I'm passionate about change so it's probably not a surprise that I work for an organisation that works with public institutions and communities to shape and deliver change that they believe in. During the pandemic, I think being used to working in and around change has also helped me on a personal level -- I've just tried to focus on the things that I can actually do something about or control or improve, and try and just let go of the things that I can't. Not that that isn’t sometimes easier said than done!

As a teenager, I remember watching a documentary about poverty in South America, seeing the injustice and how hard some communities were finding it to get by. I remember being so angry about it and thinking that it made no sense. I didn’t live like that, so why should anybody else have to?

This sense of purpose, to try to help make things better in whatever way I can, has always stayed with me in my work. For me, the breakthrough moment of seeing how a campaign for change comes together was when, in 2005, I got involved with the Make Poverty History campaign as an activist. We called for lots of change which was actually delivered.

Public pressure and political will meant that the debt got dropped for the world's poorest countries and I realised -- this is how things get done. Public pressure without a political will wouldn’t have seen the same long-term change. And if it were just political will without support, it wouldn't have been the same national moment of pride that it was.

So it's probably no surprise that, ever since, I've worked at the intersection between politics, people and power. This has taken me to work in and around the USA, on hyper-local and national campaigns, and back again. Years later, here at FutureGov, I’m leading our work in the people-driven and politically-driven change spaces - as I see it, both important sides of the same coin. Fundamentally, you have to be bringing people with you, no matter whether they're elected or not, to realise long-term change.

Claire Hazelgrove is Organising & Political Engagement Director at FutureGov and joined in June 2020

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