Skip to content

A Young Starters Guide

February 18, 2019
Gillian Katungi, Communications and Engagement Officer – Young Start

If you’re thinking about applying for a Young Start grant but feel a little uncertain about where to start or what we’re looking for, this is for you! Inspired by conversations with existing grant holders, potential applicants and our funding officers, this video will take you on a whistle stop tour of Young Start, providing hints and tips on what to think about along the way.

A transcript of the FAQs are also included below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch!

Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: Can I apply to Young Start if my organisation has had Young Start funding in the past?

A: Yes you can. However, we aren’t always able to offer continuous funding so we may occasionally need to prioritise groups who have received less funding from us before. We’re happy to discuss this with you in advance though.

Q: Do you only fund new projects or ideas?

A: No. Young Start grants are available for both new ideas and existing projects that are already up and running.

Q: Do you cover salaries and overhead costs?

A: Yes, young start funding can be used to fund salaries and overhead costs. But don’t just apply for salary or equipment costs – make sure that you also include costs of the activities that will deliver the outcomes for young people.

Q: How much can I request and over how many years?

A: This really depends on the project, what you’d like funding to cover and how long you’ll need the funding to deliver your project. Our advice is to demonstrate the impact that will come from the amount of funding you’re requesting.

Also be realistic about the number of young people that your project will benefit, sometimes the more beneficiaries your project has, the less impact your work might have.

Q: How old is a young person and does it matter if people fall outside of the age range?

A: Young Start is aimed at young people between 8 and 24. So your project and its impact should really be focused on this age range however, that doesn’t mean that the wider community can’t benefit from the project or that your project can’t add value to others.

We have funded projects that help young people connect with older and younger generations through their activities.

Q: Am I unlikely to be funded if another project provides a similar service?

As one of our approaches is about being connected to your community and having great relationships, we would like to see projects collaborate rather than duplicate efforts.

Q: Do you fund sports projects?

A: We do fund projects that involve sports however, we are looking for projects that can demonstrate why the activities are important to the specific community or young people that you’re aiming to support.

Naturally sport creates a healthier lifestyle but we’d like to know how young people will be involved in the development, design and delivery of your project. It helps to think about the following:

  • Why your project is necessary for the particular group of young people that you are working with. How young people’s lives and outcomes will be changed.
  • How will your project have a long term impact on young people, their families and their communities?
  • Are the young people that you’re supporting farthest away from taking part in play or sport? Do they have existing health issues?
  • Are young people at risk of developing health issues? Be sure to express this to us in your application.

Finally, when speaking to us or writing your application, remember to tell us about the specific project you want funding for and use clear examples of the activities. Remember not to focus on previous projects or activities that aren’t specifically related to the project you’re applying for.

The form isn’t online because we’d love to have an informal chat about your idea first. This will help you, and us, understand if the project is a potential fit for the programme.

If you’re keen to have a conversation please email us at or call us on 0300 123 7110.

What will your Big Lunch look like?

February 11, 2019

In days gone by borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbour was often the first spark of a new friendship. It was the beginning of long conversations over the garden fence and the first building block of a friendlier, safer and more connected community.

But as times change, so do the ways that we build relationships with those around us . And that’s where The Big Lunch comes in; an annual get together on 1 and 2 June where people from across the UK come can together for a few glorious hours to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, plan and laugh with their neighbours. Last year, 40,000 people in Scotland took part.

Delivered by Eden Project Communities and supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, The Big Lunch gives you the  scope to be as elaborate or as simple as you like. So whether it’s a street party with your neighbours, a lunch at your National Lottery funded project or simply grabbing a blanket and a few sausage rolls in the park, the Big Lunch is what you make it!

To give you some food for thought Eden Project Communities are currently running a number of free, informal workshops that will provide support and advice to anyone who’d like to get involved either to plan or take part in a Big Lunch. As well as some handy hints and tips on how to deliver a lunch and how to make it a success, you’ll also meet people in your area who have done it before and you’ll find out all about the Big Lunch pack which gives you the tools and colour to make your event look the part.

