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Adam Smith, Senior programme coordinator at Local Trust, shares news of two brand new learning clusters in project management and how to achieve effective social change

Update: You can now read more about and express your interest in the new project management learning cluster, Making projects happen.

Big Locals are tackling big issues, and that means making the most of the opportunities and assets in your area. Participating in learning clusters means you don’t have to face these issues alone.

We’ve developed two brand new learning clusters which aim to help partnerships expand their skills in project management and to achieve social change.

Project management and making projects happen

The diverse range of people who work on Big Local bring a wealth of different experience, skills and talents. Although many Big Local volunteers already bring project management experience, we recognise how challenging project management can be, especially for those doing it for the first time.

We have developed this learning cluster to build individual project management skills, knowledge and confidence. Participants will learn what to do before starting a project, how to work with professionals to get the best out of their skills, address project challenges and gain a stronger understanding of financial management.

Social change and campaigning

Influencing others can be a daunting process for those who don’t see themselves as campaigners. Getting others to support your goals can be an extremely effective way of increasing impact. This cluster aims to help those without campaign experience to get started.

Participants will learn how to plan, deliver, and follow up activities aimed at encouraging others to get involved with campaigning. You’ll use a range of training tools, hear directly from experienced speakers and put newly learnt skills into practice. You’ll also learn about the things to be aware of when developing or running a campaign, including potential risks you may need to address.

Learning cluster recap

By joining a cluster, you will:

  • connect with a supportive group of other Big Locals, to learn and develop from each other, and identify opportunities for collaboration
  • learn how to put your ideas into practice or take a project you’re involved with to the next level
  • build on your existing expertise and gain technical knowledge
  • have access to a safe space to share challenges, find solutions and work practically together
  • have the opportunity to discuss with facilitators and other Big Locals how you want to learn and what areas you’re interested in
  • use action learning approaches so that you can try out what you’re learning and with other Big Locals reflect on your experience
  • be supported to achieve something great and share what you’ve learnt with other Big Locals

Sign up

If you’re interested in joining any of the clusters, or have a suggestion for a new one, please email us.

We will confirm dates and locations for the achieving social change and project management clusters very soon.


Does it cost anything to join?

The programme is free to join and costs associated with attending sessions such as travel, accommodation and childcare will be covered by Local Trust.

What is the time commitment?

Both groups will meet four times over a year. Ideally, the same person would attend each event, but if you don’t think you can commit to all of them, you can nominate someone to attend in your place.

Who can join?

Anyone involved in Big Local can attend, but it’s expected that the cluster topic has been raised as an issue in your partnership.

How many people can join from my area?

One or two people can join from any one Big local area. This is to maintain a balance in the group and make sure every Big Local is fairly represented.

Watch this space to find out more about our current learning clusters: Better homes and building homes and Coastal communities. And, coming in 2019, watch out for another new learning cluster, Measuring change.