Kickstart your campaign with ALDC – 28-30 Nov

Kickstart is the party’s most established and most popular campaign training event, and has been organised by ALDC for over 25 years.

We have run one weekend already in September, but we are holding another 28 – 30 November to give more people an opportunity to attend.  Both of our Kickstart residential training weekends are held at the Holiday Inn M6 Junction 7, which is just north of Birmingham.  The cost of the event includes accommodation, meals, guest speaker on the Saturday night, breakfast and coffee and snacks throughout, as well as all of the training, mentoring and a workbook.

The draft agenda for November is available here.

Who is Kickstart for?

We’d say everyone.  But here are some groups that should really consider it:

  • Target and held parliamentary seats.  This is a good way to develop your team spirit and to train up your less experienced candidates and members of the campaign team.  A number of held parliamentary seats attend every year to bring together the key experienced campaigners from their area with the new activists that they’ve brought in.
  • Campaigners from non-target seats.  This is a good opportunity for PPCs (if you have one) and other key activists to come together with people in whom you see potential to work out how you can get the best result possible in your constituency and win council seats all at the same time.  It’s perfect for developing your “two elections, one campaign” strategy for 2015.
  • Places that are just getting going.  If you’re trying to win a new ward from scratch, then knowing where to begin when there’s so much you could be doing can feel overwhelming.  At Kickstart you’ll meet others in the same position, be inspired by those who’ve built up from nothing to now having a large council group (or even an MP), and someone will help you decide your priorities.

Over the last few years we have had groups attend from places as diverse as Kirklees, Exeter, Torbay, Aberdeen, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bedford, Three Rivers, Sheffield, Epping Forest, South East Cambridgeshire, Southwark, South Northamptonshire, Tunbridge Wells, Hastings, Wokingham, Shropshire, Anglesey, Warwickshire, Leeds, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Aylesbury Vale, Milton Keynes, Mendip, Meon Valley and Kent.

The Kickstart difference

The big difference between Kickstart and other party training events is the mentoring.  Our mentors include experienced councillors and campaigners, council and group leaders, current and former party staff, the ALDC staff team and many others.  We try and match your group up with someone as appropriate as possible for your group.

The mentors will help your group identify the right training sessions to go to.  But more crucially mentors will help you go away with a clear plan for you to put in to practice in your local area as soon as you get home or refine the plan that you already have.

What training modules are available?

These are still being refined, based on conversations with campaigners around the country.  They will be split in to basic, intermediate and advanced, but here is a flavour of what to expect:

Basic level modules include:

  • How to start writing Focus leaflets
  • Effective doorstep canvassing
  • Developing the right campaign message
  • Community campaigning
  • How to use Connect

Intermediate level modules include:

  • Writing good direct mail
  • How to target switch voters
  • Raising the money for your campaign
  • eCampaigning

Advanced level modules include:

  • Advanced literature
  • Developing your activists so they’ll do more
  • Working out a council-wide campaign message

We also have some 1-2-1 drop-in sessions that allow people to ask their own specific questions about topics such as Connect, Nationbuilder, PagePlus and how to find candidates.

How to book

You can book on the ALDC events page, here

Our early bird booking rates (available until 7 November) are:

Single Room £140 £150
Shared Room (Double or Twin) £90 per delegate £100 per delegate
Special offer – only one booking per council. Buy one place, get second half price
Single Room £110 per delegate
Shared Room (Twin or Double) £70 per delegate

If you are flexible and are able to attend either our September or our November event, we’d like to encourage you to attend the September weekend as it leaves us with lots of places available for those who decide to book following Federal Conference.

This year, the Liberal Democrat G8 grants scheme is directly subsidising the event, which has allowed us to slightly reduce the price for everyone and to run two weekends rather than the usual one.

Tony Ford JP says

I am trying to persuade a colleague to attend - can you give me till Monday ?

Emma Hall says

Yes that's fine, I look forward to hearing from you on Monday.


Anthony Jeacock says

When do we receive an agenda advising us of timings?

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