Workshops are taking place from now until April on the dates below. If you would like to attend simply send us an email.

o   Monday 18th Feb – Bellfield Community Centre, Portobello

o   Friday 22nd Feb – Ness Bank Church, Inverness

o   Monday 25th Feb – Lesser Hall, Forres

o   Tuesday 26th Feb – The Royal British Legion Social Club, Thurso

o   Wednesday 27th Feb – SWI Hall, Kirkwall

o   Monday 18th March – Kirkcaldy

o   Tuesday 19th March – Banchory

o   Thursday 21st March – Alloa

o   Tuesday 26th March – Portree

o   Wednesday 27th March – Stornoway

o   Tuesday 2nd April – Galashiels

o   Thursday 4th April – Shotts

So, come with a neighbour, a friend, or a colleague from your National Lottery funded project – or just come yourself. You might not get a cup of sugar but you’re sure to get lot of inspiration and a fabulous Big Lunch.

And of course if you can’t make a workshop but want to be part of the biggest party of the year, you can still download a Big Lunch pack here.

Community comes first in our celebratory project visits!

February 8, 2019

We recently changed our name to The National Lottery Community fund, and to celebrate our new moniker we visited amazing National Lottery funded projects all around Scotland! Here are just a few of the inspiring groups we had a chat with last week to hear more about their awesome work, and speak to them about our new name!

Our Inverclyde Funding Officer Eimear and Communications Officer Aymie headed doon the watter to picturesque Port Glasgow to meet with the team at Parklea Branching Out. The community garden project was awarded £10,000 of National Lottery Awards for All funding to support their mission of using horticulture to help children with additional needs to get outside and socialise more.

Visiting Parklea in the winter was a particular treat for our officers, with bare trees exposing uninterrupted views out towards the Clyde – a perfect backdrop to the outstanding community work that the group do.

The team at Parklea Branching Out with Eimear

During the visit, the group gave Eimear and Aymie a tour of their charming log cabins, gardens and greenhouses, whilst explaining how National Lottery funding had helped them to continue their vital work.

Aymie noted: “It was fulfilling speaking with the group about how their work has benefitted the community, in particular children with additional needs.

“I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about the Parklea Branching Out project. It was also a great opportunity to hear about the group’s future plans, and discuss how the project could apply for funding with us in the future.”

Gillian with the South Glasgow Bookbug group and their little ones

It is clear that communities are better when they come together and get involved in shaping their future – this is something that is demonstrated wonderfully through the South Glasgow Bookbug project.

Evaluation Manager Rowan and our Communications Officer Gillian visited Bookbug South Glasgow Project – a project that benefitted from £96,000 of our Improving Lives funding.

The South Glasgow Childcare Partnership Forum runs the Gorbals based Bookbug. The project directly supports children, young people and families currently experiencing challenging circumstances and isolation. The group aim to make a lasting difference to people’s lives rather than simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems they face.

Rowan and Gillian were invited to have delicious soup with the families and their wee ones, giving them a chance to chat to mums before the afternoon Bookbug session started. The session was for babies and young children of pre-school age, with the youngest attendee being just 16-weeks-old! Our officers got to see an abundance of little faces light up as they engaged with Bookbug.

Gillian explained: “It was so powerful speaking with some of the mums and to hear about how important these sessions are for them. For so many this is the only opportunity to get out of the house and for some it was the first place where they met others in similar situations.

“For those who had just moved to the country or area, it was where they found kindness, community, friendship and support.”

Bookbug South Glasgow has a remarkable effect not only on the children but the mums who attend the group, and proves a real asset to the Gorbals community.

Georgia from Vintage Vibes and Emma

Heading to the east coast, our Lothian Funding Officer Emma visited the Vintage Vibes project in Stockbridge. The project received a £350,000 Investing in Communities grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to help support their work with the older community who face issues such as isolation, loneliness and dementia.

Vintage Vibes was set-up by LifeCare and the Broomhouse Centre to help support the over-60s community in Edinburgh. The project provides long-term one-to-one volunteer home visiting, social contact and supports day-to-day activities for people aged over 60.

Vintage Vibes organise and facilitate an array of social activities from fantastic day trips to exciting home visits accompanied by furry companions.

Emma met with staff and volunteers at Vintage Vibes to have a chat about our new name and to find out more about how the project supports the older community in Edinburgh. Our funding officer was given a tour around the vivacious Broomhouse Centre, where she got to see the inspiring work first-hand.

