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Let’s talk money (and financial inclusion)

November 15, 2017

European Union logo and The Scottish Government logo togetherAs it’s Scottish Financial Capability Week, we want to #TalkMoney and look at how our Delivering Financial Inclusion programme, which is funded jointly by the European Social Fund and National Lottery players, is helping disadvantaged households across Scotland improve their money management skills and reduce debt.

Lots of households experience money pressures, but things can be particularly tough for lone parents, unemployed people and those on low incomes.

As a result, our programme helps people in Argyll & Bute, Dundee, Inverclyde, Glasgow and North Ayrshire with these pressures, by bringing together local partners to co-ordinate support around debt advice, fuel poverty, money management, digital skills, affordable credit and banking services.

We know from The Financial Capability Strategy for Scotland that struggling to pay bills or deal with debts not only impacts on people’s day-to-day quality of life, it can have significant long-term effects on peoples’ wellbeing, relationships and opportunities.

By enabling people to address their money worries, make informed decisions and plan for the future, people are starting to build financial resilience.

Read more…

Applying for funding: the ultimate guide

October 23, 2017

A desk with a typewriter, notebook, pen, coffee and some documents.Over the years many of my colleagues have written blog posts that shared our best hints, tips and advice when applying for National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

As most of these blog posts are still relevant when applying for funding today, I thought it might be helpful to bring all of our most popular funding advice blogs together into one single article (this one!) for people to refer to.

With this in mind, below is a list of links to a range of blog posts that you may find useful if you are considering applying for funding, or are already in the process of putting together your application.

Are you eligible to apply?

Applying for £10k or less

Read more…

Feeling whole again

October 19, 2017

Betty, 83, flexing her legs and arms in front of a body of waterOver 9 million people in the UK feel lonely or isolated, with loneliness more common among older people. However, National Lottery funding is bringing people such as Betty Parsons, 83, together, and helping them to lead happier and healthier lives. Here is Betty’s story…

“I was housebound for two years after suffering from a stroke.

I felt depressed about being stuck at home all of the time, but didn’t have the confidence to go out and see other people. All of that changed when I visited The Daffodil Club for the elderly.

I used to run a wee club myself after my husband died, but then I turned 80 and started to take not so well.

I regularly visited the doctors for injections and check-ups. During one of my visits, the nurse noticed my pulse was low and got a doctor to come and see me. He recommended I go to the hospital, but I didn’t want to go and asked if there was anything else he could do, so he gave me some medication instead.

Read more…

Young Start set for a refresh

October 17, 2017

Children and volunteer doing exercises on the floorThe Young Start fund will be pausing in early November. It’s now more than five years since Young Start first opened, so we are taking some time to review and reshape the fund. We plan to reopen the fund in Spring 2018, and will continue to distribute money from dormant bank accounts to fantastic youth-led projects across Scotland.

We will continue to accept applications up until noon on Tuesday 7th of November.

The application form is no longer available on our website. If you would like to apply, please get in touch with our friendly Advice Team to discuss your plans – on 0300 123 7110 or by emailing

We anticipate that there will be a lot of competition for grants before the pause and so have extended the turnaround time from application to decision from 8 to 12 weeks. If you are considering applying before the 7th of November, please note that we are only likely to fund projects where young people are strongly involved in the planning and delivery of the work.

Read more…

My time to shine

October 16, 2017

One in seven people in the UK often feel lonely*. David Leslie from Glasgow was just nine when he became a carer for his mother who had mental health problems. This made him feel lonely and isolated from other people his own age. Now four years later, David tells us how his life has changed, thanks to the support of the National Lottery funded Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) Young Carers project…

“I used to hang about in my street. My friends were horrible and nasty, calling me names and hitting me. School was across the road. No-one at school knew. They wouldn’t understand.

When my mum took ill the social workers said it would be good for me to get out and about. They told me about Young Carers and sent someone to the house to talk about it. I was thinking it would be fun to go and meet people. Sometimes I had to take care of mum when my brother was out. Then mum got really ill and my brother left home. I was on my own with my mum for a wee while, dad wasn’t living with us. I just got on with it, didn’t talk to anybody, just Young Carers.

Read more…

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