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Investing in Scottish food banks

April 16, 2014

A new project which will develop the network of food banks across Scotland has received a Big Lottery Fund award of £944,708.  The Trussell Trust will use the funding to employ a team of dedicated staff who will provide training, support and guidance to new and existing food banks across the country.

This week the Trussell Trust released new figures confirming that 71,428  Scots relied on food banks to feed themselves over the last year.

Falkirk food bank volunteer, Jason Walton and Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn and

Falkirk food bank volunteer, Jason Walton and Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn

One of these people was Jason Walton, 41, from Falkirk. Originally from Kent, Jason moved to Falkirk five years ago and not long after found himself homelessness. At his lowest and in need of emergency food he was signposted to the food bank. One week later he returned, this time to offer his services as a volunteer.

He says: “You never really understand what it means to be down and out until you are there yourself. I had been used to having a good job and money in my pocket so when I became homeless, with nowhere to turn, I realised I had hit an all time low.

“I’ve now overcome that time in my life and am currently staying in temporary housing so I feel now is the right time to give something back. I was so thankful for the support of the food bank and can really empathise with those who rely on their food parcels. Volunteering here keeps me busy and it’s great to know that I am really helping people in the community.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “Over five years our award to the Trussell Trust will help support around 400,000 people across the country who are struggling with issues such as hunger, poverty and unemployment.  By investing in this Scotland wide project, our funding will build a network of support around some of the most vulnerable people through providing access to emergency food relief.”

In its approach the Trussell Trust will identify and target those areas with high levels of deprivation where there is no emergency food provision. It will then provide the necessary support and training to local groups to help them set up a foodbank in their area.


Falkirk food bank delivers food parcels to local people

Ewan Gurr, Scotland Development Officer, The Trussell Trust, added: “The massive rise in demand for emergency food relief highlights the extent to which foodbanks are a lifeline to many Scottish families. This generous contribution to The Trussell Trust will enhance the support in place for the men, women and children using our foodbanks and help develop provision in areas where that support does not currently exist.”

Today’s award comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Communities fund which is aimed at projects that support those communities, individuals and families in greatest need.

For more details on the Trussell Trust and their work in Scotland visit their website.


How to make your application complete

April 15, 2014

Filling out a funding application can take up a lot of your time. It will probably feel great to finally submit your application to us. But, before you do this, we recommend making sure your application is fully complete. Your application can only go for a decision once it is fully complete. Therefore, if you miss anything out, it could affect us offering you a grant. Generally, all applicants (no matter what type of organisation they are) have to provide the likes of financial accounts summary; home addresses; dates of births and landline phone numbers. An application cannot be considered for funding without these.

Here are some of the main parts to check you’ve completed before you submit your application.

Bank details

Your organisation’s bank account needs to be set-up before you apply to us. All sections below must be filled in.Bank detailsSummary of your most recent accounts

This information will come from your signed financial accounts or income and expenditure projection.

Accounts details


Date of birth, home address and phone numbers

These are needed for all contacts.Contact detailsSenior contactSenior contactStill unsure of what is needed?

Please get in touch with us on or 0300 123 7110. Even if it seems like an obvious question, we prefer you to ask this before you apply – it could save a lot of time afterwards.

Family mediation support

April 14, 2014

Five local projects supporting child contact centres in different parts of the country are today (14 APRIL) sharing in over £1.5 million from our Investing in Communities fund.

The funding goes to the following five organisations: Relationships Scotland Orkney; Relationships Scotland Borders; Relationships Scotland Family Mediation Tayside and Fife; Family Mediation Argyll & Bute and Family Mediation Central Scotland.

shutterstock_74500801Affiliated to Relationships Scotland, these local projects provide a network of support helping to guide families through change and disruption, particularly where this has occurred as a result of separation, divorce or family restructuring.

Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn said: “Each day many families across Scotland experience the trauma and distress of family breakdown. Today’s investment will provide additional support for parents, carers and children through family mediation which is vital in bringing families together to reduce conflict and agree on practical, workable arrangements for the future. While these projects are affiliated to Relationships Scotland, they each have their own unique priorities which are one of their biggest strengths. I am delighted to see this funding reaching into those local communities where it is needed most.”

Welcoming the news Stuart Valentine, Chief Executive of Relationships Scotland, said: “Relationships Scotland is delighted that the Big Lottery in Scotland has provided £1.5m over 5 years to support child contact centres across the country. Child contact centres play a vital role in ensuring that children maintain their relationships with both parents following separation. This new money will help ensure that many of our more vulnerable families will receive new specialist support. This will include help for non-resident parents to establish and develop relationships with their children, often for the first time. Additional support will also be offered to help separated couples work together to care for their children, thereby providing the stability and security that will help enable their children to thrive.”

