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24 - 29 May, 2020
Gilwell Park, near London
Applications for our spring and summer camps are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied!
Due to COVID-19 we have suspended all in-person training, meaning that this residential Bootcamp has been postponed to 2021. To find out more about this and new online training being developed, click here.
Is Bootcamp for me?
Campaign Bootcamp is a week-long training residential that supports you to develop the skills, confidence, and community to run powerful campaigns. The training brings together 35 new campaigners from across the country (as well as from Europe and sometimes from other parts of the world) to learn and build a community together.
In the course of a week, Campaign Bootcamp will take you on a journey through planning and running an effective campaign, giving you space each day to work out how what you have learned applies to the work you are doing. Each day has a different theme reflecting a different part of your campaign. By the end of the week, you should come out with a campaign plan you can take forward for the next year or so.
Anyone can apply to Bootcamp, but we prioritise applications from people who are most impacted by injustice. Our training also actively addresses power dynamics that exist in the training space, and in the outside world.
We do our best to make sure the programme is accessible and can do things like provide special cushions and chairs, large font print outs, colour overlays, and other items. Our programme suits a variety of learning styles and where there are activities scheduled that require people to move around a lot, we try and make sure we have an option which is less physical.
What is a Bootcamp like?
The Campaign Bootcamp residential is a reflective and experiential training space. This means lots of time to think about your own campaigning, to learn from other people, and to try out new things supported by our training team and campaigners from across many different movements.
We see Campaign Bootcamp as a space for new campaigners, as well as those who have grassroots experience and are looking for a space in which to reflect on and renew their campaigning. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, just drop us a line on [email protected], and we can talk it through with you.
What do we cover?
- Getting to know each other: Introductions to Bootcamp and each other; setting expectations for the week
- Understanding strategy: Clarifying your campaign’s values; exploring what strategy is and why its important; identifying allies and exploring who holds power; identifying goals, objectives, aims and targets
- Working with campaign groups: Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign group; understanding conflict; understanding different working styles; how to bring people on board (and retain them)
- Building your message: Constructing your campaign message; using storytelling in campaigning; interacting with the media; interview skills
- Getting your message out there: Making viral campaign videos with your phone; understanding where power lies and influencing targets
- Putting it into practice… and much, much more!
You’ll have an opportunity to apply all these skills in our real-life practice scenario as part of a team. But Bootcamp is much more than the hard skills. You’ll hear from leading campaigners to inspire and challenge you. You’ll exercise your creative muscles making art projects. You’ll build deep relationships with other campaigners that will last a lifetime. You’ll have lots of time for reflection, privately and with others. And throughout we’ll be exploring the complex and difficult issues of power and privilege and how they can impact your campaigning. See more about Bootcamp’s curriculum and training style here.
TestimonialsDon't take our word for it! Hear what our graduates have to say about their Bootcamp experience
It's what every human being should be trained in so they can stand up for themselves or others in this hostile environment we living in.
Loraine Masiya Mponela
Immigrant rights, Coventry
I started campaigning because my community came under threat. I had no training, no guidance, and no clue what I was doing! ... I'm so grateful to Campaign Bootcamp for giving me the tools to improve my activism and keep on winning!
Anti-fracking campaigner, Yorkshire
The learning is both practical and emotional, you leave with a honed and sharpened understanding of the skills needed to succeed in campaigning, but you also leave having experienced a shared space that is diverse, challenging and held together with care. It shows a vision of what a community of care might look like, and then gives you the tools to fight for one.
London Renters Union, London
Campaign Bootcamp can literally provide a Campaigner with the knowledge, practical & immediate skills-set to equip them to immediately go out and effect change that can literally impact people's lives, for the better locally, nationally and even globally.
Trade Unionist, North West England via London
Costs and Scholarships
There are two types of place at Bootcamp, a Scholarship place and a Paid place. Most people attend on a Scholarship place, which covers up to the full cost of the Bootcamp experience (although we do ask everyone to make a contribution of some kind if they can). The training fee, accommodation, food and travel can all be covered by the scholarship. To apply, just tick the appropriate box(es) on the application form, and we do the rest! Paid places are for people who work in campaigning at an NGO. We offer a sliding scale based on the organisation's income. The price includes accommodation and food.
For people not working in campaigning
Pay what you can afford
You pay what you can afford. What you can offer will not affect your application to Bootcamp.
