As we approach the end of the first year of the Third Sector Early Intervention Fund, we are hosting an all-day conference on Thursday the 6th of February to bring grant holders together to discuss the progress so far. The day will include Q+A sessions, round table discussions and showcases from Anne McTaggart from Quarriers and Eddie McConnell from Sense Scotland, among others. The conference will be chaired by Ian McLaughlan from Youth Scotland and will also include an optional session for delegates on how best to use social media.
The Third Sector Early Intervention Fund is a £20 million programme currently being run by Big Fund (the non-Lottery arm of the Big Lottery Fund),on behalf of the Scottish Government. The funding supports third sector organisations to deliver national outcomes relating to children and young people, and the families and communities that support them. It also supports a smaller number of projects to test new approaches to delivering effective services that intervene earlier.
The Big Lottery Fund invested £98 million in 295 projects supporting children and young people, between 2006-13 and shares the Government’s ambition that Scotland should be a fantastic place for children and young people to grow up.
Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee chair, talked about the range of funding programmes that the Big Lottery Fund has for children, young people and families and those it delivers on behalf of the Scottish Government, such as the Communities and Families Funds and Young Start. Taken together, and with grant holders able to access specialist support around business planning and evaluation, they represent a comprehensive and coherent package of support. There will be opportunities to explore new project ideas or areas of under-investment with funding advice staff over lunch.
It is hoped that the conference will be a great opportunity for groups and individuals to reflect on some of the progress made and good work being done both locally and nationally, with plenary presentations providing us with insight and challenge to do better. Round table discussions will encourage attendees to highlight their progress so far; share and discuss challenges they or their members face in moving to a more preventive approach, and share practice on evidencing impact.
With a conference report drawing together some interim learning themes after the day, we should begin to see what the Third Sector Early Intervention Fund has allowed groups to do, where the challenges lie and where the collective focus should be over the next year.
For those unable to attend the event, the Big Lottery Fund will be keeping people informed via the twitter page @BIGScotland using the hashtag #TSEIF and we encourage those attending to use it as well.