Charities sometimes go to great lengths to get to the truth.

Other times, they just call us. We make requests for information using transparency legislation on behalf of charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profits acting in the public interest.

John Sauven knows that the first step in changing the world for the better is understanding exactly where we are today.

The Greenpeace UK director and his team are always interested in exploring new ways to secure victory in their campaigns – based on the best information on the ground.

The protection of our natural environment very much depends on the regulations and actions of governments around the world. And the UK government, among others, does release information as a result of our transparency legislation.

Greenpeace has always been fantastic at making the most of Britain’s Freedom of Information Act and Environment Information Regulations to establish the facts, to interrogate and understand government thinking and to leverage extensive media coverage.

And when they teamed up with Request Initiative their Freedom of Information campaigns went even further, even deeper.

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Brendan has dedicated his life to exposing wrongdoing, and finding out information which can be used to energise and inform campaigns for environmental protection and social justice. After 15 years as a professional journalist he founded Request Initiative to continue in that work. Now, he has built a network of charity campaigners, barristers and solicitors, national journalists, politicians, freedom of information and data protection officers and post-graduate trainee reporters. We are all dedicated to using transparency rights to hold government to account. Come and meet our team.

Meet the team
Case Study


Shelter believed that the government’s austerity and welfare reform programmes were forcing London councils to place homeless families in unsuitable emergency accommodation, sometimes against the law. Shelter needed a way to test their hypothesis, but no government agency collected the data they wanted.

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Case Study


Glen Tarman is both an art lover and an extraordinary activist. Which is why he became embroiled in Liberate Tate’s campaign against British Petroleum’s cynical sponsorship of Tate. We helped secure his victory.

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Case Study

Sue Ryder

Preth Rao, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Sue Ryder, is deeply concerned that terminally ill people in Britain are not receiving adequate, dedicated care.

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Case Study


John Sauven at Greenpeace UK wanted to investigate the links between the fossil fuel industry and the government. See how we helped delay Shell’s drilling operations in the Arctic, too.

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21 Jun 2017

Tory Bid to Hide Cameron Resignation List Memos Dealt Double Blow by Information Commissioner

A resounding vindication of Request Initiative’s arguments from the Information Commissioner
A “ridiculous” attempt by the Cabinet Office to keep David Cameron’s communications relating to his resignation honours list a …

12 Jun 2017

Take the Grazing Way for Easy Freedom of Information Requests

Make Hay While the Sun Shines
At Request Initiative we find it useful to consider two very different approaches to making a Freedom of Information request. This post is going …

We at Request Initiative have developed a sophisticated strategy to make the most of our transparency rights. And we want to share the most important lessons we have learned. So we’ve written it down. These are our three guides published in partnership with the Centre for Investigative Journalism. You can buy them in print from the CIJ or on Kindle, here.

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Request Initiative is a not-for-profit organisation. We are currently seeking funding from trusts and foundations. We also want to partner with more NGOs and charities. If you would like to know more about working with us, please do get in touch.