For people working in campaigning
For organisations with income from £50,000 - £200,000
For organisations with income between £200,000 - £800,000
For organisations with income over £800,000
Scholarships Available for Bootcamp 18
Full or partial scholarships available to people who don't campaign as part of their paid work.
Scholarships for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
These scholarships are for refugees and asylum seekers based in the UK, campaigning on any issue, and are funded by the Ben & Jerry's Foundation.Read More
Scholarships for Housing Justice Campaigners
These scholarships can support activists based in the UK campaigning on housing justice, including campaigning around council housing, renters rights, housing for refugee and asylum seekers, rent caps, eviction resistance, and more.Read More
Scholarships for Arts/Media for Social Change
These scholarships are for campaigners based in the UK using arts and/or media for social change. Applicants can be campaigning on any issue, as long as they use creative arts or media in their campaigning - including but not limited to arts and crafts, theatre, film and/or TV, and photography. These scholarships are funded by the Bertha Foundation.Read More
Scholarships for Young People aged 18-25
We have scholarships for campaigners between the ages of 18-25, focussed on any campaign issue. This is funded by the Blagrave Trust.Read More
Scholarships for Environmental Campaigners
These scholarships are for BAME/POC and/or Working Class environmental activists in the UK, and is funded by the Greenpeace Environmental Trust.Read More
Scholarships for Environmental Campaigners
These scholarships are for environmental activists in the UK. They are funded by the Children's Investment Fund Foundation.Read More
Scholarships for BAME and POC campaigners outside of London
These scholarships are for BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) / POC (People of Colour) campaigners living outside of London, and is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.Read More
Scholarships for Policing and Criminal Justice Campaigners
This scholarship supports any campaigner tackling injustice in policing and the criminal justice system, including police brutality, deaths in police custody, excessive or unjust sentencing laws, police spying, unjust treatment of prisoners, stop and search laws, campaigners fighting for prison reform or abolition, and more.Read More
Scholarships for Anti-Hate Campaigners
We have scholarships for anti-hate campaigners. This can include but is not limited to campaigners tackling racism, Islamophobia, Antisemitism, Transphobia and Homophobia.Read More
Scholarships for Homelessness Experienced campaigners
This scholarship supports homelessness experienced campaigners. This was voted for by the Bootcamp community and is open to anyone who has experienced homelessness, or is currently homeless. They can be campaigning on any issue.
Scholarships for Campaigners in their 60s, 70s, 80s and above
This scholarship supports campaigners in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and above, campaigning on any issue.
Scholarships for LGBTQ+ campaigners
This scholarship supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer, campaigning on any issue. The scholarship can also support people who identify as Pansexual, Asexual, Non-binary, as well as campaigners of other marginalised sexualities, genders and identities.
We have a range of general scholarships available for women (cis and trans) and non-binary people, campaigners who didn't go through higher education, BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) / POC (People of Colour) campaigners, disabled campaigners, working-class campaigners, and those living outside of London. If you don't fit one of these categories it doesn't mean we won't accept your application or be able to fund your place - so please do apply.
Training and Facilitation Team
Meet some of the trainers for Bootcamp. More staff and speakers will be confirmed nearer the time.
Nim Ralph is a community activist, trainer and facilitator. Nim has held a number of strategic roles in the anti-racist, LGBTQI, women’s and disability sectors. They co-founded QTIPOC London, Purple Rain Collective and are an inaugural member of the Edge Fund. Previous to this they co-founded So We Stand; an organisation linking environmental, social and racial justice in the UK. This won Nim an Olive Morris Memorial Award for activism and they were named a Guardian “Youth Climate Leader”. They also play the drums and love to lip-sync battle.
Tamara-Jade is a Trainer on camp and has also been Lead Facilitator, having worked on the residential programme since its early days. Outside of Bootcamp, Tamara-Jade is an in-house trainer at the Black feminist gendered violence-focused organisation Imkaan. She also freelances as a social action trainer and facilitator supporting a range of groups, from grassroots to larger NGOs, to have difficult conversations about strategy, putting intersectional politics into practise and about power. Tamara-Jade also is an illustrator and graphic recorder.
