alfalogoThe WEA is pleased to launch the 'Advocacy and Learning for All' project (ALfA).The project consists of a programme of training to support advocacy and lobbying skills for groups involved in Atlantic Philanthropies funded programmes between September 2011 – August 2014.

The ALfA project will support grass-roots advocacy activities in Northern Ireland through the provision of flexible, interactive learning opportunities. The aims of the project are to:

  • Run a programme of advocacy training with grass roots groups involved in Atlantic funded programmes.
  • Provide offline support and mentoring to groups putting advocacy into action.
  • Provide networking and collaboration opportunities for programme participants so that they can learn from each other and co-operate on shared advocacy themes.
  • Signpost and connect groups onto other organisations who can help support their advocacy.

All the workshops and courses aim to build the confidence and skills of people to “Be heard: Make a change” ie, to express their opinions and analyse, coordinate and influence the decisions that affect their lives.

Who can benefit?

Supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies, this training programme has been specifically developed to help grass-roots groups and organisations who would like to get their voices heard in the fields of Ageing, Children & Youth, and Reconciliation and Human Rights.

Availability & Costs

Organisations involved in Atlantic-funded programmes can avail of this programme free of charge. Organisations not involved in Atlantic funded programmes will be charged, contact the WEA for further details.

The training programme

The programme is a flexible mixture of workshops, courses and tailor made training. Types of learning opportunities include workshops on skills to support advocacy and lobbying.

These could include topics such as:

  • Building confidence to lobby
  • Introduction to lobbying
  • The use of ICT to support lobbying and advocacy
  • The use of social media in lobbying 
  • Guide to government

Longer courses in topics such as:

  • Media training for spokes people
  • Negotiation skills
  • Creative ways to get your message across

Tailor made training – working with your group or organisation on a longer term basis to support action learning for advocacy and lobbying.

All training will be delivered in an interactive and participative way with the emphasis on learning that will be immediately relevant to your advocacy and lobbying aims.

As the programme is very flexible we would want to hear from you on how our programme can help you put advocacy and lobbying into action. If you would like to take part in the programme or have further questions please contact the project Development Officer, Attracta Mathews.

Attracta Mathews
Development Officer
Workers’ Educational Association (WEA)



This programme is supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies.


ALfA Training Workshops Sept - Dec 2013 now available PDF Print E-mail


Over the coming months, a number of the most popular ALfA training workshops and courses will be available. These include workshops designed to upskill for individuals working on AP-funded programmes, build confidence for grass-roots groups to become more engaged in lobbying, and accredited programmes.  ALfA also offers free bespoke training in all aspects of lobbying/campaigning all through the year.

Whether you want to learn more about engaging with statutory structures, get confident in front of the camera, boost your negotiation skills or have more specific training tailored for your organisation - there is something this Autumn for all levels and abilities to help you get your message across to decision-makers more effectively. 
ALfA Training in Media Interview Techniques gain in popularity with Atlantic-funded organisations PDF Print E-mail



To date, nearly 30 individuals, put forward by organisations supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies, have taken advantage of free one-day training workshops through the ALfA project to become better equipped to deal with TV and Radio interviews.

These media workshops cover the essential knowledge and techniques needed to enable you to get your message onto radio and television and to better understand how to use the media to your advantage.


New ALfA Training Opportunities for Autumn/Winter 2012 PDF Print E-mail



After very successful year in which 23 Atlantic Grantee organisations and over 250 participants have engaged in ALfA training activities, the WEA is pleased to announce the next round of ALfA training opportunities for Autumn 2012.

ALfA training aims to support grass-roots advocacy activities in Northern Ireland through the provision of flexible, interactive learning opportunities.  Remember that all training through the ALfA project (from the open workshops to tailored opportunities) is offered free of charge to individuals/organisations involved in projects funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Unravelling the workings of the UK Parliament PDF Print E-mail




The importance of engaging with Westminster is often overlooked by many lobbying groups here in Northern Ireland”.

This was the message reported back by ALfA learners who got a lobbying boost at a recent training workshop about the work, processes and relevance of Westminster.


ALfA Learners Negotiate their way to success PDF Print E-mail


Congratulations to the 21 individuals who have recently received accredited certification after successfullyalfalogo completing the ALfA Principled Negotiation Skills course.

Principled Negotiation Skills (PNS) is a popular 3-day intensive course, accredited at OCN Level 2.  The overall aim of the course is to move away from a win/lose approach to negotiations, and instead present an alternative approach in which both the ethos and structure of the approach serve to strengthen communication and relationships.  The course is based on the model presented in Fisher and Ury’s seminal work, “Getting to Yes”.

Belfast City Council welcomes ALfA Learners to City Hall PDF Print E-mail

Belfastcityhall2alfalogoOver the past few months, ALfA has been developing successful collaborations with different Councils in order to better empower potential lobbyists to know more about the workings of Council business and how to best get local issues heard by their elected Councillors.

At one such collaborative workshop in June, ALfA learners from different Council areas were given a unique opportunity to come together to Belfast City Hall to learn from Democratic Services Manager Stephen McCrory and Adele Faulkner about how things work in the Belfast City Council area.

The session not only aimed to familiarise participants with how BCC operates and deals with issues, but also to better equip participants with greater knowledge of comparative practices when raising issues with their own local Councils.

ALfA Learners get the inside track on the workings of the Assembly PDF Print E-mail

alfalogoParliament_Buildings_Stormont_4 ALfA is delighted to be working in partnership with the Assembly Outreach Team at Stormont in supporting ALfA participants to become better equipped to lobby, as they learn first-hand about the roles & functions of the NI Assembly and how it considers the different issues that affect the people of Northern Ireland.



ALFA & Adult Learners' Week 2012 PDF Print E-mail


Learning can take many different forms and have a whole host of benefits for both learners and their wider community.  Adult Learners' Week is the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the many avenues and reasons for getting involved in learning.  

Below are some reflections from the WEA Advocacy & Lobbying for All (ALfA) programme as to how and why you can participate in learning activities.