The voluntary wing of the Conservative Party works across the country to help the Party win elections. They run their local Associations and freely donate tens of the thousands of hours of their time every year to help the Party. They campaign - delivering leaflets or canvassing voters during election campaigns and they are also the people who raise the money to run the Party across the country, through membership subscriptions and holding events, sometimes hosting these in their own homes. Almost all the Conservatives who work for the Party do so on a voluntary basis because they believe that the achievements of the Party's aims will make Britain a better place.
Many people who offer their time to the Conservative Party are not members of the Party itself. But being a member allows you to stand for elected office and to be closely involved in the selection of candidates at all levels, including the selection of the Leader of the Party.
Every member of the Conservative Party is a member of a local Association, which corresponds to a parliamentary constituency. While Associations vary in size, almost all follow the same structure. Officers of the Association are elected annually to positions that include President, Chairman, and two Deputy Chairmen – a Deputy Chairman Membership and a Deputy Chairman Political. Most also have officers with specific responsibility for social action campaigns and the Conservative Policy Forum. Each Association also has an Executive Council, which draws representatives from the Wards that make up constituencies.
Some constituencies have now joined groupings, which will mean that they have one Association to run the constituencies in that group.
At Association level, volunteers will be responsible for holding fundraising and social events, and also for campaigning at elections. To get in touch with your local Association, or to join the Party, click here.
Areas and Regions
For organisational purposes, the country is broken up into Regions, with each Region containing a number of Areas. Both Regions and Areas also have a similar structure to constituencies – namely Regional and Area Chairman, and Deputy Chairmen for Membership and Political.
The National Convention
The National Convention is effectively the parliament of the Voluntary Party. It is comprised of all Association Chairs, officers from Areas and Regions as well as 42 representatives from Conservative Future and the Conservative Women's Organisation. The Convention meets twice a year – its Annual General Meeting is usually held at Spring Forum, with another meeting usually held at Party Conference. Its purpose is to receive the Annual Report, elect the Convention’s new officers and to set the Voluntary Party’s direction.
Officers of the National Convention
The most senior volunteers within the Conservative Party are the Officers of the National Convention; led by the Chairman, they represent the views of the Voluntary Party to the leadership of the main Party. The Chairman of the Convention is also a Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. The President is the Chairman of the Party Conference and there are also three Vice Presidents. All of these five senior volunteers are elected at Spring Forum, and also sit on the main Board of the Party.
The Strategy Team
The Officers of the National Convention along with Chairmen of each Region and the Chairmen of Conservative Future and the Conservative Women’s organisation make up the Strategy Team. This is responsible for planning the development of the voluntary Party and helping to set its aims.
Conservative Policy Forum (CPF)
Many people join political parties because they feel passionately about issues and want to make a difference. The Conservative Policy Forum gives them the chance to have their voices heard. Many constituencies have CPF groups and there are now co-ordinators for the CPF at constituency, area and regional levels.
The Party is encouraging the voluntary party to take on Social Action projects; similarly there are regional Social Action co-ordinators at all levels of the voluntary party. To learn more about Social Action, click here.