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Do you support Children and/or Young People? Looking for funding?

July 28, 2014


Do you work with children or young people?  Looking for funding?

Join the webinar on Friday 1 August 2014 and discover the funding programmes available for young people at Big Lottery Fund Scotland.

The main focus will be on our non lottery programmes Communities & Families Fund and Young Start.

Find out who can apply, funding available and the types of projects we are looking to fund. There might be a few hints and tips thrown in as well…

Friday 1 August 2014

Time: 10.00am- 10.45am

Book your place now!


See you there!! :)


Celebrate with us on Sun 3 August

July 28, 2014

Celebrate is set to take over Custom House Quay – one of the many Festival 2014 performance spaces across Glasgow. On Sunday 3 August between 12pm and 5pm we will be bringing you a jam packed day off free family fun from some of our Celebrate funded projects.

Custom HouseCelebrate has funded over 600 projects enabling Scottish groups to organise arts, heritage, sports and community events to celebrate the Commonwealth Games. We hope you can join us in celebrating its success on 3 August. You can find out more about this event at the Celebrate website.

Perfecting your funding application: 6 dos and don’ts!

July 22, 2014

Writing funding applications can be a tricky business, and sometimes even a source of worries or stress! To help with your blood pressure, here are my tips to perfect your application.

Writing your perfect funding application: Dos and Don'ts


1. Prepare early

Starting early gives you time to do your research, find the best funding programme, gather information, get quotes, get people involved and write your application. This kind of preparation makes it so much easier to make a convincing case for your project! Working back from when you need the money, you can see that you need to start pretty early, especially when you add in the time the funder will take to assess your application and pay the grant.

In my experience, it can be obvious if an application has been filled out in a rush, or without enough planning. This is always a red flag for the person assessing an application!

2. Focus on how you’ll use this grant

Most of the application should be used to explain what you will do with the grant you are asking for. Especially for small to medium applications (usually those under £10,000), that’s what we want to know about, and what we will assess. A little background on your organisation is worth including. But too many applications are filled up with history and existing activities – and barely mention how the grant will be spent!

3. Use clear language

I’ve seen some seriously confusing language used in funding applications! If the funder can’t easily tell what you will actually be doing, it’s pretty hard for them to judge whether to fund you. Think ‘explaining to a friend’ not ‘PhD thesis’! Dropping the buzzwords/ jargon and sticking to clear language will get you a long way.

4. Make it factual

A surprising number of funding applications are fact-free zones. Again, it’s difficult to assess an application if we don’t have a clear idea of:

  • where the project will happen,
  • what activities are involved,
  • when they will happen,
  • how many people will be involved and,
  • how much it will cost.

That said, don’t forget to tell us why you want to run the project, and why it’s needed!

5. Check and recheck

Between 25% and 50% of applications we receive are missing vital information! This creates extra work and delays payment of grants. Avoid this by double-checking your application before submission, and getting a friend or colleague to do the same (they can also check that your language is clear!). Read this blog to make sure you avoid the most common pitfalls!

6. Talk to the funder

If you are stuck, talk to us! It’s better to clear up issues, ask questions, or check eligibility in advance of applying, and most funders are quite happy to hear from you.


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Pamela Barnes – What is evidence for?

July 18, 2014

The Big Lottery Fund is having a dialogue about its future funding strategy in Scotland and across the UK.Pamela3  The first phase of the conversation finishes today with this blog from Pamela Barnes, Head of Research and Communications for Includem.

Pamela weighs up the use of evidence for justification against its use for illumination.  She asks us to consider supporting organisations in looking at the data they collect to improve impact for people and communities.

You can read the full article and join in the conversation here  Please give us your views today if you can.

After today we’ll be reflecting on the feedback and will come back to those who have joined the conversation on how it has developed.  This will shape our new strategic framework and our Scotland programmes for 2015 – 2021.

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Thumbs Up for Wilderness Venture

July 17, 2014

Thirteen projects across Scotland are celebrating a share in £7,406,528 from Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Investing in Communities programme.

One of those projects  is Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme which has been awarded £840,320 to help break the cycle of re-offending amongst women who are offending, or at high risk of offending.

Venture Trust - Bernadette Pollock

Venture Trust – Bernadette Pollock

Bernadette Pollock struggled with low self esteem, bi-polar disorder, suicidal tendencies, binge drinking, substance misuse, lack of confidence and isolation. Following a number of criminal convictions Berny lost her job and then, in a cry for help, set fire to her flat. Put under a Probation Order, and with help from AA, she stayed away from alcohol and started taking medication to help her depression.

At this point Berny also started working with Shine Women’s Mentoring Service who helped keep her sober and suggested she consider taking part in Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme – a provision for women caught up in the cycle of offending. In May this year the 43 year old from West Dunbartonshire took part in the project.

“My long term goal is to return to the world of work so I can support myself and my son. My first step in achieving that was joining Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme which initially involved one-to-one meetings with my Venture Trust Outreach Worker,” said Berny.

Berny’s Outreach Worker helped her set a number of challenging goals in preparation for the wilderness journey: to improve her physical and mental health, develop her confidence, increase her ability to work with others, and her ability to face challenges and see tasks through to completion.

Venture Trust’s wilderness journey takes participants away from the influences, behaviours and stresses of their usual environment into rugged, outdoor surroundings that encourage reflection, learning, challenge, and discussion. Such a dramatic contrast, combined with the support of Venture Trust’s field team, helps the women identify what they need to change in their lives.

“There were lots of physically and mentally demanding activities that took me outside my comfort zone. I had to tackle my fear of water when we went canoeing and at first I was worried about how deep the water was and if the canoe would capsize. But, eventually I relaxed and really enjoyed it.”

Berny tackling her fear of water

Berny tackling her fear of water


All the wilderness activities are chosen with personal development in mind and canoeing, for example, calls for effective communication, team work and managing a challenge so, despite her fears, Berny learned valuable skills.

And Berny’s journey has continued since returning from the wilderness.

“Venture Trust helped me set goals for my return home, ones that were straightforward like taking the dog for a nice walk, checking out things to do with my son, and getting off painkillers. And Venture Trust’s support has continued since I came back from the wilderness programme.

“They help me keep up with my action plan and have introduced me to community services that can also help me. I now volunteer for Barnardo’s twice a week and have applied for a job with the GalGael Trust. My dream is to be in a full time job helping other people and to be a good role model to my son.”

With the skills, confidence and positive outlook Berny has gained from Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme, she is on the right path to realising that dream.

“I had a life-changing experience when I went away with the Venture Trust for four days, a fantastic organisation, and I thank you.”

Click here for more information on the other projects receiving funding today.

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