UTV’s Alison Fleming shares her top People’s Millions tips

Written by Alison Fleming, UTV

You can almost tell the seasons from the annual People’s Millions campaign. When it opens for applications, Easter’s not far away and once filming starts autumn is drawing in. Broadcasting the reports means we’re on the countdown to Christmas – and announcing the winners is like being Santa.

UTV's Alison Fleming has a wealth of People's Millions experience
UTV’s Alison Fleming has a wealth of People’s Millions experience to pass on

In the eight years that I’ve been working on People’s Millions, I’ve seen projects as diverse as a specially adapted boat for people with disabilities, allotments, outdoor gyms and a whole new interior for one Co Derry/Londonderry nursery school. But there’s one thing all these projects have in common: they’ve changed the lives of their communities. If this is something you’d like to do then People’s Millions and UTV can help, and here’s some guidance learned through years of practice about what makes a successful bid.

What’s in a name?
Think carefully about what to call your project as this is the name we’ll use to publicise it on television and for the public vote. It will be shown on screen, online and read out in the news broadcast. It will also be read on the voting telephone line so try to make it short and unique – no more than 25 characters. Don’t forget that while you’re campaigning for votes you will probably want to use social media, so the shorter your project name the more space you will have to tell people about your project.

Don’t be daunted
If you are shortlisted, someone from your project will need be featured in the short film shown on voting night. But don’t be daunted by this – it’s great exposure and you will receive support to show your project off in the best possible light – and win those all important votes.

Alison Fleming, right,  with Christine and Bob Harper from Belfast Lough Sailability, who won the People's Millions in 2010
Alison Fleming, right, with Christine and Bob Harper from Belfast Lough Sailability, who won the People’s Millions in 2010

Be an inspiration
Your project has to inspire your local community to get involved in your project and to vote for you. What is it that will really make a difference to the lives of people in your community? We wish you the very best of luck and look forward to hearing all about your plans. And when you are ready to apply, go to http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk.


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