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People and Place is Footwork’s name for the programme of funding and support we give local social innovators like you to turn your bold ideas into lasting, positive change in your communities.


Our grants give you the time and the headspace to step back from the day to day delivery of your work, while our programme of support connects you with other innovators and a range of experts.


We help you to discover how to tell your story, to demonstrate your project’s impact, to identify and overcome challenges, to find useful collaborators and, crucially, to know your own worth.


Each year, our People and Place fund supports ten local social innovators across the country with a grant and a mentor.

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People and Place supports people with direct experience of a local problem and who have identified an innovative way to tackle it. They already have the vision and determination to turn this idea into action and are looking for the support to take the next steps with their project.

In the past year Footwork has been supporting 10 individuals and groups - from Leeds to Cardiff and London - each addressing a pressing local issue with an innovative solution.


With the help of the People and Place programme they are now able to see how their projects are having a significant impact on their communities. 


We are looking for people who ... 

… have lived experience of the problem they are tackling, or work closely with those who do.

… and who will benefit most from  the opportunity to engage with the programme.

We are looking for ideas that ...


… create a sense of community and belonging. We are looking for ideas that improve how places support social connections and give local people more of a say in improving where they live.

making new use of a local open space or building

rethinking how local facilities (my local library, high street or others) can work better for our community

helping people have a say in local decisions that affect our community

challenging the planning system to do a better job for communities

bringing people together and strengthening their connection with the place around them

trying to create a stronger sense of place

protecting our local social and built heritage

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Footwork’s aim is for People and Place to create strong locally-led projects that will have a lasting impact on communities up and down the country. We do this by supporting you in two ways:

People and Place Grant

This is an unrestricted grant of £5,000 awarded directly to you or your organisation, but its main purpose is to give you the time to think and the freedom to take part in the People and Place programme


People and Place Programme


This is a programme of support (worth £5,000) that helps you to discover how to tell your story, to demonstrate your project’s impact, to identify and overcome challenges, to find useful collaborators and, crucially, to know your own worth.

What’s the programme all about?

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The programme made us question the essence of the project (what actual change we want to see happening and how we get there) and redefine who we are as an organisation - a space operator for circular economies to flourish.

... receive one-to-one support

We will work with you to identify a mentor who can provide the help you need to refine how you describe your work, tell your story, and develop your pitch for different audiences.


Mentors could assist in developing your overall strategy, explore methods you could use to gather evidence of the project's impact and find ways for you to most effectively communicate the difference you’re making.

Read reflections from our 2023 group here:


Problems are best resolved by identifying those with power to help, and finding common-ground with them to encourage cooperation and solutions …

... find collaborators

We at Footwork will help you to understand the wider system in which you are operating. This is about collaborating and building  partnerships with people who can help you overcome barriers and achieve your goals.  

What does this look like? Here are a few examples of how the programme has supported others to find collaborators:

  • Connecting Hannah and Understory to map the hidden connections between people using Railway Gardens

  • Connecting Andrew and The Architects Journal to explore and publish an article on community life in Saltaire 

  • Connecting Arthur & Lola and Stour Trust to share their experiences of space facilitation and ways to collaborate into the future

... learn from others

This part of the programme lets you swap experiences with our network of other People and Place innovators and learn about their models of community placemaking. In this supportive and collaborative environment you can identify and share common challenges and help each other to tackle them.

Read our latest network reflection here:


It felt energising being able to speak with others with similar traits and challenges as there was less focus on trying to understand each other and more focus on the issues at hand

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We've created this programme because we get it! We are innovators ourselves and know how important it is to have a supporting hand

Insights Group Member

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When you're moving at a hundred miles an hour you sometimes forget about strategic thinking and just fire-fight the 'doing' - and this programme really gave me the chance to stop and really think.

Sophie, Founder of Yodomo

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