Our Advice Team spend a lot of our time helping smaller organisations to access funding. And Awards for All is by far our most popular programme. So I thought I’d introduce Alastair, Communications Officer with the team, to those of you who don’t already know him. I asked him to give us his views on Awards for All.
M: So tell us a bit about yourself Alastair.
A: Well, I’m a big sports fan, an electronic musician and a science geek among other things.
M: And our favourite punster! What about your time at the Big Lottery Fund.
A: I started in 2008 providing admin support for the Policy Team, worked on outreach for our large grants team, was a Funding Officer for Awards for All for a while and now give information and advice to applicants on all of our programmes.
M: What’s new with Awards for All?
A: People are asking about the closing date, maybe because our large grants programme, Investing in Communities, will close in June. But Awards for All will remain open and there are no deadlines. Staff costs too – we relaunched Awards for All last year. While it’s always funded sessional staff, now it will also fund existing staff if they need to do extra activities for their Awards for All project. Provided they’re the most appropriate person to do them.
M: What are sessional staff?
M: What about things we’re having to say “no” to?
A: Fund-raising activity unfortunately because I just had a call on this from a great organisation. They raise money for mental health causes through trans-oceanic canoeing. They just completed the fastest ever canoe crossing of the Indian Ocean and by the longest route. It was the longest route because they had to avoid three hurricanes and a group of Somali pirates. They were still hit by a whale!
M: Heroes! And what do you like best about Awards for All Alastair?
A: I love that it can give any new or small organisation a “foot up” – a chunk of money to do something really interesting with. Awards for All is like lego – you could pretty much build anything out of it if it’s going to benefit your community. It can also be the BUILDING BLOCK for bigger work. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel either, just DUPLOcate someone else’s good idea.
M: BOOM! BOOM!