60 seconds with a Funding Officer…

Jessie Duncan, a young woman with glasses standing in Glasgow city centre.
Jessie Duncan, Funding Officer

There are currently lots of opportunities to join our team for people who are passionate about supporting communities in Scotland. So to give people an idea what it’s like working at the Big Lottery Fund, we interviewed Jessie Duncan, one of our Funding Officers, to give you the inside scoop…

Hi Jessie. Tell us a bit about what the Big Lottery Fund does.

At the core of what we do is distributing National Lottery money to community groups, charities and other third sector organisations, to help them make a difference to people and their communities.

What made you decide to join the Big Lottery Fund?   

I remember when I first saw the job of Funding Officer being advertised it jumped out at me immediately because of the great reputation that the organisation has.

Coming from a background of working for a charity, I understood the key role that funders like the Big Lottery Fund play in addressing so many important issues, and I saw the job as an opportunity to help shape these decisions.

What has surprised you the most since joining?

Probably just the sheer diversity of the organisations, projects and people that you come into contact with.

Particularly when working on smaller grants, you might be dealing with a youth work organisation in a deprived area, a support group for older people facing social isolation, and a disability sports club – all in the one morning! So it definitely keeps things interesting.

What’s been your highlight?

Working with such a great group of people! The organisation really is a good place to work and is full of friendly, helpful, experienced people.

If someone becomes a Funding Officer, what can they expect to do on a day-to-day basis?

The main focus of the role is to assess applications from groups seeking funding, but this isn’t as straightforward as simply reading from an application form.

In reality you’ll build long-term relationships with people and organisations in the local areas you cover. This includes reaching out to new and different groups, supporting people who are applying for funding and continuing to work with them after funding has been awarded.

For instance, even though Aberdeenshire is quite far away from our base in Glasgow, I’ve been able to create a network of contacts there which includes organisations like Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.

This allowed me to identify a ‘cold spot’ in Aberdeenshire that could benefit from more of our funding and, after presenting at some outreach events there, I was able to encourage more organisations in the area to apply to us.

What would you say to people who are thinking about applying to join us but aren’t 100% sure?

I’d say that you do need to have a genuine interest in working with people and communities across Scotland to address issues that matter to them. If that applies to you I’d just say go for it!

And any words of wisdom for those who are applying?

There are no stupid questions! The role is diverse and there is a lot to learn when you first start. Like I said, we’re a friendly bunch and will be happy to help.

Interested in working at the Big Lottery Fund? To better represent the communities we work with, we are keen to recruit people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

To find out more information or to apply, please visit: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/jobs  . Alternatively, to learn more about the Funding Officer roles we have available, join our webinar on Tuesday 6 March: https://is.gd/fundingofficer

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