The Conference Access Fund: why give and how to benefit


Are you attending the Lib Dems Conference? The Conference Access Fund ensures cost is not an issue and whilst a student, local member and exec member Matthew Phillips access the funds and describes his experience below:

The conference access fund is a vital way of ensuring we get more diverse voices in the party. I used the conference access fund to go to my first conference in York enabling me to get more involved in the party on a national level and more importantly get to have my say on motions selected! 

I voted on about six if my memory is correct. 

Being a student at the time myself, I know money can be an issue, the conference access fund helped reduce some of the financial stress that was involved with attending the conference. The Conference Access Fund helped me stay for the entire Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed my first conference and after that always looked forward with much excitement to attended my second. Without the help from the conference access fund in the first place, I probably would have been unable to attend the first time around. 

There is a financial commitment to attend the conference, we all know and accept this. But, we cannot simply limit attendance and participation only to those that have the means to pay for it. What point is one member one vote if we limit the ability to vote to those of us who have the financial means to attend. 

Now I need to mention the 'giving' side. Any donations that you can make to the conference access fund not only helps someone attend possibly the first conference and enjoy everything that is happening. It also helps get more people involved in our policy making and debates helping ensure that we have a liberal voice that will appeal to everyone regardless of means or social class. 

We also have a lot of keen and active new members who have done a wonderful job of knocking on doors and getting our voice out locally. Helping to get these people also gives them the chance to go to training sessions so we can run better as more effective campaigns locally and help us to achieve a liberal Islington in 2018! So, a donation to the conference access fund is not only going to help someone attend the conference, but it will also help future campaigns! 

Please note that the deadline for applications for Autumn Conference 2017 was Friday 21 July. Applications are still be considered as long as there is funding available. To apply or find out more, please email 

Conference Access Fund