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This two-day residential event is themed around communications and storytelling. It will include practical workshops and lots of opportunities to share your ideas and learning with each other.

What to expect:


Interactive peer learning discussions

These will be facilitated by coach and peer learning expert Amanda Smethurst. With a focus on communications and telling your stories, you’ll reflect on your Big Local experiences and share ideas and solutions to common challenges.



Unlocking the power of personal communication.
How to have productive discussions and honest conversations – with Advita Patel

In collaborative projects like Big Local, effective communication skills are essential for success. However, not all conversations are easy, and navigating discussions, providing feedback, and having honest conversations can be challenging for lots of us.

This workshop is designed to give you some tools that will help you confidently and productively contribute to partnership and decision-making discussions. Through a series of interactive activities and discussions, you’ll learn practical strategies that help you have meaningful discussions, give constructive feedback, and engage in candid conversations.

The session will cover topics like active listening, asking powerful questions, and managing difficult conversations with empathy. You’ll also learn how to handle conflicts, and promote a culture of open and honest communication.

By the end of the workshop, you will have increased confidence in your ability to communicate effectively in your partnerships and beyond. You’ll also take away a workbook with information about what you’ve learned.

About our expert:
Advita Patel is a communications professional and confidence coach. She helps organisations create inclusive cultures and helps individuals transform the way they lead and communicate.


Lights, Camera, Smartphone: Creating Films with Your Mobile – with Peg Alexander

In this hands-on workshop you will learn tips and tricks for creating films on your phone to share on social media, your website and YouTube.

Led by our communications support partner, Peg Alexander, she’ll cover all the essentials for producing an impactful film on your phone, including:

  • What you might want to make a video about
  • How you can use video from your phones to promote your Big Local
  • How to hold your phone
  • Sound, light and moving around
  • What additional equipment you might want to use
  • Filming selfies and live streaming
  • Creating voiceovers
  • Introduction to editing and apps you can use to edit films
  • How to use music and where to get it
  • Loads of other hints and tips about how to make phone videos interesting

You’ll need to make sure you have some free apps downloaded to your phone beforehand and some space to record some videos. We’ll let you know before the event. If you don’t have a smartphone, you’ll be able to take part in small groups.

You’ll all be able to have a go and there will be lots of ideas for you to try out in the future.

About our expert

Peg Alexander is a broadcast journalist and communications specialist. She is one of our communications support partners and is working with Big Locals to help them tell their stories.






Wednesday 7 June

11:00 for 11:30 am start – 4:00pm finish

5:00-7:00 pm evening meal and social – please confirm on booking if you are attending

Thursday 8 June

9:30am for 10:00am start

3:00pm finish

This is a two-day event but it is also possible to join for one day only. Please choose this option when you book.

For this in person event, Local Trust will cover the cost of travel, expenses, and if travelling a long distance, we will also cover a hotel stay. Please confirm your requirements when you book your place.

Sign up here


If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at or call us on 020 358 804 23.