It has been two weeks since I have joined the Big Lottery Fund Scotland as a Communications Officer in the Advice Team and I thought I would do a wee blog to share my story so far.
My job is to give people advice about our funding programmes by phone and email. Another big part of my role is to go to events and represent the Big Lottery Fund and give presentations and advice to potential applicants in person.
On my first day I was introduced to lots of people at our office and was shown the cosy corner in the office where my team is based. One thing I found helpful was bringing something familiar to help me settle in like my pug mug!
The staff at the Big Lottery Fund Scotland are very friendly and people are so passionate about what they do. It is great to work for an organisation where the key mission is to tackle inequality in communities. In my first week I got to know about the different funding programmes we offer (and learning my co-workers names!). We offer different funds each designed differently to suit different types of projects.
On my fourth day I travelled to a ‘Meet the Funders’ event in Methil. It was an event where people looking for funding could go shopping for different funders and find out which grant from different organisations would be best for them. It was interesting to find out about the different funding organisations in Scotland and how some of them offer specialised grants. For example the Heritage Lottery Fund offering grants for cultural projects. I volunteered to give a couple of presentations at a workshop for people looking to find out more about our funds. I was a bit nervous about this but having my trusty and knowledgeable colleague Steven on hand to help me answer Q&A sessions was a relief. The audience was lovely and some even told me on their way out that it was good! (I think they knew I was new to the game and were nice to give me some encouragement).
It was the first time I had been to Fife and I got to see the beautiful scenery Fife has to offer. At the Big Lottery Fund staff are allocated to a Place Team which means they will be assigned to a Local Authority area in Scotland. I will be specialising in the North East so you might see me in Aberdeen or Dundee in the future.
Another part of my role as Communications Officer is updating our social media. So I made a picture to celebrate Halloween, at least I tried!
The Advice Team that I am based in is a small team and we receive a wide range of enquiries from people looking to overcome disadvantage through community ownership of an asset to a voluntary group who provide free music lessons for young people. One thing I have been struck by is the sheer number of dedicated people across Scotland who develop an idea to benefit their local community or a group of people experiencing challenging circumstances and who then embark on the long process to deliver their project. It is amazing to see and I’m glad the Big Lottery Fund plays a significant part in that by awarding funding in order to help people achieve that.