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Putting People in the Lead

March 24, 2015

Originally posted on The Big Lottery Fund Blog:

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund

No bells or whistles. No dancing horses. No fanfare of trumpets. The Big Lottery Fund’s new strategic framework is a rather modest two pages and will quietly gather pace over the next few months. It’s more of a statement of intent than a detailed set of directions, a jumping off point for future choices.

Dawn AustwickWe can boil it down even further – in a nutshell it’s: ‘People in the Lead’. From this everything else flows: we want to start with what people bring to the table, not what they don’t have; and from the belief that people and communities are best placed to solve their problems, take advantage of opportunities, and rise to challenges. Our job is to support them in doing so. Much of what we do already points us this way: working with service users on Multiple and Complex needs, the

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This land is our land

March 24, 2015
Newburgh 060508 031update

The former town reservoir at Lochmill, Fife, will be brought into community ownership with Scottish Land Fund backing

The Scottish Land Fund has today stepped in to make community ownership a reality for two local community trusts. The Culbokie Community Trust in the Highlands and the Newburgh Community Trust in Fife receive awards of £96,691 and £51,925 respectively to purchase locally important pieces of land using the Scottish Government’s Community Right to Buy scheme.

In Fife, the people of Newburgh and the surrounding area will be able to take ownership of the former town reservoir at Lochmill and associated woodland and grazing site, thanks to an award of £51,925. As well as protecting the area – which extends to 25.92 hectares – as a tourist destination and area of natural beauty, the Trust will look to improve amenities so as to provide new recreational and education opportunities for local people.

Andrew Arbuckle chair of Newburgh Community Trust, said “Local residents will be delighted by this Scottish Land Fund decision. The 95% vote in support of the purchase provided the strongest possible evidence of how valued the loch is to those living in the area. With this support, Newburgh Community Trust will look after this part of its heritage so that it can continue to be enjoyed as a wonderfully secluded and beautiful natural recreational area.”

The land at Glascairn will be brought into community ownership

The land at Glascairn in the heart of Culbokie

Plans to create a new village square in the heart of Culbokie will be taken forward by the Culbokie Community Trust, thanks to a grant of £96,691. The trust will purchase a half-hectare of land at Glascairn in the centre of the village to be developed as a gathering place for community activities and events, as well as providing space for a community cafe, flexible business units, car parking, and six small bungalows.

Penny Edwards, Chair, Culbokie Community Trust, said: “This project will put a new ‘beating heart’ in the village and it will become a focal point for village life. It has already brought people together for a common purpose and now that we are in position to purchase the land we look forward to engaging even more with the community and bringing the project to fruition.”

The Scottish Land Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The First Minister announced in her Programme for Government that the Scottish Land Fund will be increased to £10 million from 2016-20.

 

Tackling domestic abuse head on

March 20, 2015

More support is being made to addressing the problem of hidden domestic abuse, thanks to funding announced today from our Becoming a Survivor programme.

The FearLess project, led by community justice organisation, Sacro receives £869,000 to deliver a new approach to supporting survivors regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Working across 18 local authorities the project will combine a domestic abuse helpline with intensive one to one support and mentoring. This will include a range of practical and emotional support including help with accommodation, personal finances, creating a personal safety plan, education, training and employment. Investing in Communities logo

In partnership with statutory agencies, housing providers and three specialist third sector organisations – Shakti Womens Aid, Respect and LGBT Youth – the project will reach out to those people who are less inclined to come forward or see themselves as victims. This will include women from the black and ethnic minority community, the LGBT community, and men.

Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Sacro, said: “There is a widely held belief that abuse among men and women in LGBT and black or minority ethnic communities is seriously under- reported. FearLess is available to all and will actively encourage referrals from men and from minority groups within Scotland.

“FearLess will provide support in many areas of Scotland.  With the help of this funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Sacro, along with our partner organisations, will be able to help over 1,500 survivors of domestic abuse begin a new life, free of fear and intimidation.’

The funding comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Becoming A Survivor programme which, in the last three years, has awarded over £19m to 43 projects across Scotland supporting men, women and families to move on from domestic abuse.

Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “We are proud to fund this new approach to supporting people affected by domestic abuse through our Becoming a Survivor programme. We see this as adding to and complementing the already sterling work taking place in our communities to tackle domestic abuse head on. By taking a holistic approach to the issue, this project will provide more than just an emergency response. We believe this will make a huge difference to the lives of many people by giving them hope for a brighter future.”

Investing in Communities Will Close on 30th June 2015

March 18, 2015

Later this year the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland will launch its new funding programmes. Over the last few months we have been in discussion with many of you to help us to shape our plans for the future and ensure we make our new programmes the best they can be.

Before we open our new programmes, we will close Investing in Communities to Stage 1 applications. Our other grants programmes Awards for All, Young Start, Communities and Families Fund and Investing Ideas will remain open with business as usual.

We will not accept Stage 1 applications to Investing in Communities after midday on 30th June 2015.

This applies to all three Investing in Communities Investment Areas: Life Transitions, Supporting 21st Century Life and Growing Community Assets.

Our experience tells us that demand for funding in the coming months will significantly exceed the amount available. The proportion of successful applications will be lower than it has been in the past, and there will be a higher bar for success. We still want to see a wide range of applications for Investing in Communities, and we plan to fund new activity both across the country and in each of our Investment Areas over the next couple of years.

Notwithstanding this, we will prioritise applications which:

*Support individuals and communities in the most disadvantaged places, ideally at a neighbourhood level

*Show strong levels of community connection and engagement

*Address outcomes in Life Transitions which have received less funding up to now, specifically:

  • Outcome 2: More people previously outside the labour market access sustainable jobs created in enterprises and organisations working towards social aims.
  • Outcome 4: Fewer people with serious mental health or substance misuse problems enter the criminal justice system or experience homelessness.
  • Outcome 5: People who are homeless or offending and experiencing serious mental health or substance misuse problems access a fuller range of appropriate services.
  • Outcome 6: More people from disadvantaged groups have key financial products (including advice, a basic bank account, home contents insurance, affordable energy, access to affordable credit and relevant benefit and credit entitlements).
  • In addition any applications to Outcome 3 (employability) should demonstrate how their proposed activity fits with local employability pipelines and should have discussed their project with the Local Employability Partnership. 

Closing Investing in Communities to stage 1 applications means we have time to process the large numbers of applications we expect to receive at this time, and to prepare for the introduction of our new programmes, which is planned for later in 2015.  These priorities will be used to help manage demand at the end of this programme in a way which helps us to deliver a balance of funding and meet our programme outcomes by the end of this funding period.

Investing in Communities logo

Details of how to apply to Investing In Communities can be found on our website, and you can keep in touch with our latest news, including hearing details of our forthcoming new programmes, by signing up to our monthly Ebulletin.

Looking to Local Roadshow rolls into Hamilton

March 16, 2015

This spring we are heading out and about as we hope to join up more of our grant holders across Scotland.

Today the Looking to Local roadshow arrives in Hamilton. We’re in town providing an opportunity for projects that share the same place to get together and share ideas, issues and to learn from each other.

Looking to Local Roadshow 2015 logo

Looking to Local Roadshow 2015

Earlier this month we kicked off the roadshow in Kilmarnock with over 30 of our funded projects local policy makers, third sector support agencies and key stakeholders from the local council and community planning partnerships to look at how we can help groups become better connected in the future.

Grantholder Gillian Ferguson shared her experiences of being a Big Lottery Fund grantholder last time around. She said:

“It was great to be in the same room as so many inspirational projects and with people I might be able to work with more in the future. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on your own project but the Looking to Local event has really help everyone see how we are all connected together.”

In addition to bringing our grantholders together today we’re hoping we can gain a better idea of how we at the Big Lottery Fund can be more connected as we develop our new funding programmes which will form the basis of who, what, where and how we fund over the next five years.

Keep in touch with today’s event on twitter @BIGScotland or #Look2Local

Next stop for the roadshow is Dundee in April with venue and date to be confirmed.