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Would you like to help invest in Scottish Communities?

July 27, 2015

Would you like to help invest in Scottish Communities? Appointment of a Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee Member

We are recruiting an additional member of our Scotland Committee who can complement and add value to the skills and experience of our current members.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen

Why become a Scotland Committee Member?

Maureen McGinn is the Chair of the Scotland Committee:

“Scotland Committee Members play a leading role in an organisation which makes a real difference to people, families and communities most in need in Scotland.   The Committee is responsible for making sure we make grants which have the greatest impact through the best projects and sets the direction of future investments in Scottish communities.  You will have the opportunity to join a talented and diverse Committee which enjoys the support of a committed and knowledgeable staff team, making sure that Lottery money consistently brings benefits to people in Scotland.”

The role of the Scotland Committee

The Scotland Committee sets the strategic direction and policy framework for funding programmes that make a distinct contribution to the Fund’s mission in Scotland, has oversight of the work and takes funding decisions.

We would welcome applications from people with experience and knowledge of working directly with communities to tackle poverty and inequality, who have experience of leadership in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and who can provide constructive challenge and improve our impact.

Applications should be made by completing the application form which can be found via this link

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 11.59am on Friday 28 August 2015.

Host City Volunteers – one year on

July 23, 2015

A year ago today, Glasgow took centre stage as host of the twentieth Commonwealth Games. Over the last few months there’s been much talk about legacy in terms of sport and fitness but the Games has opened up a new world for people in other ways too.

In January 2013, the Big Lottery Fund, in partnership with Glasgow City Council, launched a £600k funding programme to offer financial assistance to volunteers who might otherwise not have been able to volunteer at the Games. The money meant that 1,000 people were able to become Host City Volunteers helping visitors in locations throughout the city.

City Host Volunteers in action

City Host Volunteers in action

And it’s certainly had a lasting impact for people Jim McGuinness, 57 from the east end. He said, “From the first training session the whole experience of volunteering brought so much joy into my life and I immediately knew I was going to be a part of something special.”

For the duration of the Games Jim was stationed at both Bridgeton Cross and Glasgow Green directing people and answering any questions. “All the people I met were so positive and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The whole East End came to life and was so vibrant – there were happy faces everywhere I looked.”

After the Games Jim was one of the volunteers who produced a special exhibition at the People’s Palace charting the experience and memories of those who volunteered. “I really enjoyed being part of that. We all shared an amazing experience and it was great to mark that through this exhibition. Being a part of the Games has certainly made me a lot healthier in body and richer in the mind. I waited seven long years to be a part of it and it was worth every second.”

Linda Crofts, aged 62, from Govan was also a proud Host City Volunteer. Linda had lived away from Glasgow since she was 17 but moved back giving up her job, to look after her mother who was ill. She said, “In April last year I was unemployed and I had just lost my mum. When I saw the advert in the Evening Times for Host City Volunteers the timing felt right.

Host Volunteer 5

Host City Volunteers helping out during the Games

“During the Games, I was based at the Mitchell library and Glasgow Green. There was a real buzz about the city and I loved being a part of it. Since then I’ve volunteered at many events including the World Piping Championships and the Davis Cup. I’ve also started volunteering at the Southern General Hospital as a welcomer. Volunteering has created so many opportunities for me and it’s been great to give something back too.”

The Big Lottery Fund has invested £15.2 million in projects that are helping to build a lasting legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. You can following the Legacy discussion on twitter using #oneyearon @legacy2014scot @BIGScotland

£3.8m puts Scottish communities in the lead

July 22, 2015

Eight community led projects from across Scotland are sharing in grants worth £3.8 million from our Investing in Communities programme. Among them are two volunteering befriending projects for older people in the Highlands and Orkney, an additional needs school in Glasgow and an employment initiative giving deaf adults in the east of Scotland the skills and confidence to enter the job market.

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In Glasgow, a fundraising drive to expand facilities at Maryhill’s East Park additional needs school, has received a boost of £513,906. This will help to create a new £3 million development of four single classrooms for children with the most complex of needs who require one-to-one teaching, a respite centre, accommodation for four young people and an outdoor classroom.

Older people in Orkney and Caithness will be able to make new friendships and connections within their communities as Voluntary Action Orkney and Caithness Voluntary Group receive grants of £502,273 and £283,119 to expand their existing befriending projects.

