logo

Using current cases and celebrity support to advocate for law change

Client: Dignity in Dying

The problem: hesitant MPs

For almost a century, Dignity in Dying has been campaigning for assisted dying on compassionate grounds for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. In 2016, the Assisted Dying Bill was reintroduced, but has never passed. So Dignity in Dying is constantly looking for new ways to raise the issue with UK MPs, Lords and the public.

The objective: an Assisted Dying Bill

The campaign wanted to get thousands of postcards sent to MPs asking them to attend a meeting to share personal stories, meet people affected, learn the facts and ask for a change in legislation to allow assisted dying.

How PostBug was used: combining campaigning and fundraising

Dignity in Dying uses real current cases of UK residents wanting an assisted death in the UK instead of having to got to Switzerland where it is legal. They combine this with celebrity support to help advocate for this change in the law.

Dignity in Dying first ran a crowdfunder campaign on their site to explicitly pay for the cost of sending the postcards. After promoting it to supporters via email, they ended up raising more then £11,000 in one day. They then promoted the postcard sending to supporters who very quickly took up the offer to send the postcards to their MP.

The message focused on Noel Conway: a man with terminal motor neurone disease and is challenging the law on assisted dying. The image for the postcard was regularly replaced to show different supporters and so the recipients would get different versions of the same ask.

Outcome: 3,000 postcards in 2 weeks

Almost 3,000 postcards were sent to MPs over the course of 1-2 weeks. The MPs responded to their constituents who had sent these about their position.

Impact: awareness but now law (yet)

The April 30 meeting with a briefing from Sir Patrick Stewart was well attended by MPs. However the law did not pass to make assisted dying legal.

While the impact of any one element of a campaign is hard to separate out from the overall impact, we know from the other campaigns that MPs notice the postcards and letters and respond to them.

Photo of Patrick Stewart with quote: A dear friend was forced to resort to drastic measures to relieve her suffering from terminal cancer. That's why I'm supporting Noel Conway. Sir Patrick Steward. #ImWithNoel

Photo of Patrick Stewart with quote: A dear friend was forced to resort to drastic measures to relieve her suffering from terminal cancer. That's why I'm supporting Noel Conway. Sir Patrick Steward. #ImWithNoel