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All you need is love

February 14, 2017

fiona and duncan dancing at a get2gether eventEvery few months we run media workshops for our grant holders, which gives us another chance to hear inspirational stories of the life changing difference that National Lottery funding is making up and down the country.

Sylvia from get2gether came along to our session earlier this month. Based in Edinburgh, get2gether believe that everyone should have opportunities for love and friendship, and they put on a wide range of events and activities for people with disabilities.

During the session Sylvia shared a story about two people who have found love and are still happy together almost one year on.

So this Valentine’s Day we thought we would share Fiona and Duncan’s story to help spread love and happiness around.


Fiona joined get2gether over a year ago hoping to meet someone special. Fiona, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s in her 20s, said, “Like most people I find it really difficult to meet new people but having Asperger’s makes it doubly hard as I feel really awkward in social situations. Like lots of people I have been hurt before and it makes it even harder to trust someone. There were lots of times that I felt like giving up and wondered if there was really someone for me out there.”

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Beware of Consultancy Services for Funding Bids

February 13, 2017

This short blog is a quick and friendly reminder to watch out for consultants who offer services to write your funding bid for you. Some businesses promote their services by telling potential customers about the Big Lottery Fund, providing generic pre-filled applications, or implying they are acting on the Big Lottery Fund’s behalf. Some offer to fill in the form for you in return for payment or a cut of the grant.

It can be useful to get support to plan or develop your ideas, and here experienced consultants often play an important role – especially for larger or more complex projects.   high-res-corporate-logo-blue

However, our application process is free and we believe paying someone else to fill in your application is usually unnecessary, especially for our smaller grants like Awards for All.

We want to hear from you in your own words.

Because of this, the Big Lottery Fund can’t provide funding for any costs, commission or fees that a consultant might charge you to complete an application form.

If you are thinking about applying for our funding and are not sure where to start simply give our Advice Team a call on 0300 123 7110 or email us We are here to provide pre-application advice and information, and are happy to give you advice on any aspect of completing an application.

Business support in Scotland

February 6, 2017

Maureen laughing in the Senior CentreGood news! We have partnered with the Social Investment Business to provide business support over the next three years to empower the people that support their communities through grant-funded activity.

If you are a current grant holder we may be able to link you up with an independent business advisor who can enable you to make great things happen through one–to-one and group support and mentoring.

A range of support can be provided to your group, including:

  • Business planning
  • Financial management
  • Good governance
  • Policy development
  • Controls and best practice
  • Trading and income generation

Over the last five years more than 300 organisations have benefitted from the business support on offer, including the Senior Centre in Castlemilk who received a grant through our Investing in Communities programme.

In 2015, after being based in a building that was no longer fit for purpose, the Senior Centre moved into a refurbished building, much more suited to their needs. The new building enabled the project to significantly increase their membership, take on new staff and volunteers, and raise their profile.

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Warm welcome for migrants and refugees

February 1, 2017

megan-weddingEarlier this year the Welcoming Association was awarded £142,079 of National Lottery funding to run a befriending scheme providing one-to-one support to newly-arrived migrants and refugees, as well as a programme of workshops and visits to help them integrate into their new communities.

Since then volunteers, migrants and refugees have enjoyed some special moments getting to know each other, which Caitlin from the Welcoming Association has been able to share with us in this blog post.

Wedding snaps

Megan, who grew up overseas, joined the Welcoming’s befriending programme hoping to gain some new friends, learn more about people from other nations, and understand more about how refugees settle in Scotland: “I valued friendship when I was new [to Scotland] and learning how to integrate into my new community, and I would like to return that experience to someone else who is new.”

wedding-megan2Over the past few months Megan has been spending time with a young Syrian family to help them to settle into life in Edinburgh. Megan said the moment that she felt connected with the young couple was when she shared her wedding album with them. They spent almost two hours together looking through the photos: “It was a beautiful experience and really brought us together.”

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Success rates and the opportunities of receiving funding

January 31, 2017

Last September we revealed what the success rates are for our funding. Our website pages also mentioned these, including an update in November 2016. Now we can give a full breakdown of these going from 1 April 2016 through to 31 December 2016. The most recent details are for 1 November 2016 to 31 December 2016:


Stage two applications

The numbers of stage two applications in comparison to stage one and ‘one-stage applications’ are still relatively low at the moment. Nonetheless, large grants for improving lives received 12 applications during 1 November 2016 and 31 December. The success rate for them was 83%. For stage two Scottish Land Fund, eight applications received a decision and all of them were successful.

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