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We’re coming to your community – Autumn & Winter 2018

October 5, 2018

Young man in a powerchair moving towards a large football, in a gymInterested in applying to us for National Lottery funding to make a difference in your community? We’ll be at a number of events across Scotland over the next few months, where you can chat to us about your ideas and get advice on applying. 

This includes running joint funding advice sessions in Glasgow, Dumbarton and Edinburgh with the Corra Foundation, another major funder in Scotland, which will offer you the chance to meet both funders on the same day and in the same place.

We’ll also be present at funding fairs and larger conferences where you will be welcome to speak to us about what activities you’re hoping to carry out in your community.

The events are listed below, and shown on the interactive map along with details of how to get involved. Just click on the relevant map marker for more information!

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Challenge poverty? Aye we can!

October 4, 2018

European Union logo and The Scottish Government logo togetherChallenge Poverty Week is upon us! To mark it, we wanted to show how our Delivering Financial Inclusion programme, which is funded jointly by the European Social Fund and National Lottery players, is supporting the most vulnerable people across Scotland to improve their money management skills and reduce debt.

Financial worries are common in many households across Scotland, but can be particularly difficult for lone parents, people experiencing unemployment and those on low incomes.

Our programme helps to tackle poverty by supporting people with these money pressures in Argyll & Bute, Dundee, Inverclyde, Glasgow and North Ayrshire, by providing them with benefits and debt advice, money management skills, and fuel and energy consultations.

As it’s Challenge Poverty Week, we’d like to show how these services are working in practice by taking a closer look at how people have benefitted from the I:DEAS service, provided by Inverclyde Council and its delivery partners.

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Involving your community: part 2 – schools, uniformed groups and sensitive work

September 17, 2018

Two older girls coaching lots of children in a football pitchAs I discussed in a recent blog piece, involving your community in planning and delivering your work is important if you are looking to get a grant from us, especially through National Lottery Awards for All.

This time we’ll look at some cases where involving the wider community could be more difficult, or a bit outside of your organisation’s normal role. So let’s start with the commonest question:

What if we don’t or can’t work with the wider community?

When you are doing more sensitive work we realise that it can be difficult to work with your community in the widest sense. This could be the case for projects doing things like counselling around sensitive issues, or work with vulnerable groups.

However, for most other groups we are keen to see how you will involve and be open to input from the wider community, not just the people currently involved in your activities (although their views are important too!). Because of this, projects that only benefit your organisation’s existing users or members are typically less likely to be funded.

This can be an issue for some types of organisation in particular.

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Raising your game and doing the unimaginable

September 12, 2018

The green and yellow shopfront of the Locavore Community Interest Company, with a person walking through the front doorRunning a social enterprise and want to take it to the next level? In this guest blog, Firstport’s Maria Ashley talks about their accelerator programme, LaunchMe, and how budding social entrepreneurs can apply to get seed funding and intensive support to achieve impact at scale…

‘I’m doing things that I wouldn’t even have imagined’. This quote from one of the LaunchMe participants pretty much sums up what the programme is all about – raising ambitions, giving confidence and encouraging social entrepreneurs to think big and do more, faster.

LaunchMe is the only accelerator of its kind in Scotland and is delivered by Firstport. We support budding social entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground by providing one-to-one business support, seed funding, connections and resources.  Firstport has been working with social enterprise start-ups for over ten years and while we know that most social entrepreneurs are locally focused and come with relatively modest ambitions (at least to start with), some have the potential and desire to do much more.

Originally commissioned in 2014 as a three-year programme through National Lottery funding to grow the ambition and potential of social enterprises, LaunchMe supports start-up social enterprises to achieve scale, by getting them investment ready and directly connecting them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns. Participants receive seed funding, intensive one-to-one and group business advice to get investment ready, as well as access to grant funding as co-investment to match any private investment they secure during the programme.

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Young Start is back! £18m available for youth-led projects

August 30, 2018

Four young women playing steel drums and having funGreat news! From today groups across Scotland can apply for Young Start funding to help young people realise their potential. Following a brief pause to refresh the programme, Young Start is back with a life-changing £18 million pounds of dormant banks account funding available for projects that involve young people in their design, running and evaluation.

The Young Start fund previously awarded £29.5 million to 693 projects that have had an incredible impact on the lives of young people, helping them to become more confident, healthy, enterprising and connected to their peers and communities.

One of those young people is Ben, 19, from Motherwell who attends Youth Focus, a Young Start funded project from African Lanarkshire for Mental Health that supports young people to build their confidence through a range of activities.

Ben, who is currently studying building environment at Motherwell college, hopes to fulfil his dream of becoming an architect. When speaking with Ben, it is clear that he is a bright and confident young man. However, he explains that this is in sharp contrast to the extremely shy boy that he was just a few years ago.

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