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Children in urban and rural areas share in latest grants

February 26, 2015

Projects helping children and families in both rural and inner city areas of Scotland are celebrating a share of £165,219 from the Communities and Families fund, an initiative supported by the Scottish Government and the Big Lottery Fund.

Based in Glasgow The Saturday Cafe run a successful ‘Cafe Juniors’ club for local children with disabilities. The youngsters who attend the club have a range of physical, cognitive and communication support needs and the award of £10,000 will allow the group to engage more support workers and offer more activities for the children to take part in.

Fun at The Saturday Cafe

Fun at The Saturday Cafe

Project Manager, Caroline Patterson, said: “Thanks to a second year of funding, we will be able to continue and extend ‘The Cafe Juniors’ project which provides a range of fun, exciting activities and equipment for our five to eight age group.  The Communities and Families Fund has enabled us to offer more places to disabled children in this age group and engage more staff and volunteers to ensure children who require one to on support can participate in all the activities and have fun in a safe and exciting environment. At the same time their parents and extended care groups will have a short break from care.”

At present there are no weekend play sessions for the families with children under 5 on the Isle of Bute but that’s all set to change after an award of £7,176 to Bute Tiddlers. Now the group will be able to run an additional Saturday session where families can take part in a wide range of activities from indoor soft play to art sessions.  Thanks to the funding the group will also be able to run a series of family yoga and healthy eating sessions.

 Manager, Nicola Jones, said: “We are over the moon to be able to start offering family weekend play on Bute.  This will give Bute the chance to test the need for this type of play service here.  This opportunity will give us the time to look at the future of family play and how it looks and works for years to come so we can be sustainable and get it right for our community.”

Announcing the awards Maureen McGinn, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee, said:  “The Communities and Families Fund supports projects to give Scotland’s future generations a good start in life. I’m delighted to announce funding for today’s wide ranging initiatives which will develop children’s social skills and learning abilities, creativity and confidence. We’re keen to hear from other groups across the country which could also benefit from this funding. Full details of our simple application process can be found on our website or why not call us on 0300 123 7100 to discuss your idea.’


‘Still Talking’

February 25, 2015

Previously we’ve told you about the three approaches we’d like to see in our new funding portfolio – vital support, prevention and community-led and the conversations we’ve been having with a range of people to test ideas, gather opinion and consider options.

This month we’ve been busy continuing conversations and factoring what we’ve heard into the new funding portfolio discussions.

Working with

We’ve hosted five roundtables. A couple have been general discussions but others have focussed on key areas we wanted to interrogate further.

We’ve asked representatives from BME communities what they believe are the strengths in their communities and where we could do more to support activity.

We’ve held another meeting of our Reference Panel. The Reference Panel is made up of applicants and grantholders from across Scotland and at the most recent meeting they shared their thoughts on the funding process, from application through to project closure and discussed the themes of ‘Place’ and ‘People-led’.

‘Place’ and ‘People-led’ are words that we’ve found ourselves coming back to time and again. They relaMeet n Munch gang Citadel Youth Centreblogte to the main principle that is driving our new funding portfolio development, this being ‘People in communities at the heart of everything that we do’. We’re very much aware that these words mean different things to different people and we are exploring these in our ongoing conversations with stakeholders. Clarity and simplicity are also important to us during the funding portfolio development. This applies not only to defining what we hope to achieve over the next five years but also in the creation of application processes and materials. This is an area of work that is scheduled to start in earnest in March.

There’s still a lot of work to be done but we’ll keep you up-to-date with progress.

You can email your thoughts on the development of our new funding portfolio to

You can follow the journey to our new portfolio and comment on Twitter #2020funding or on Facebook, Big Lottery Fund Scotland
You can also follow the journey by subscribing to
Finally, you can leave comments at the bottom of this blog

What are you doing this week?

February 24, 2015

This week we’re delighted to be heading to The Gathering at the SECC, Glasgow. The Big Advice Team will be on hand at Stand 82 on both Wednesday & Thursday, and we’re also running two workshops.

You can get Thursday morning off to a great start at 9.30am with the Big Lottery Fund at our Shaping Our Future Plans workshop.

During 2015 we are developing our new programmes; building on our and the sectors’ wider learning about how our Lottery funding should be spent. At this workshop we’ll update you on where we’re at with our thinking, get your feedback and opinions and share our progress so far.

Then at 11.30am on Thursday we are joining with our friends at Social Investment Scotland for our Grants v Loans – Getting The Balance Right workshop, where we’ll look at the world of funding from the traditional grants model to new income streams like social investment loans.

We’ll be joined by Susan Aktemel from Homes for the Good and Chris Martin from Callander Youth Project Trust to talk us through their experience of both kinds of finance.

Places at both workshops are limited to 100 so make sure you go to to book your space.

Remember The Gathering is organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Services and is Scotland’s larget event for charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations.

It’s free and everyone’s welcome so we hope to see you there!

Join us at The Gathering

Join us at The Gathering

Help to find the UK’s lost playing fields

February 23, 2015

A new campaign aiming to the find the UK’s lost playing fields needs your help. The Carnegie UK Trust and Fields in Trust have launched their #FieldFinders campaign which will ensure that missing fields remain protected for local communities across the country to enjoy today and in the future.

Between 1927 and 1935 the Carnegie UK Trust gave grants worth £200,000 – the equivalent of around £10 million today – to create nearly 900 playing fields across the UK.  These grants were given to local councils and community groups and a key condition of the grants was that the newly created fields were to be protected in perpetuity.Ditton Recreation Ground Kent use

However, the precise location of the playing fields was not always recorded. Now the Trust have launched this campaign to find the missing fields.

The #FieldFinders campaign has an easy online form to complete for anyone who has any extra information and there are development prizes of up to £5,000 each up for grabs for those identified fields.

The Trust is looking for your help to:-

  •   Share the details of the #FieldFinders campaign with any of your colleagues, stakeholders or community networks who might wish to get involved.
  •   Visit the #FieldFinders campaign page to submit any information you might have about a Carnegie field, or to correct the information they currently hold.
  •  Visit the #FieldFinders campaign page and download the report of their 2014 pilot project, which identified the first 14 Carnegie playing field sites. Case study reports on each of these sites can also be downloaded.

Head of Advocacy, Douglas White, said, ‘Playing fields are a fantastic asset to have in a local community with the opportunities they offer for sport, recreation and community events.  Through the #FieldFinders campaign we really want to find as many of the original Carnegie playing fields as possible so that we can improve the legal protections associated with them and ensure that they remain as playing fields for many years to come.  But we need the help of the public to do so and there are plenty of reasons to visit the campaign site and get involved.’

Lotteries – DCMS Call for Evidence

February 9, 2015

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has issued a call for evidence on the balance of Society Lotteries, the National Lottery and gambling products in raising funds for good causes.  They are keen to hear views from organisations and individuals that have benefitted directly or indirectly from good cause funding and who may be affected by changes to the current arrangements. Check out the consultation for further information, the closing date is 4 March 2015.