ALDC Kickstarts 2016

Please note: booking for November Kickstart 2016 is now closed.


If you’re an active Liberal Democrat campaigner looking to win in 2017 or 2018 (or in fact any year) then ALDC’s Kickstart weekend is a must.

Kickstart is the highly regarded annual residential training weekend organised by ALDC that brings together some of the party’s most experienced and successful campaigners with campaign teams from across the country. The weekend offers training, mentoring, advice, networking and an opportunity to build and improve your campaign plans and knowledge to win more elections in the future.

What’s included

  • at least 30 hours of training with courses suitable for both new and experience campaigners
  • time to work as a team with an experienced mentor who can look at your plans and advise you from an independent perspective on how to make them even better
  • guest speaker along with a three course dinner on the Saturday night
  • drop-in sessions on more specialist campaign techniques and skills
  • in-depth strategy and review sessions on what worked for people in the 2016 elections
  • two-nights full board accommodation – including meals and refreshments – in a dedicated training centre with bar and leisure facilities.

If you’re part of an existing campaign team we recommend coming along as a group to get more from the weekend and to make sure the whole team has a common set of plans. But don’t worry if you’re on your own and/or new to political campaigns, we will be able to help you build an individual plan for whatever you are looking to achieve in campaigning over the next few years.

Here’s what some of our previous participants have told us:

See what Kickstart can do. Marie [Bradburn]’s first borough election turned a former Labour majority of 200 to a Lib Dem one of 490.” (Cllr Robin Bradburn, Milton Keynes)

The Aylesbury team came along as individuals and left as a campaigning team of friends ready for action.” (Cllr Steven Lambert, Aylesbury Vale)

Kickstart has everything you need to get started on your next campaign; time to plan it, expert advice, and the energy that comes from being a movement worth fighting for. And it’s fun!” (Cllr Trudy Dean, Kent)

Without ALDC I am am of the firm opinion that I would not be a councillor today.” (Cllr Elizabeth Evans, Ceredigion)

A full agenda for September’s event is available to download here.

When and where?

We hold Kickstart weekends twice each Autumn to allow more people to attend. You can attend either event but we’re particularly encouraging those areas that have English county or Welsh or Scottish elections in 2017 to attend the earlier event to give them more time for campaigning afterwards. Shorter one-day Kickstart events will also be held in Scotland and Wales in July (more details to come) but these will only give a taster of what you would get from the full event rather than the full range of mentoring and training sessions.

Dates and times
Friday 2nd (registration is from 6pm to 7pm) to Sunday 4th September (around 1.30pm)

Friday 25th (registration is from 6pm to 7pm) to Sunday 27th November (around 1.30pm)

Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, near Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL (map and directions here)

By car it is about 1 hr 30 minutes from Manchester and an hour from Birmingham. There is lots of parking on site
By train it is around 1 hr 15 minutes by train from London to Stafford by train. Taxis are then available to Yarnfield Park


Please note: booking for November Kickstart 2016 is now closed.

Laura Steele says

Is it possible to attend a select part of the course and attend as a day visitor - family commitments may prevent my residential attendance.

Stephanie Van de Pette says

I'd also be very interested in attending as a day visitor for future courses

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