Joshua is an artist, writer and political organiser whose work intersects across political struggles. He has been involved in various movements including Occupy and Black Lives Matter. Joshua has spent time studying and travelling abroad to learn and understand more about radical political traditions, for example in Balochistan, Kurdistan and Mauritius where his family hails from. He uses writing, film, music and direct action to educate, agitate and organise toward social change. Joshua is an experienced facilitator and this will be his fifth time facilitating at Bootcamp.
Karen is a trainer, facilitator and consultant, previously working at the NUS as a Campaigns Assistant and Rethink Mental Illness on the Time to Change campaign. She founded POC In Nature, a space for people of colour to explore the healing power of nature, and is Co-Founder of support group Black Woman Heal United Kingdom, for women of African descent. Karen is a lay member of Psychotherapists & Counsellors for Social Responsibility, and is interested in activist self-care, healing justice, alternative spiritualities, and intersectional, trauma-informed approaches to mental health.
Grace is an activist, advocate, and educator with a background in mental health, disability, and youth rights. Grace’s activism focuses on the social determinants of poor mental health, addressing wellbeing as something that is cultural and political- not just medical. They also campaign around Disability Justice and challenging (dis)ableism. Graduating from Bootcamp 10, Grace wants activism to be actually accessible. When they aren't campaigning you can find them painting, playing DnD, and looking after plants.
Activist and artist Nonhlanhla graduated from Bootcamp 10. She is currently working on building youth engagement with Positive Money, a campaigning organisation which is working towards a fairer, more sustainable and democratic economy. Nonhlanhla has a passion for educating and giving young people a platform to become active agents in shaping society for the better, and ensuring that people of colour have a voice in economic debates.
Kat is an activist, campaigns consultant and the founder of WeHuddle, a community to support and inspire women leading campaigns. She is currently supporting the survivors and bereaved families of the Grenfell Tower fire through campaign group, Grenfell United, which fights for justice and change. She also works with Grenfell Speaks which is an organisation that was set up to make sure the media is covering the tragedy responsibly, and also helps survivors engage with the media.
Making videos with your smartphone
Faizan is an award-winning video journalist and a communications consultant who has worked with international news organisations such as the Associated Press Television News, BBC World and the New York Times, as well as local charities such as Age UK and Imaan.
Application Process and Eligibility
Here are some questions we often get asked about the Application Process and Eligibility. If you don't find the information you're looking for below, just get in touch by emailing [email protected]
When is the deadline to apply?
The deadline to apply for Bootcamp 18 was 9am GMT on Tuesday 24th March 2020.
Applications for our spring and summer camps are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied!
Applications for our autumn camp will open this summer. We’re also in the process of thinking about how to take our training online. If you’d like to power up your activism with Campaign Bootcamp, please sign up to our newsletter to hear the latest updates by clicking here.
How does the application process work?
The application process has two stages. The first is a written application form that will ask you about yourself, your experience, why you want to come to Campaign Bootcamp and couple of short questions to help us understand your potential as a campaigner. If we think you’re a good match for Bootcamp we’ll invite you to a Skype or phone interview.
The interview will be about 20 minutes long and will be with two members of our Bootcamp selection team. We’ll ask you more about yourself and what you want to do with the skills you’ll learn at Bootcamp.
If you find the application difficult for any reason such as a disability or because English is not your first language please contact us for support on filling out your application; we are happy to help!
What do you look for in applicants?
We believe that campaigning works best when those directly experiencing an issue are the ones to decide how to confront it, so we love to train up ambitious campaigners who advocate for their own communities.
We believe that you can never be too old to campaign and encourage activists of all ages to apply (though you have to be over 18!).
We make an effort to centre those from marginalised backgrounds across the board at Bootcamp. We want to train up those less likely to have access to great training elsewhere.
We’re interested in your ambition and experience in activism, whether that’s in a community setting or a more formal NGO one. We also want to know how our training might impact your campaign work. Bootcamp isn’t about what qualifications you have, it’s about having the drive to make a change! If that sounds like you, Campaign Bootcamp awaits!
How do I pay for Bootcamp?
Most people who come on Bootcamp come on a scholarship. This means that up to the whole cost of the week (the training, accommodation, meals and sometimes travel) is covered by external funding. We encourage everyone to contribute what they can to the cost of the training.
It’s easy to apply for a scholarship – you simply tick the box on the application form. We work hard to make Bootcamp as accessible as possible to campaigners from all walks of life, and our scholarships aim to reflect the value we place on diversity. You’ll be considered for all the scholarships for which you are eligible. A list of the scholarships are here.
