Fifty leaders of local and national independence groups from Berwick and Dumfries to Inverness and the Western Isles converged on Business for Scotland’s Glasgow HQ for the Launch (to the Yes movement) on Tuesday, May 22nd of the new Scottish Independence Ambassador Programme.
The programme is administered by Business for Scotland and is based on our highly successful 2014 referendum ambassador programme, but this time it’s not just for business people. BfS ran a pilot programme for our business members in February and event feedback forms universally called on us to roll the training out to the entire Yes movement – and so that is what we have done.
Ahead of the main promotional push, more than 250 Independence supporters signed up to join the programme in the first two weeks effectively putting us months ahead of our sign up targets.
Those founder members are already discussing tactics, best practices and networking through our secure online learning portal’s community section, (called Prosper). You can join them, just sign up here.
We believe that the Independence Ambassador Programme has a vital role to play in winning Scotland’s independence in the coming second Scottish independence referendum.
We know what moved the polls in advance of 2014 and we know what stopped us getting across the line. The momentum in 2014 came from the grassroots movement discussing with passion and energy, marching, doorstepping, educating, informing and convincing people to believe in Scotland and that’s what will win in 2019.
The difference is that this time we need to find a way not to direct but to service and support grassroots campaigners with skills training, messaging, leaflets and campaign materials – allowing them to do the job they want to do. That’s what will win people over to voting Yes.
The Ambassador Programme is largely a conversion, skills-based course. However, we will also make sure the Ambassadors have access to FAQs that will include BfS thoughts on key issues, and we will also make sure they have access to the answers of other organisations so that you can talk to a businessperson, a trade union official, a pensioner, teenager, anyone as the core of the programme is developing the ability to open discussions, question, identify frames, communicate, educate and convert.
BfS doesn’t have the money being thrown at the Unionist campaign groups but we have a certain know how, campaign expertise and the sufficient resources to offer a service to grassroots campaigners and activists.
So we want to train more than 1,000 Ambassadors before the end of 2018 through our face-to-face Ambassador gatherings – then to train another 1,000 online.
Some people have already told us they will commit almost full-time and others have asked if it’s ok to join and just convert a few friends. Both are great – it’s up to people how much time and commitment they put in as an Independence Ambassador.
Those Yes group leaders were “inspired” at the launch and spoke to us afterwards:
Irene McEwan, Berwickshire,
“This has shown such professionalism, my mind is full of it in such a positive way, I feel truly inspired. It’s given me a way forward and in Berwickshire we have a difficult area but I can now see ways of getting through to people we don’t normally get through to.”
Campbell McEwan, Berwickshire,
“I don’t’ want to be negative, but I have just realised how many terrible mistakes were made in 2014 and we don’t want to make them again. This has been inspiring and informative.”
John Duncan, Bute
“Its really important to equip people with the skills to engage constructively and effectively with people open to persuasion. This Ambassador Training is the catalyst and will cascade out to the wider movement. I will definitely take this back to Yes Bute and SNP Bute also.”
Linda Morpurgo, Glasgow
“I have been somewhat out of the movement since just after the vote in 2014 but coming to the meeting and hearing about the Ambassador training has made me want to re-engage – I find the whole idea inspiring.”
Hi Is Ambasador training still on going ?
I feel we need all the training and info we can get for the fight we’re up against now and would like the training if still available
Yes you can find the details here https://supportbelieveinscotland.org/become-an-independence-ambassador/ Online training is available and two new face to face training dates are being arranged for March.
Can you tell me when the nextAmbassador training is in Edinburgh / online?
Is it still possible to join and go through the ambassador training? Thank you in advance.
For sure, 60 people started the online training yesterday and we will announce the dates of the next three event based training sessions later this week.
I believe the best way 2gain support(from the many that project fear has worked with) is 2only post statements that have a link or whatever so that they can be proved by the doubter at a click of a finger,we don’t need 2lie like the unionists do and if what we post is true then we have 2be able 2back it up,always back up a statement with prof, it’s the only way we can show people we aren’t lying or brain washed or just a lot of brave heart addicts that hate the English cause Mel Gibson made us hate them,also need 2show that this has nothing 2do with being anti English,far as I’m concerned every last person in England would be welcome in an independent Scotland aperture from folk in the lord’s and house of commons,intact there’s probably more than that but in general everybody should be welcome.ok this post ain’t 2do with business it’s just basic win over the people that are scared of the change,win over these people we get independence,then we can start thinking about the business,just my opinion folks
Hi can you send details, including the cost, or running a local event that delivers the Ambassador program?
Do you run a train the trainer program?
Can you share any evaluation data that you have gathered in addition to the quotes on your website.
I live close to the Border and there are many links between this part of Scotland and Northumberland. Our nearest airport is Newcastle. Whilst I feel Scotland (under the current U.K regime) will have no choice than to become independent, I wonder how relations with rUK would develop given the probable vengeful reaction of a right wing London government?
Where is the funding for this coming from?
BfS have committed £50,000 of our funds to manage the campaign that the Ambassador programme is part of, and then the Ambassador programme itself will add additional revenues to assist with the funding and local campaigns.
I want to sign up but would like to talk with someone about it. We are in the process of moving from from Forfar to East Ayrshire. It looks like East Kilbride might be the first possibility for me but if I could start earlier perhaps I would. I really want to do my bit and feel confident that with the training I could be useful.
Call the office on Monday it and we can chat through – its not just about the face to face training sessions the online learning community is already up and running. 0141 332 2466 one of the team should be able to answer your questions.
I don’t know what kind of Ambassador I could be. Right now I have poor mobility and I have myself on a phased return to work after being out for about a year..I’ve had a brain injury so I’m now prone to fatigue and exhaustion. I am back working, currently 17.5 hrs at 50% of my contracted hours. By end July I hope to add in another 7 hours. I work in Third Sector and my work is important to me – but so is Independence for Scotland. Do you think a further conversation would be beneficial? I don’t want to promise more than I can do.
Just emailed you directly Morag