“It was lovely to visit Vintage Vibes to celebrate our new name, and catch up with not only staff but some behind the scenes volunteers!”, Emma added.

The National Lottery Community Fund are proud to support ideas and projects that matter to people and communities. These projects were just a few examples of the excellent work National Lottery players have helped make possible. We might have a new name, but we will still continue to work closely with communities to help them realise their potential.

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland

January 29, 2019

From today the Big Lottery Fund will now be known as The National Lottery Community Fund. You may have noticed the change on our social media channels, and with our name change we also have a brand new logo!

Our new name reflects our commitment to working more closely with communities and the fact that we are proud to distribute funds raised by National Lottery Players.

While we might have a new name, we’ve been working to get closer to communities here in Scotland over the last couple of years. Working more locally means we’re better placed to put people in the lead, and when that happens – communities thrive.

Will this have an impact on any organisation who is funded in my area?   

This will not impact our National Lottery funded work in your area, we’ve made this change to increase National Lottery players’ awareness of the excellent projects they make possible. From today we have changed our digital addresses: web, emails and social media. We have been in contact with all of our stakeholders in the run up to the change to let them know all about it.

Will locally funded organisations need to change their websites/headed paper etc?   

We aren’t asking grant-holders to replace any of their existing merchandise. We have asked them to keep using merchandise and signage they currently use until it is ready to be replaced. We are asking grant-holders to make as many digital changes as possible in order to assist with the switchover, such as website and social media, and we will help them along the way. 

When will grant holders be informed of this change?   

We emailed all grant holders on the 28thSeptember 2018, explaining the reasons behind the change and assuring them that there is no need to change any of their materials at this stage. Letting them know ahead of the public launch in January 2019 means we have had time to talk to them about the change, answer any questions and prepare resources to support them when the time comes to transition to the new name and logo. We have also emailed grant-holders today (29 January) as our new name and visual identity has gone live.

How will we be able to find you online?

You will be able to find us on Twitter with our new handle @TNLComFundScot and you can reach us on Facebook at

Our social media will be updated with our new branding, and we will have plenty of exciting content to celebrate our new name throughout the week – so keep an eye out!

You can find our website at:

If you have any other questions you can always get in touch through our blog or social media, where we will be more than happy to talk about our new name!

National Lottery funded Castlemilk Senior Centre

Young Start helped me find my voice

January 25, 2019

laura asher“Now, I know who I am and I can see that I have something to offer.”

These are the powerful words of 19 year old Lauren Asher from Dumfries, who credits a Young Start funded project for helping her to find her voice. Lauren who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s, is project team secretary at D&G Youth Project, one of 16 youth led groups which, this week, shared in £1 million of Young Start funding.

D&G Youth Project will use its £85,089 award for its VIP ME initiative providing volunteering, work experience placements, peer mentoring and wellbeing workshops for young people aged between 14 and 25. It’s the second Young Start award for the group which previously received £30,000 to deliver Celebr’18, a project involving young people in the planning and delivery of Year of Young People activities across Dumfries and Galloway.

Lauren, who was part of the original Young Start project, tells us about her journey…

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that being part of Celebr’18 – the Dumfries and Galloway Year of Young People Project Team has changed my life. When I first got involved in this project, I was incredibly shy and didn’t have the confidence to speak to new people or try new things. I had recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s and I was struggling to understand what this meant for me and how I explain it to other people. I was also battling with mental health issues, and didn’t really see any purpose in my life.

Now, I know who I am and I can see that I have something to offer. I know that my Asperger’s makes me who I am and I am not afraid to share my struggles with others to show them that anything is possible.

Celebr’18 has given me the opportunity to flourish, to learn and to grow as a person. It has enabled me to take part in a variety of new experiences that previously I would never have even considered taking part in and would not have been able to without the funding put in place to support us. I have learned that just because something is scary, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad and I am no longer scared to share my views and opinions with others.

This project has given me my life back and I couldn’t be more grateful to the people who have made this possible.”

Young Start provides funding from £10,000 to £100,000 to help children and young people across Scotland become more confident, so they can realise their own potential. If you would like to find out more about Young Start or discuss a project idea you can visit our website or contact us on 0300 123 7110.





%d bloggers like this: