Yesterday we announced the launch of People and Place 2024!
It’s momentous for us in many ways, but two spring to mind. Firstly, this new offer of support is the result of 9 months of deep listening and learning from our network of intrepid local social innovators. Secondly, it's been truly participatory thanks to the enthusiasm and experience of the nine members of our Insights Group.
As a result, this year's People and Place programme of support is more targeted. It aims to give innovators the headspace to think strategically and with confidence, create connections with unlikely partners, share with others facing similar challenges, and grow their networks to achieve greater impact.
The world of funding, regeneration and development is a daunting one. Local people across the country are motivated to tackle these complex systems to address urgent social needs. We’re making it our job to support them even better this year.
Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of our Insights Group, People and Place 2023 has been codesigned and returns with even greater levels of support. Now we need your help to identify a new wave of local innovators who have bold ideas for creating lasting, positive change in their communities. Word of mouth proved very effective in finding our 2022 cohort, so please spread the message within your own communities and contacts.
What have we learnt?
Over the past year, Footwork has been supporting 10 individuals and or groups, from Bradford to London and Cardiff, each addressing a pressing local issue with an innovative solution. We’ve learnt a great deal from working alongside them – about what drives them, how they work and the kinds of support they need. It’s clear that when they can afford to step back from their day-to-day work, real progress is made.
“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
Yet they also told us that they can rarely afford to stop, take a breath and think strategically about their work. They find it hard to describe their unique offer, or the impact of their work and they face all sorts of barriers that prevent them from making progress with their initiatives.
Above all we confirmed what we already believed – that when ideas for change are community-driven and informed by local knowledge and experience, they are very successful! But currently the action social innovators take to help their communities to thrive is barely known about or valued.
How did we get here?
Finding the best solutions to tough social and environmental problems can’t be achieved alone and so this year we have brought together a group of people with first-hand experience of local innovation, community funding and placemaking to help design the new programme of support for 2023. We called this an ‘insights group’ because we know this deep local knowledge is so important in identifying and supporting people who are determined to turn their bold ideas into action and create lasting positive change for people and places.
“We 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
This fund is now closed.