lived through and ran the Tin Miners’ Support Group.

Learning about the events of Viva Geevor has taught me that things need planning and not all things are given to us naturally.  Also sometimes, due to no fault of our own, things become more difficult and you just have to make a different plan and work harder to achieve what's needed!"  Jess Buncombe pupil from Cape Cornwall Secondary School

Main themes: Citizenship, History, PSHEE

 

Resources Available

Videos

Film of Trade and General Workers Union Branch Secretary Mick McArdle giving a presentation to Cape Cornwall School Children with input from former miner and original campaigner Geoff Treseder.

Film of presentation given by former miner, Ian Davey who discusses working practices and conditions at Geevor during the original Miners’ Support Group Campaign.

Copies of original campaign materials

Posters

Flyers

Photographs

Letters

Newspaper articles


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