Want to learn to train, Bootcamp style?

Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT) is back! Join us for a 3.5-day workshop in Birmingham to learn the basics of our hands-on, learner-centred, inclusive approach to training.

Campaign Bootcamp’s training style is based on the work of Training for Change, an American training and capacity building organisation for activists and organisers. In May, veteran Training for Change trainers Erika Thorne and Matthew Armstead will be coming to Birmingham to lead this introductory workshop.

By “social action training” we mean education in skills and approaches that will help communities work for and organise for positive changes on issues such as climate justice, immigration, or housing.

The training is designed to help take your training skills to the next level and improve the way training is done in your group, organisation or workplace. In the process you might just learn a lot about yourself!

Dates: Friday 3 May to Monday 6 May, 2019

Times: Friday 3 May (5:30pm to 8 pm)
Saturday 4 May (9.00am to 9.00pm)
Sunday 5 May (9.00am to 9.00pm)
Monday 6 May (9.00am to 5.00pm)

[Please note: Applicants must commit to attend the entire workshop in order to be considered for this training. However, the training will include several breaks for all participants and those who made need additional breaks and accommodations can request them. If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility, please email Tara on [email protected]]

Location: Impact Hub Birmingham
Walker Building
58 Oxford Street, Digbeth,
Birmingham, B5 5NR
This venue is wheelchair accessible

Applications for this training are now closed.

The approach

Training for Change uses an approach they call Direct Education. Unlike traditional education, which gives all the expertise to textbooks and teachers, Direct Education invites the wisdom of people’s own experience. The approach is group-centred. Trainers build upon group dynamics in the training room and people’s own experience to introduce new content and help the group access their own wisdom. For the last four years we have hosted trainers from Training for Change annual to facilitate their TSAT workshop.

Here’s how Training for Change describes TSAT:

Training and facilitation skills are vital to successful organizing and movement building. People with these skills support groups by developing new leaders, transferring knowledge between generations, increasing participation among members, educating and engaging constituents, supporting meetings and decision making, navigating conflict, and supporting successful, creative and disciplined actions.

TSAT is designed to give people the opportunity to develop a stronger sense of the training tools, approaches and choices that will work for them to be most powerful and useful in their trainer role.

  • Gain greater awareness about yourself and your strengths as a facilitator;
  • Get a chance to take risks, experiment and refine skills in a safe and supportive environment;
  • Get the stimulation of fresh approaches and increased options;
  • Receive personal guidance from experienced trainers in a small group setting;
  • Learn new tools that are easily adapted, principles of workshop design, skills for working with diversity and a better understanding of how to use experiential education methods effectively.

Check out our  interview with Erika Thorne talking about the five most frequently asked questions she gets as a trainer.


Training for Social Action Trainers was beyond incredible! It gave me the tools and confidence to run much better and more transformative trainings.

The facilitation of the course is gentle, probing, and creative; the learning is deep, collective and challenging; the facilitators are magicians. I’ve gained so many ideas for designing and facilitating workshops and for working collaboratively, and developed new language, and a world-shifting understanding around power and group dynamics.

I’d recommend the course to anyone (and in fact, I do!). The course has quite literally changed my life: I don’t just feel like a better, stronger, more skilled, and more aware facilitator, but a better, stronger, more skilled and more aware friend, colleague, human being. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.


To keep it affordable we offer a sliding scale and several free places. However, to ensure we can continue to run workshops like this and that those who need it most get scholarships, please pay as much as you/your organisation can.

There is a space on the application form to indicate which kind of place you are applying for.

  • £850 –  If your organisation is paying for your place and has an income over £800,000 or as an individual you can afford to contribute at this rate.
  • £450 – if your organisation is paying for your place and has an income between £300,000 and £800,000 or as individual you can afford to contribute at this rate.
  • £280 – If your organisation is paying for your place and has an income under £300,000 or as individual you can afford to contribute at this rate.
  • £0 – Scholarship Place – if your organisation is not paying for your place and you are unwaged, unemployed, low income, or because of other responsibilities cannot afford to contribute

The fees cover the training and all meals during training hours, plus tea and snacks. The fees do not cover travel or accommodation, which you will need to arrange yourself. We do have limited funds available to cover some travel costs of those who are on the scholarship place.

What we are looking for

To attend TSAT in May you need to apply. Here’s what we are looking for in applicants:

  • At least a little bit of training experience. Please tell us what kind of training you have done in the past and with whom.
  • While we love curiosity, we don’t want you to come only because you are curious about training. We’d like to see that you are committed to doing lots of work as a trainer, paid or voluntary.
  • A sense of where you can apply the things you learn at TSAT. We want to support people that are connected with communities of people they can train. The more likely you are to use the skills and approaches you learn, the stronger your application. Be specific. Who do you anticipate you would train? What is your connection with the people you are interested in training? What do you want to teach them? Show us that this training will benefit more than just you.
  • A commitment to the approach to training that Bootcamp uses. Check out the Training for Change website and our interview with Erika Thorne to learn more about it.
  • We will give priority to people from marginalised communities, and in particular, those coming from the communities they wish to train–for example, refugees and asylum seekers who want to train other refugees and asylum seekers, people living in social housing who want to train others living in social housing etc. We are also giving priority to people outside London.

Applications for this training are now closed.