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Let’s hear it for the girls

June 20, 2017

National Lottery funding is helping to change thousands of lives today, empowering people and communities to embrace a brighter future as 50 groups across the country receive a cash boost of over £9.6m .

That’s certainly the case for Glasgow based social enterprise, MsMissMrs.  Project Manager, Sylvia Douglas, explains the difference that their first Big Lottery Fund award will make to the confidence of young women across the city.

Sylvia Douglas

“It’s not easy being a woman in 2017. While society would have us believe that today’s women have made major steps in equality, we at MsMissMrs  know this isn’t entirely true. There is still a great deal of work to be done, as women and are challenged by major social, economic and health inequalities. That’s where we come in! With a no-holds-barred attitude, MsMissMrs seeks to empower these women, providing them with impactful resources to spark positive change, and a solid foundation for building a happier relationship with themselves.

“Founded in 2013, we are a social enterprise based in Glasgow set up to address the major health and wellbeing inequalities facing women and girls who have travelled a difficult journey. We’re passionate about empowerment, having created long-term sustainable change with over 200 women and girls so far. Thanks to our empowerment pants and private investment, our year started with the opening of a new community hub, where we offer a space for women and girls from all over Glasgow to connect with each other and themselves.

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Our call to early action

June 14, 2017

Big Lottery Fund Scotland opens new collaborative funding opportunity

Today we are delighted to launch a new fund aimed at making a fundamental shift towards early action in Scotland. With £7.5 million of National Lottery funding available, Early Action System Change will make a small number of grants to help bring local public and third sectors organisations together to redesign and re-organise their services and to test new approaches that make early action central to their work.

As we’ve highlighted in a series of blog posts, an early action approach aims to prevent societal problems from occurring rather than coping with the consequences. This in turn helps people to live longer, happier and healthier lives. But to get to that point, the systems and support that are in place right now require change.

Through this fund we will therefore award a small number of grants of up to £1 million that are intended to fund the first steps towards changing the way whole systems work. This means we are interested in the overall system you want to change and the particular areas where there are opportunities to act earlier.  We want to see this change fully involve the people who benefit from and participate, and those who work to deliver support and services.

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Success rates 2016-17

May 25, 2017

We’ve been updating our success rates for the last little while and now can gather the last year together. The below are the decisions we made between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017:


Higher or lower success rates

Having a high success rate doesn’t unfortunately guarantee receiving a grant. This also means on the flipside having a lower success rate doesn’t mean you wot get funding.

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How to use other people’s evidence in your application

May 10, 2017

Evidence from Elsewhere bookletPolicy & Public Affairs Adviser Cath Logan shares her top tips on using other people’s evidence in your funding application…

If you’re applying for funding, it’s always important to build up evidence to show that what you are planning will work.

Whether you are hoping to carry out activities you’ve never run before, or want to gather more information in support of your existing activities, you may wish to consider using secondary evidence – or ‘Evidence from Elsewhere.’

Secondary evidence is anything that has been generated by someone other than yourself or your organisation, such as academic research or a charity’s evaluation report.

It can be useful for persuading funders to fund approaches or activities you haven’t tried before, by showing it has worked elsewhere. Secondary evidence can also be used alongside your own primary evidence (i.e. any evidence you have gathered about your organisation’s own activities) to strengthen your application.

The Knowledge Translation Network, of which I am a member, recently launched the guide ‘Evidence from Elsewhere: Gathering, analysing and using other people’s evidence’. This guide is aimed at anyone in the third sector who wants to use secondary evidence to influence and improve policy or practice, or both.

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My saving grace

May 10, 2017

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is promoting good mental health and doing the things, however small, that make us happier.

Former art student, Lindsay Osborne, 29, from Kirriemuir was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and Type 11 bipolar when she was in her early 20s and has spent the last few years finding the best way to deal with her condition and move forward with her life.

Now, thanks to an innovative National Lottery funded environmental project, Greenbuds, run by Dundee Association for Mental Health Association (DAMH), Lindsay is beginning to regain her confidence and re-discover her passion for art.

Lindsay leading one of the sessions she put together

Lindsay explained, “Greenbuds has been my saving grace in many ways. I have found a new family here and it’s helped me begin to trust people and I am beginning to engage with the world again.

DAMH received £141,014 from the Big Lottery Fund in February 2016 to run a service supporting local people to be able to access the natural environment around them, helping to improve their mental wellbeing and reduce any stress and anxiety.

Lindsay continued,” I have never been in a situation where I have been a part of something along with people who have similar struggles and battles as me. I have gone through some very dark times in the past and I have mostly been left to deal with my condition alone.

“I felt like I was always being pulled backwards and, until now, I don’t think I have ever fully learned to look ahead or make any plans. The truth is, I still want to work in a creative field, but I am terrified of displaying any personal work to anyone, so much so that I got rid of most of it.”

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