Full details on the successful five local projects are available here.


Latest Investing in Communities Awards

April 10, 2014

Nine Scottish groups are celebrating a cash injection of more than £4.5 million from our Investing in Communities programme.

Today’s awards will make a huge difference to the lives of people across Scotland but, in particular, to many vulnerable children and young people. Providing valuable work experience for young people with additional support needs is an excellent example of how Lottery money supports those most in need.

Inspired Community Enterprise Trust in Dumfries and Galloway is a social enterprise that provides work experience for young people who find it hard to get jobs. Their project will use a three year grant of £1,115,307 to provide young people – aged between 16 and 26 who have learning disabilities and additional support needs – with valuable work experience and training opportunities within a community cafe setting.

Amy Anne Duffy is 22 years old and will be attending the cafe: “I have learning disabilities and developed epilepsy when I was 16. I went to secondary school in Dumfries and was in a special class for people with learning difficulties. I had a helper with me but I felt that I missed out a bit and sometimes felt a bit bullied.

Amy Anne Duffy

Amy Anne Duffy

“I also have Asperger’s which means I don’t make new friends that easily but I don’t look as if I have a learning disability. My abilities are visible but my learning disabilities are invisible. I get embarrassed by the things I can’t do.

“Going to the Oasis Youth Centre in Dumfries has helped me with my confidence and I’m currently doing an IT course to help with using money and telling the time, and my reading is getting better. When Heather and Linda came to talk to people at Oasis, and I heard about the café, I thought it was a great idea and wanted to get involved.

“I’m a bit scared of ovens but would like to learn to use them. I would really like to learn how to use the tills and work with money. I think training and working in the café will help me get a paid job and earn money, and other skills for when I have my own house. I want to do more things for myself, push myself to the limits and see what I can really do.”

Linda Whitelaw, Director of Inspired Community Enterprise Trust, said: “The café will provide accredited training and work experience, creating an opportunity for young people with additional support needs to develop the skills they need to get on the employment ladder.”

Information on today’s projects receiving Investing in Communities funding can be found here.

Awards for All Scotland pause

April 10, 2014

Awards for All non beneficiary logo for blogWith the 2014 Commonwealth Games fast approaching, groups from across Scotland have been applying in their hundreds to our 2014 legacy small grant funds. This high demand means that we will be pausing applications to our Awards for All Scotland programme for three months to enable us to prioritise and process the exceptional spike in applications to our Celebrate and 2014 Communities funds.

The pause will begin in four weeks time at noon on 9 May and we will start to accept applications again at noon on 4 August.

We understand that local groups will have some questions about what this means for them and so we have set out some FAQs below:

How strict is the Awards for All Scotland deadline?

We will accept Awards for All Scotland applications up and until noon on 9 May. After this time applications will not be accepted until noon on 4 August. If you apply by email during this time you will receive an automated reply telling you that we are currently not accepting applications.

If I submit an Awards for All application before 9 May will you still be assessing it during this three month period?

Yes.  If you have submitted an application prior to the pause we will ensure that it is assessed and you get your decision within our published timescales.

By the time you start to accept applications again it will be too late for our event. What do you suggest we should do?

If you are currently working on an application you should submit before noon on 9 May. Those groups that apply by this time can be assured that that their application will be processed and they will receive a decision in due course.

We've had high demand for our 2014 legacy funding

We’ve had a fantastic response to our 2014 legacy programmes

If we submit an application after the deadline for activity later in the year can you hold onto our application and assess when you re-open?

No. We will return your application and you should resubmit when we start accepting applications again. There are two reasons for this.  First of all we will be reviewing materials during the pause so there may be new or additional things you need to tell us in your application.  Secondly details of your proposed project may change in this period too.  So to ensure that we make decisions based on the most accurate up to date information we think it is best to ask everyone to wait and submit applications in August.

Does this exceptional spike in 2014 legacy applications mean that you will be closing 2014 Communities and Celebrate earlier than expected?

Both of these programmes will continue to accept applications until the available funding has been committed. We will give groups plenty of notice of the closing date. To date we have awarded £7 million through our Celebrate and 2014 Communities small grant programmes.

During this three month period we will be accepting applications to all our other Big Lottery Fund Scotland programmes and will continue to make awards. An estimated £5 million will be awarded through Awards for All Scotland, 2014 Communities and Celebrate alone.