Kickstart is the name of the Association of Liberal Democrat Campaigners and Councillors (ALDC) residential campaign training weekend. It runs twice a year - in the summer and autumn.
Attendees get tailored, professional advice; training and bespoke mentoring from experienced and successful Liberal Democrat campaigners and councillors.
"Kickstart played a huge part in us taking control of South Cambridgeshire District Council in May this year," says Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, Group Deputy Leader, South Cambridgeshire Lib Dems.
He adds: "Over the last three years, four councillors have attended, all of whom were re-elected this year; and five candidates, four of whom were elected. Our core 2018 campaign team went. Some of us have been involved for a long time, while others have just joined, but each of us gained a huge amount from the training, the mentors and from meeting fellow campaigners from across the country."
The weekend caters for everyone; whatever your role in a campaign, and regardless of your experience. You'll leave having improved your campaigning skills and with a well-developed campaign plan ready for your next set of elections.
As Aidan attests: "We all knew how the campaign should be run and about the most effective techniques to use. We drew on the trainers' experience to refine our campaign plan. We learnt about canvassing techniques, producing good literature, fundraising, running a full GOTV operation, PV GOTV, volunteer motivation..."
The weekend also provides an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded Lib Dems, who want to campaign to get the best deal for their communities.
Aidan concludes: "The margins of some of our wins were small: one seat was won by four votes, another by 12, a third by 58. We're certain we only won them because we had a focused and coherent team able to execute an effective campaign. This team spirit and campaigning knowledge was underpinned by the amazing experiences we had at Kickstart."
The weekends are held at Yarnfield Park in Staffordshire, a dedicated training centre with leisure facilities and a bar. All food and accommodation are included, plus a three-course dinner and guest speaker on the Saturday night. The early-bird discounted rate for ALDC members is £160. Find out more about joining ALDC.
Upcoming dates: 23-25 November 2018 and in 2019, 28-30 June and 22-24 November.
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