The Big Lottery Fund is opening a dialogue about its future funding strategy in Scotland and across the UK. Here, Jackie Killeen, Scotland Director explains what we hope to achieve from Your Voice Our Vision and how you can get involved.
“Every day our funding team in Scotland speak to a range of people and organisations whose opinions help to shape the way we work. Now we are asking you to share those views more broadly with a Scottish and UK wide audience to help us consider our role as a funder and help shape our vision and plans from 2015 to 2021. It will inform our next strategic framework and that’s why it is called Your Voice Our Vision.
Here in Scotland we are particularly keen to hear from a wide range of perspectives in order to guide our next portfolio of Scottish programmes. From now until July 2014 we will be having a series of conversations with Scottish charities, social enterprises, community groups, stakeholders, and members of the public on our future strategic direction. And it is deliberately a conversation; an exchange of thoughts, ideas, challenges and opportunities.
The world may have changed in Scotland in the five years since we developed our current strategic approach, but our mission remains the same: to help communities and those most in need. Through these conversations we want people to share their view on how we can best achieve this mission.
While we will be organising some specific conversations and events across the country, we are also keen for people to add their voice through our online platform. Here you can give us your views as part of an open and informal discussion and best of all there are no-time consuming questionnaires to fill in! We’ve also produced an online toolkit that will help you and those groups that you work with to take part in the discussion.
To support the conversation we have broken down Your Voice Our Vision into four themes. These are:
Vibrant Communities: How can we help communities to make the most of their strengths and talents?
Addressing Disadvantage: What can we do to support people living in poverty to achieve a better quality of life? How do we address increasing demand for help in difficult times?
Working Together: How can we best work with others to make a difference? How can we share our information, learning and resources for the benefit of others?
Stronger Sector: How can we best support the development of a stronger voluntary, community and social enterprise sector?
And of course there are some fundamental questions we have about our role and personality as a funder. For example: how do we balance responsive funding with more targeted investments? How do we best support innovation, and share and extend great practice?
You can help us to answer these questions in a variety of ways. You could submit a blog, post a film, send a tweet or simply share a comment on our online platform. You’ll also be able to comment on what others have said and rate their ideas.
So this really is a fresh opportunity for Scottish voices to be heard. I hope that you will share your views over the coming days and months. Your opinions matter greatly to us and will help to ensure that our future funding best supports Scottish communities and people in greatest need.”
You can get involved in Your Voice, Our Visions in the following ways:
• Twitter: #yourvoice
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundScotland
• Email: email@example.com
The conversation will run to July 2014 and views will then form the basis of the Big Lottery Fund’s new vision and framework, which will be published by Spring 2015.