People who work for NGOs pay for some or all of their place on Bootcamp – this is usually funded by the NGO they work for. The breakdown is:
Annual budget of NGO – Cost of Bootcamp per person
£600,000 or more £3,600
£200,000 – £600,000 £1,650
Under £200,000 £550 or less
I don't live in the UK, can I come on Bootcamp?
For Bootcamp 18, we have scholarships for environmental campaigners based in Europe. All other scholarships are only available to UK-based campaigners.
If you live outside Europe, and are not an environmental campaigner, but work for a big organisation (such as Oxfam or Greenpeace) that will pay for your place and your travel, then you can apply for Bootcamp.
I don't think I'm eligible for a scholarship, can I still apply?
If you don’t think you are eligible for any of the scholarships and you don’t work for an NGO, you can apply under our General Scholarship (as long as you live in the UK). This is extra funding we’ve secured to cover additional scholarships for people. If we think you’d be great for Bootcamp, then we’ll try and find a way to secure your place. Just tick ‘None of these apply, but I’d still like a scholarship, please!’ on the application form.
I work for an NGO but I don't think they will be able to pay for my place on Bootcamp, can I still apply?
Get in touch! We’ll help communicate to your employer the impact that attending Bootcamp can have, and why they should send you!
I campaign outside of work, but work in campaigns for a large NGO who won't pay for my place. Can I apply for a scholarship?
Unfortunately, not right now. We’re working on more funding streams, but at the moment if you work for a large NGO in a campaigning capacity, then they would have to pay for your Bootcamp place.
However, we recommend getting in touch! We’ll help communicate to your employer the impact that attending Bootcamp can have, and why they should send you!
If you’ve got a question that hasn’t been answered here, then get in touch and we’ll do our best to give you an answer!
Questions about Bootcamp?
Where does Bootcamp take place?
The Bootcamps for 2020 will take place at Gilwell Park. Gilwell Park is a training and events venue with onsite, hotel-style accommodations located deep in Epping Forest. It is easy to get to from London (only a short drive from Chingford Station). Highlights include:
- Beautiful, tranquil location and training spaces
- A rural environment only a stone’s throw from London
- Good wheelchair accessibility
- Onsite mosque and other places of worship
- Experienced catering staff that can accommodate a wide variety of dietary requirements
- Short distance to local shops
- Onsite bar and cafe (for when you need a break!)
Where do I stay on Bootcamp?
Everyone coming on Bootcamp stays on site, in either a shared or single hotel-style room. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner on site every day and use indoor and outdoor space for our training.
Will Bootcamp be accessible for me?
We do our best to make sure the programme is accessible, and can do things like provide large font print outs, colour overlays, and so on. Where there are activities scheduled that require people to move around a lot, we try and make sure we have one which is less physical.
The venue has a ramp at the entrance of the main building and all ground floor spaces. There are designated disabled toilets on the ground floor and all toilets will be gender neutral. Fire alarms in the disabled bedrooms have flashing beacons for those who need it. The Main Training Space is fitted with a hearing loop and a portable hearing loop is available on request. Parking is available at the venue and there will be designated disabled parking bays. Assistance dogs are welcome in the venue.
For everyone with an access need, we will work one-on-one with you and the venue to try and meet any requirements you may have. If you have any concerns or questions about accessibility just get in touch.
I have special dietary requirements. Will there be something for me to eat on Bootcamp?
Yes, we cater to most dietary requirements, however we do ask that these are allergies/intolerances or life choices (vegan, halal etc.) rather than simple food preferences.
I want a job in campaigning, will Bootcamp make that happen?
Our mission is to train a new generation of campaigners, and lots of Bootcamp graduates end up working in campaigning. However, we are not a recruitment agency and our mission is not to get people jobs in campaigning; it’s to support campaigners to choose the best path for themselves and their communities.
However, coming on Bootcamp if you want a job in campaigning or already work for a NGO can be useful. You’ll leave with loads of skills, and a new network of grassroots and charity campaigners.
Is Bootcamp only for Londoners?
No, not at all! Bootcampers come from all over the UK, Europe and sometimes beyond. We offer travel bursaries for any UK Bootcampers who are attending on a scholarship and need them.
We can also support the travel of European environmental campaigners.
Get in touch with us at [email protected]