Consulting on dormant bank accounts funding

Our team at BIG Scotland are delighted to have been chosen to distribute dormant bank accounts (DBA) funding for the benefit of Scotland’s third sector.

The Scottish Government has now asked us to put together a plan for distributing the funding around four main themes, which were agreed by Scottish Ministers following a wide reaching consultation in 2008/2009.

These are:

  • Create opportunities for children and young people
  • Address health inequalities through increased activity
  • Strengthen inter-generational activities
  • Create community-based employment opportunities

There will be around £3 million to distribute in Scotland in the first year of the programme which, although less than previously anticipated, still has the potential to make a significant impact in Scotland. With this in mind we have been developing our thinking on how this money could make the biggest possible impact across all four themes without being spread too thinly. We think that a possible way of achieving this would be to introduce an overall aim for the programme.

Our initial proposal for this is “to support children and young people most in need”, with the beneficiary group, ‘children and young people’, being the common thread linking together the four themes.

To help guide this work, we will be holding consultation events in October 2011 with a range of key stakeholders to answer a number of key questions as part of this consultation.

This briefing will form the focus of discussion at our events with third sector stakeholders, each of which have experience of working within or across the identified themes. 

Following this consultation we will submit a strategic plan for this programme to the Scottish Government which will include our assessment of need in these areas and a proposal for distributing the funding.  We will then work towards making the first funding available by Spring next year.


  1. Please let us know how we can register an interest in being part of the consultation.

    Whatever transpires, when administering the fund I would also ask agencies to be clearer about the nature of partnership working that they are involved in when supporting young people, as no one agency has the perfect support package for every individual’s needs. The term ‘partnership’ is bandied about too much and varies from joint delivery to tokenistic relationships, so sorting out the genuine from the ostensible would be key.

  2. I would very much agree that the fund should focus on children and young people with a particular emphasis on developing the capacity of young people to be better prepared for the world of work not necessarily in formal Employment Programmes but through confidence building and awareness raising of their potential. I also think part of the funding could be used to include potential employers as part of the process (semi-apprenticeships).


    Russell Hampton
    BTCV Scotland

  3. Having learnt more about the fund and its parameters, I’d look to put forward the following comments.

    1) A focus on children and young people is spot on, but I would urge the lottery to go further by specifying a focus on “the most vulnerable/excluded/hard to reach” individual children and young people.

    2) The source of this money means it is a) more flexible than other lottery and non-lottery grant schemes, b) potentially ongoing in future and c) will need to carve its own niche to encourage policy-makers to continue commitment to it. For these reasons, I would suggest that its grant scheme should take a different tack to the majority of other grant schemes. Specifically I would suggest the fund therefore focuses upon in-depth, longer-term support to a smaller number of particularly excluded individuals who need high levels of support, often on a 1-to-1 basis, to make positive changes in their lives that have the long-term impact in terms of reducing vulnerability/exclusion. It is well known that intensive 1:1 support is essential for many of the most vulnerable individuals (e.g. disabled young people, disengaged/at risk young people involved in offending/substance misuse, young people with mental health issues), but that it is more costly per head and therefore falls into second place behind broader brush support provided to groups of young people which appears to offer ‘more for less’ to funders (and by definition excludes many of the harder to reach in the rush to achieve quantitative targets). By showing the ‘distance travelled’ of individuals provided with intensive support over 18 months or more, it is still possible to show that a smaller number of significant outcomes is equally valuable to a larger number of simpler outcomes (quality v quantity in other words, or depth v spread). Long-term support to individuals on a small group or 1:1 basis also better recognises that some young people have ‘wobbles’ in their journey of change.

    3) Grant duration – longer-term grants, even if they mean fewer grants, provide certainty to individuals receiving support, the organisations providing support, and probably the lottery itself. There are no quick fixes in helping excluded young people move towards a sustainable lifestyle.

    4) A different approach to 1:1 working: finally, a lot of young people have told us that they often feel key-worked to death. When identifying the input that has had the most effect in helping them change their lives, most describe a 1:1 relationship that has been termed a ‘professional friend’ ie. someone with whom the relationship goes beyond a 9 till 5 professional relationship. Aspects such as trust, support when it is needed in the young person’s life rather than office hours, and space to make mistakes/be in a bad mood/kick off without it being recorded as a black mark on the next keywork report, have all been identified within this ‘professional friend’ type idea.

    5) Equally, most young people say that, at appropriate times in their lives, they want to build relationships and friendships with peers. Many of them need intensive support to reach that stage and make it a reality, so the professional friend/1:1 supporter also needs to promote independence rather than dependence.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Jack,

    Thanks for your thoughful comments.

    We’ll share them with the projct team directly, and will post the full outcome of the consultation process in due course.

    John Fellows

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