In November 2016 my friend Josh and I joined a group of other students to begin campaigning for the University of Manchester to become an accredited Living Wage employer. We walked in aware of the concept of the real Living Wage but less familiar with Citizens UK and the work they had done on this issue. After that first meeting he became the campaign Chair and I was made the Treasurer.
In our first year of campaigning we only had a handful of students. We held meetings with academics who were sympathetic, reached out to other university societies on campus and worked with the Students’ Union to put ourselves on a good campaign footing.
When September 2017 rolled around we stood outside the SU building leafleting new arrivals at the university to increase the number of people involved in the campaign. I struck up a conversation with a student who was working for University about what we were doing and agreed to help. That student Oliver, and his two housemates, joined the campaign and we had access to their skill sets, especially in research and creative campaigning.