Campaigners and representatives at Westminster

Meet with your elected representatives

Follow our step-by-step guide on preparing for and meeting with your elected representative

Meeting with your elected representatives is an effective way to persuade and influence them to act. The more we speak to them about the issues facing those diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the need for action, the greater the chance of change.

Elected representatives can influence their party and governments, from asking your questions to speaking to ministers. We know that MPs, MSPs, MLAs and MSs find it helpful to speak to their constituents about their concerns and what matters to them.


1) Find your elected representative

You can find out who your elected representatives are and how to contact them online. This will change depending on what nation you live in.

For example, if you live in Scotland or Wales, your constituency MSP or MS may be the best way to approach unless you think one of your regional representatives will be more supportive. If you live in Northern Ireland, you may wish to approach all of your MLAs or only those who you think will be more influential or supportive.

Find my representative 

Woman on phone and laptop

2) Arrange an appointment

Elected representatives carry out surgeries, which are sessions for constituents to discuss issues with them. The best way to find out your representative's surgery arrangements is to contact their office. They'll be able to give you more information and tell you how to set up a meeting. There may also be information on your elected representative's website.

Tell them you would like to discuss ovarian cancer and would like their help. Surgeries may be in person, virtually, or over the phone. We can help you set up video calls if you need.

3) Contact us

If you plan to meet your elected representative, contact us! We can help you set up the meeting, send you statistics about ovarian cancer in your local area, and provide you with a briefing to present to your representative.

Depending on the issues that you are most passionate about, we can also discuss actions you would like your representative to take. 

Talk to us!


4) Prepare your key points and actions

The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel!

Write down the key points you want to talk about:

You don't have to be an expert, but it's good to have a grasp on some of the key issues before the meeting.

You may want to talk about:

  • Why you're passionate about campaigning on ovarian cancer. You may wish to share a personal story if you feel comfortable as this can be very powerful and compelling.

  • Over 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK. Too few women are being diagnosed at an early stage (I or II) when chance of survival is greatest.

Come up with some key actions for your representative to take forward:

You may want to ask your representative to:

  • Write to the health minister or table a question in your country's legislature. 

  • Raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer on social media.

  • Host an event in your constituency about ovarian cancer. 

You might find it helpful to run through what you want to say in the meeting with a family member or friend. This could help you identify other things to mention.

How to talk about ovarian cancer while campaigning

Campaigners and representatives at Westminster

5) Actions during the meeting

During the meeting try to get your key points across, share your story, and end with the key actions you want them to take away. Ask their permission to take a photograph to share online too!

If your representative asks a question you can't answer don't worry. You can say you're not an expert and that you can find out and get back to them.

Keep the discussion friendly. This will help achieve results by building a good relationship with your elected representative.

Surgeries usually only last 15 minutes, so don't worry if you forget anything or didn't have time to include all of your points. You can mention anything extra in a follow up email.

6) Actions after the meeting

Send an email to your representative thanking them for the meeting as well as summarising the key points you raised and the key actions that were agreed.

If you don't hear from them for a few weeks, you could send another email asking whether they have carried out what they agreed to do. You could send them information each time Target Ovarian Cancer launches a new campaign, report or action too.

Always remember that your MPs, MSPs, MLAs and MSs have been elected to represent you. Don't ever feel like you're bothering them or wasting their time. They are there to listen to your views and act on your behalf.

Headshot of campaigner, Christine, wearing a purple coat and smiling
I contacted the MSP's office to arrange a meeting and spent some time beforehand preparing a list of points I wanted to say. I shared my story and some of the things I wanted to see change, particularly greater awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer in Scotland and the need for an awareness campaign.

In spite of feeling a bit nervous about it, we ended up having a lovely and productive chat. She was very helpful.
Pauline, a woman who shared her story with Target Ovarian Cancer
After many years of trying, my local MP agreed to meet me. I went armed with as much literature as I could. I was nervous at first but it went brilliantly, and he agreed to take my concerns to Parliament and took the awareness literature I brought.

I came out with a huge smile on my face feeling I’d done my job – hoping he will do his!
campaigners talking over tea

What to do next?

Now you've met with your elected representative, why not find out how you can raise awareness in your community and online?

Raising awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms saves lives.