Grant Shapps is Chairman of the Conservative Party and MP for Welwyn Hatfield
Over the next eighteen months we have a job to do. We must ensure that we have the best possible campaign team and operation in place to secure a Conservative win at the next election.
It’s no secret that I’m not fond of coalition. With an overall majority, we can go further – driving down the deficit, creating more jobs, clearing up the mess left by years of Labour and ensuring there’s a bright future ahead for you and your family.
So what does that mean for the party in the months to come – and what will our team at CCHQ be focused on as we approach 2015?
Fastest growing political volunteer movement
First and foremost, we’ll be focused on getting across our growing list of achievements in government. Then we’ll want to make certain people know why achieving an overall majority next time is so vital for our country. And that’s a task which will be largely down to our campaigners on the ground – these are the people who really make it happen.
That’s why I set up Team2015. It’s a new volunteer network which deploys our best people to where they’re needed most – in our 40:40 target seats.
Since I announced the plan at our Spring Forum last year, we’ve gone from strength to strength. In fact, we’ll be looking forward to welcoming out four thousanthvolunteer before this year is out!
Team2015 works because it’s hands on. It’s about enlisting volunteers, asking them to be part of the community, and giving them the tools to be successful leaders in our 40:40 seats.
Helping out at a time to suit
One of those people is India Cocking, a young activist in Derby (see right). She saw Team2015 advertised on conservatives.com earlier this year, and has been in regular contact since.
The process – which is individually tailored to cater for the requirements and skills of each volunteer – has allowed her to canvass from home and on the ground with our candidate Amanda Solloway in Derby North around her lessons and coursework.
When her exams are out of the way she’s planning on getting to one of the fifty call centres we’re establishing, where she’ll be phoning alongside Cabinet Ministers at one of our Team2015 phonebanks.
Another is Emma Lane (with me below) – who was cheered at Conference as our three thousanth Team2015 volunteer. I met her at the Team2015 conference stand. A working mum from Hampshire, she uses our canvass from home functionality to join the campaign in her own time.
With all this additional help, our professionals are starting to feel the difference on the ground too. Stuart Pilcher, our Campaign Manager in Plymouth and Sutton recently wrote to me to say how much the scheme had improved canvassing productivity and making the area’s delivering network more widespread; ‘Team2015 has also brought a breath of fresh air to the campaign. By signing up enthusiastic, dedicated people that just want to get out there and help in any way that they can, we have been able to cover many more areas in the constituency.’
Future Conservative MPs are noticing the difference
Meanwhile Paul Scully, our prospective MP for Sutton and Cheam, has said that the scheme is proving critical in his patch; “The Team 2015 initiative is proving to be crucial. The response has been superb, boosting the number of people willing to campaign in different ways across Sutton & Cheam. Making it as easy as possible for people to help where they can have most effect is common sense but may well be the thing that tips Sutton & Cheam our way.”
More people are signing up to join Team2015 each day. Join Team2015 now, and not only will you hear back from someone who’ll call you for a one on one chat on the phone within a few days, but you’ll also have the same one point of contact who’ll then guide you through the process of being involved in the campaign.
Best of all, the person on the other end of the phone is a volunteer themselves – part of the volunteer coordination team who are doing an excellent job of managing Team2015 as it grows. You can come meet them today.
There’s still much more to do through Team2015 – and we’re making progress. Join us today.