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"Work on the ideas your community think are worth working on"

Marie, Future Wolverton


What is People & Place?

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.

Who do we support?

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. Read their stories:

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We feel 100 times better about going forward into the next stage of the project thanks to the People & Place programme!


Railway Gardens

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What's on offer?

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 2022 cohort 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


Timings, costs and commitment 

Most of the People and Place programme will happen between January-July 2024 and will take up 5 -7 days of your time. 


Footwork will cover the costs of the programme and any additional expenses (e.g. a fieldtrip) related to it. Your commitment, besides your time, is in taking part fully in all that the programme has to offer.

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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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Is this a right fit for me?

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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How do I apply?

Extra Information

Click on ‘extra information’ to understand a little more about Footwork and People and Place. We strongly encourage you to give it a read before applying.

Step One

Take our quick quiz to check if People and Place is right for you. Then be sure to read our extra information before applying.

Step Two

"I've taken the quiz, and it looks like People and Place could be a good fit for me!" Please complete this simple application form and send it back to us before Monday 11th September at 11:59pm.

Application Form | Click to download

"I don’t find forms easy, how else can I apply?" We hear you! You can answer the application form questions using an audio or video recording and send that to us instead.

Still unsure if People & Place is right for you?

Don’t fret, contact Abbie at who will help answer any questions about the programme


When do I find out?

We aim to review applications with the help of our Insights Group as quickly as possible after the closing date of September 11th at 11:59pm


July - Sept

Applications are open for 7 weeks from Thursday 20th July to

Monday 11th Sept at 11:59pm.


Footwork and the Insights Panel will get to work reading your application carefully.

All applicants will be notified of a decision by Friday 13th October.



We will visit a short-list of applicants in the place where you’re doing your project. We contribute £100 towards the cost of you taking the time to speak with us (likely to be an hour or two)



We will let you know by Wednesday 8th November if you have a spot on the People and Place programme



Payment is made of the unrestricted grant of £5k

 We begin the People and Place programme together!

January 2024

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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

Hear what others have to say ...

  • Can you please elaborate on what you mean by 'place'?
    We define ‘place’ as the local environment in which people live and feel a sense of belonging. We are interested in supporting projects that centre around ‘your place’ e.g. your local environment. This could be to retrofit, redesign & reuse areas of your neighbourhood; ideas that help build strong social connections between people and place; give local people more of a say in improving where they live; and which have the potential to bring about lasting positive change.
  • Where does the programme take place?
    The programme is likely to take place in four possible locations - at Footwork in London (for example, for a workshop, event or mentor meeting) at your place (for example, if you and your mentor decide that’s the best option) at another innovator’s place (for example, such as a Footwork Fieldtrip) or online (for example, a network meet-up or online session with your mentor). The combination of these places and their suitability will be decided between you and Footwork before and during the programme. Your travel between places, outside of your own community, is covered by Footwork within the programme costs.
  • Do I need to be at a specific stage with my project to be eligible for People & Place?
    We support a variety of innovators at different stages in their journey. From those who’re on the ground with their very first project, to those who have been active in their community for many years.
  • Is it possible for an example to be given of an organisation you have supported just to see how it worked?
    Of course! Take a look at last year’s People & Place Cohort. They each give a great sense of the types of projects Footwork is best placed to support. You can read in more detail who we support via our Innovator Spotlights.
  • How many spots are available on the programme?
    We aim to support a similar number of projects to last year, around 10, from across England & Wales.
  • If there are multiple bodies/organisations involved in the project, what is the best way to apply?
    We appreciate many people work in collaboration with others! However it’s important that a clear ‘leader’ is identified. This person/s will be responsible for completing the application and taking part in the programme.
  • Does the project need to be set up already to receive funding? Can I apply with a very early stage project?
    You will need to be able to clearly explain the idea, its aims and how it addresses the problem you have identified. Evidence is very important to back-up your idea. For example, if the project hasn’t begun yet this could be done by: providing a community testimonial explaining the need for the project, offering other examples of the project working elsewhere, demonstrating your abilities to deliver past projects of a similar nature.
  • Could you elaborate on the exclusion criteria regarding an organisation with a turnover of over £100k a year?
    This is to prioritise organisations/groups with less financial support. However, we appreciate some organisations/groups have a turnover of £100k and above but to cover specific costs e.g. the organisation still does not have the resources to invest in skills and capabilities building (in the way People & Place does). If this applies to you, we will accept applications for consideration from organisations of a turnover of over £100k.
  • I’m interested in becoming a mentor, how can I get involved?
    We’d love to hear from you! If you feel able to support our People & Place cohort, feel free to get in touch with your details. We will get in touch as and when we understand the specific needs of our cohort, likely to be in the Autumn time.


People & Place 2023 by Footwork Trust

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