Meanwhile a training and employment initiative putting deaf unemployed adults in the lead receives a grant of £619,275. Deaf Action will offer a range of support including interview techniques, CV skills, mock interviews and links to potential employers. Each person will also work with a deaf peer mentor to help them through their journey with an individualised support plan.

Explaining the difference the funding will make, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn said: “Each of these projects will put people in the lead helping them to gain new found skills and confidence and making better connections within their communities. In Maryhill, our investment will help East Park create a first class facility for children who have the most complex additional needs; while in the east of the country it will help to combat some of the many barriers to work faced by unemployed deaf adults. Older people living in rural areas within the Highlands and Orkney will also benefit from the friendly conversation and companionship available through befriending.”

Full details of the eight groups sharing in these latest grants can be found on our Big Lottery Fund news and events page.

Thanks for your feedback

July 21, 2015

Since our last blog we’ve had some great feedback about the development of our new programmes. We really do appreciate people taking the time to let us know what they think. It helps us understand what the emerging thoughts and opinions are and what areas you’d like to hear more about.

Based on the feedback we received from our last blog about new programmes it’s clear that there are some questions about our focus on ‘place’ and the idea of demonstrating connections with others.

Place is important, but not as important as people

It’s true that we are interested in the connections you have in a place, what the strengths of a place are and whether the people within that place are leading activities. If a project is based within a community and hopes to build up a great range of activities, it makes sense that you’ll have good connections within that place, be aware of what others are doing and explore options of working together to achieve the best in that place.

However, if your project is about supporting people with more immediate needs in challenging circumstances , perhaps not restricted to one place, we’ll ask less about your connections to a location and more about how the people you’re supporting are involved in the project, what control they have and their ability to shape the project. We’re interested in your connections to others in your field, what partnerships you have and how you fit in with what else is going on,  whilst realising that sometimes there are really good reasons for not being able to make connections. Understanding what connections you have, or don’t have, and the reasons for that helps us join up provision and avoid duplication.

So, in short, place is important to us but not as important as people.

Getting Your Group Ready to Apply

July 15, 2015

I’ve got a great idea for a project. Am I eligible for a grant?

Most funders – including the Big Lottery Fund – will only fund organisations to run a project, not individual people. So let’s look at what it takes to be eligible for one of our grants…


Is your group ready to apply?

What does my organisation need in place?

Whether you are part of an existing organisation, or are just setting something up, there are a few basic things it will need in place before you are ready to start filling in a Big Lottery Fund application. These are:

1. A governing document such as a constitution
This document needs to lay out the name and purpose of your organisation. It should also cover how it will work, like: how people join; how your committee will work; when you’ll have meetings, and so on.

2. A committee or board with at least three unrelated members
By unrelated we just mean people who aren’t family members (like siblings, parents and children, married couples or civil partners), or living at the same address.

3. A bank account in your organisation’s name (as written on the constitution)
You’ll also need to make sure that at least two unrelated people are required to approve the withdrawal or spending of money from the account

4. Annual financial accounts
These should clearly state the name of your organisation (again, as on the constitution). They also must show the start and end dates for the 12 month period they cover (e.g. 1 Jan 2013 to 31 Dec 2013).

They don’t need to be produced by a professional, or audited by accountants, but they will need to be signed as accurate by at least two members of your committee.

If your organisation is still in its first 12 months, we will ask for a projection instead, listing any expected spending or income (including any grants you are applying for) over the next year.

I’m not sure how to set up an organisation. Where can I get help?

Getting your charitable organisation set up can be hard work, but there’s loads of help out there.

A great place to start is the ‘Setting up a charity’ section of the SCVO website. This provides a step-by-step guide on setting up a new group or organisation, and some useful resources like model governing documents.

You could also get help from your local Third Sector Interface.

Do we have to be a registered charity?

No. Some funders will only fund registered charities, but you don’t need to be one to access any Big Lottery Fund grants.

Right, we’ve got all that in place. What next?

If you’d like to talk about which Big Lottery Fund grants might be suitable just get in touch with our BIG Advice Team – we’re happy to have a chat and point you in the right direction.

To find other funders, also check out the free Funding Scotland search engine.

Good luck!


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