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How making profit can help your community

August 26, 2016

Relying on grant funding is becoming increasingly hard for community groups as competition for funding grows against a backdrop of funding cuts.  Some groups are meeting this funding challenge head on and starting a social enterprise.

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is an organisation that has a clear social and/or environmental mission which generates the majority of its income by selling goods or services rather than through grants or donations.  Running as a business, a social enterprise aims to make a profit but instead of giving profits to individuals or shareholders they are invested back into the organisation to fund activities or projects that benefit people and their communities. Read more…

Tips for running your Celebrate community event

August 22, 2016

thebiglunch.pngAs we start to make awards through our Celebrate programme, the Community Outreach team at The Big Lunch share some of their top tips for running and promoting a community event.

Jocelyn’s tips on contacting the local media
Jocelyn, Junior PR Executive

“Speaking to the local media is a great way to get the word out about your event or celebrate your achievements. Decide what outlet you would like to speak to or search for British media contacts online.

Make sure you give journalists plenty of notice—aim for at least a week before the event for local newspapers and radio—and explain clearly and concisely why your event is noteworthy. If you’re using a press release template, copy the text into the body of the email and make the subject line eye-catching so it stands out in a journalist’s busy inbox! And don’t be afraid to chase them up if you don’t receive a response—one email may not be enough!” Read more…

What next for internet sensation Hanes Llandoch?

August 19, 2016
Nia Siggins

“Wow, what a fortnight we’ve had at Hanes Llandoch! On August 2nd Ben and Owen from The Big Lottery Fund paid us a surprise visit to announce that our People’s Orchard proposal had been approved for a grant through the People and Places fund! With the collusion of one of Hanes Llandoch’s Trustee Board, Sue “Sneaky” Jones, they played a blinder pretending to be a small documentary team producing a short film about our famous Local Producers Market.

“In mid-flow, whilst waxing lyrical about the market I was stopped in my tracks and asked to read out the letter of approval. For once in my life I was rendered speechless, but not for long as we were overwhelmed with joy, particularly when a rather large presentation cheque was produced with the magical sum of £249,410! Read more…

Helping people live rest of their lives with dignity

August 12, 2016

50% Twitter.JPGBy policy and learning adviser David Rowlands

Last week I had the privilege to visit Skanda Vale Hospice, a Carmarthenshire group funded through our People and Places programme in Wales.

It’s easy to forget the impact our funding can make when you are in the office most of the time but this project really highlighted how our funding can makes a huge difference. Read more…

We’re changing our online community – to make it your online community!

August 5, 2016

Action on Hearing Loss4.jpgIn this blog Steve Keene, our digital manager, talks us through the improvements we will be making to our Online Community.

Bringing people together

Every year we award millions of pounds of the National Lottery’s good cause money across the UK. We know that money makes a huge difference. But we also think there is a real opportunity to do even more to support those we have funded.

I hear lots of stories about groups delivering really valuable work who would like to speak to other groups. They would like to learn from them, pick their brains, share knowledge, problems and opportunities. Sometimes that happens through existing networks. Sometimes it is hard to reach the right people. Read more…

Crunch time as community orchard receives surprise news

August 4, 2016

Watch the incredible reaction when the Big Lottery Fund surprised Hanes Llandoch with news that their £247,000 grant application for a People’s Orchard was successful.

Communications manager Ben Payne and funding officer Owen Jones posed as an independent film crew before springing the Surprise Lottery Letter on Nia Siggins from the group.

It was delivered at the BBC award-winning St Dogmaels Market in Pembrokeshire where Hanes Llandoch has a stall.

Read more…

Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out: Five Ways to Spend Your Summer with ‘Coastal Communities’

July 26, 2016

CCF2.jpgThe sun’s finally out and there’s an unusual chance of it staying, which can only mean one thing – the summer holidays are officially here! Now comes the tricky part: thinking of something to do, whether it’s a day out with the family or an impromptu trip somewhere with a couple of friends.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list our five favourite spots to visit across Wales this summer. All of them have been awarded money through the Coastal Communities Fund, which has just launched its latest round of funding to the public. So let’s begin: Read more…

Making the Most of ‘People & Places’ Funding

July 21, 2016

When applying for any funding through the Big Lottery Fund, it’s important to remember that our Funding Officers take into account which projects are the most value for money. This is especially the case for the ‘People & Places’ programme.

The ‘People & Places’ programme funds capital, revenue and overheads costs in projects that can last for up to five years. Organisations can apply for between £5,001 and £1 million.

We always advise that the cost of your project be carefully considered, as applications asking for more money than is necessary are less likely to be successful. As such, we’ve brought together helpful tips for when you’re thinking about how much you’ll need to apply for:- Read more…

I very nearly cut off my damaged leg with a kitchen knife

July 19, 2016
Andrew MacDonald

After Andrew MacDonald was medically discharged from the army with a leg injury at just 21 he spent years struggling to come to terms with how much his injury was affecting his day to day life – at rock-bottom almost cutting his leg off with a kitchen knife. Andrew tells us more about his experience and how the Links project in Llanelli helped him to take back his life.

“I spent nearly a year as a hermit but I got my act together after friends got me out again and went to college to retrain, and eventually found a post with the college.  I also met my future wife to be.

“Over the next ten years my leg continued to get worse and I again lost my job, I found it harder to find work or socialise with others.  My moods started to affect my marriage and my bond with my children. Read more…

£3 million available for coastal communities in Wales

July 18, 2016

Regeneration projects in Wales are being urged to apply to the Coastal Communities Fund which has £3.4 million available.

Under the Coastal Communities Fund, which was established by the UK Treasury and devolved administrations, grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 are available to fund projects that boost the economic prospects of coastal communities.

Eligible projects must benefit coastal areas in Wales, promote sustainable economic growth and create or safeguard jobs so people can better respond to changing needs and opportunities.

Projects, which can come from public, private and voluntary sectors, must also do one of the following:

  • start or move into a new area of activity or business
  • expand the delivery of existing activity or business
  • innovate or improve their business model or organisational structure

If would you like to attend an event (Plas Heli in Pwilheli, Gwynedd between 10.30am and 3pm on Thursday July 28 or  Bridge Innovation Centre, Pembroke Dock between 10.30am and 3pm on Thursday August 4) to find out more about the funding please email

Since the start of the Coastal Communities it has awarded 218 grants worth £125 million to organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These projects are forecast to deliver 12,000 jobs opportunities, and help attract over £240 million of additional funds to coastal areas.

Some 39 awards worth £8,160,904 have been awarded in Wales with the programme being delivered in partnership between the Welsh Government and Big Lottery Fund.

Applications forms and guidance materials are now available with the deadline of noon on Thursday 29 September 2016 for the first stage of the application process. Grants will be awarded in summer 2017.

Read how one project used funding from a previous round.


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