Training The People’s Projects for The National Lottery Community Fund

Freshwater was commissioned by The National Lottery Community Fund to deliver media and campaign training to community groups and organisations across the UK, which were shortlisted to take part in The People’s Projects – a public vote initiative designed to give the public a say in how National Lottery funding is distributed.



projects and community groups trained


different locations across four countries of UK


days of training delivered by a team of seven trainers

To ensure that community groups across the UK, shortlisted for The National Lottery Community Fund’s The People’s Projects, had the skills and expertise they needed to campaign for public votes, which would decide whether they received National Lottery funding.

The National Lottery Community Fund teamed up with The National Lottery, ITV, UTV, and the Sunday Mail in Scotland to give 95 community organisations the chance to apply for up to £70,000 of National Lottery funding in an initiative called The People’s Projects.

After a high-profile national campaign, which involves a short film about each project being broadcast on ITV or a feature written up in the Sunday Mail in Scotland, the winners are decided by public vote, giving National Lottery players and the public a say in how National Lottery money is spent.

Freshwater was commissioned to ensure that the projects received the support and advice they needed to shine in their specially commissioned film, to handle any subsequent media interviews with confidence and to canvass for votes with passion and enthusiasm.

The task was no mean feat. It involved arranging media and campaign training across 19 different locations in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Each training session was to be attended by up to eight different community groups, meaning that more than 100 groups would be trained over an intensive six-week period.

Freshwater was responsible for all of the logistics, from sourcing and hiring venues and arranging catering, to managing the registration process with delegates and facilitating the travel and accommodation of the trainers. Our team also designed the training programme and supporting materials, including a 32-page glossy training manual in Welsh and English. The engaging and highly interactive one-day coaching session was developed and approved by The National Lottery Community Fund, which covered everything that the projects needed to know in terms of campaigning and performing in front of the cameras.

Over the space of six weeks, the team of seven Freshwater trainers delivered 19 sessions, benefiting more than 130 shortlisted and reserve projects that attended. Evaluation forms completed by delegates requested feedback on the quality and relevance of the course content, the performance of the trainers and their overall experience of engaging with the media and campaign training process. Each evaluation question returned an average score of greater than 9/10 from every completed course.

Eimhear McGurk, Strategic Communications Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We were delighted to have Freshwater on board to deliver the media and campaign training this year. The day not only equipped attendees with the skills and knowledge needed to run a successful The People’s Projects campaign, but also provided them with valuable information and media tips which can be used for many years to come. The training proved to be a really positive experience with great feedback from projects taking part.”


The National Lottery Community Fund


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