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Our most frequently asked questions of 2016

February 21, 2017

Applying for a grant can be quite daunting for any first-time applicant; some groups might have a better idea than others of what they want to do for their project and it’s not always easy to find out where to start. If you’re looking to apply for a grant in 2017, here’s what we were asked the most by our customers in 2016.

Do you need to be a registered charity?

No, you don’t need to be registered charity to apply for an award through Awards for All, People and Places, or the Rural programme. If you are a voluntary, community or public sector organisation, working individually or together then you will be eligible for a grant.

These include voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives, community mutuals, faith organisations, community interest companies, and companies limited by guarantee established for public and community benefit.

We would expect you to have a governing document, as well a UK-based bank or building society account in the name of your organisation that requires at least two people that are unrelated and do not live at the same address to sign cheques and make withdrawals. If you are applying on behalf of a school then you can use a local authority bank account.

Do you have programme deadlines?

For our main programmes, Awards for All, and People and Places there is no deadline. However if you are applying for the Rural programme Community grants then you will need to submit your application by Monday 3rd April.

How do you make decisions?

It will depend on the programme. If you are applying for an Awards for All grant then we will make a decision based against the priorities and aims of the programme.

If you’re applying for a People and Places grant then we will make a decision based on the programme criteria, and how much you are applying for; under £250,000, between £250,001 and £500,000, and between £500,001 and £1 million.

We also have also openly recruited people from outside of the Big Lottery Fund, and they make up our decision-making committee and ensure that we fund the projects that have made the best applications.

Where can I get an application from?

You can get application forms for Awards for All and People and Places on our website (click here for Awards for All, and click here for People and Places).

If you’re applying for a grant through the Rural programme then you’ll need to phone us on 0300 123 0735 or e-mail to discuss your project first before we will send you a form.

What is your top tip for success?

Without doubt it’s to make sure that your project is people-led and that you’ve spoken to your community before submitting your application. It’s important to demonstrate to us as clearly as possible how you’ve consulted with your community about what they need, who you’ve spoken to, when you did your consultation, how you consulted with them, and how you’ve taken their feedback to shape your project.

You can read in more details about consultation on our blog by clicking here!

There’s a lot of things to look at on your website, where do I start?

The best place to start is to look at our guidance notes for each of our programmes – we’ve done our best to put them together with all the information that you need in them to successfully apply for a grant. They really are your all-in-one guide on each programme.

You can read our guidance notes for Awards for All by clicking here, People and Places here, or the Rural programme by clicking here. If you’re still stuck though then please get in touch with our Advice team, who will help you out, on 0300 123 0735.

£30 million of small grants have got to the grassroots of Welsh communities

February 6, 2017

Main 1.jpgWhen you think of the National Lottery you often think of that money shot of someone popping a bottle of champagne after scooping millions of pounds.

These scenes of celebration have been repeated by many thousands of good causes across Wales who have received life-changing grants thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

Some of these grants are distributed by us at the Big Lottery Fund and in the next financial year we will be awarding over £40 million to community groups, giving them a similar jackpot-winning feeling.

And many of individual grants are big, ranging from hundreds of thousands to £1 million but many are much much smaller too.

It is these grants from as little as £500 up to £5,000 that really get to the grassroots of communities. Read more…

5 ways to have a great conversation with a funder in 2017

January 13, 2017

the-young-foundation-amplify-ni-4new1. Check out the website first

It may seem obvious, but checking out a funders website will help to give you an idea of what they can fund, things that aren’t mentioned and when their funding deadlines might be. You can then plan that phone call to ensure your ringing them at the best possible time. Happiness

2. Make a note of all the questions you want to ask

Jotting down a handful of questions before you call will help to keep the conversation on point, as well as help you to get all the information needed. Remember, there are no silly questions and if you’re unsure about something it’s always better to ask! Key questions to ask- when are your deadlines, what size grants do you give, what do you look for in an application, what’s the process to apply and how long does it take to get a decision, as well as can you give an example of a funded project? Read more…

2016 at the Big Lottery Fund!

December 19, 2016

2016’s been a huge year here at the Big Lottery Fund – we launched four new programmes including Create Your Space, Third Sector Skills, Celebrate, the Rural programme and the second round of our Community Asset Transfer 2 programme that are part of our brand new Strategic Framework. The year’s about to come to an end, so sit back, put your feet up and take a look at our 2016 round-up of news and top tips!

In January, we heard from Judith Thatcher who is a volunteer at the Down to Earth project in Swansea. Read more about how the project transformed her life.

One of the things that we’re asked about the most is about project outcomes. In February we put a beginner’s guide to help you get your head around how you can demonstrate the results of your project.

Read more…

The Ultimate 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Coastal Wales

December 14, 2016


Whether you’re stuck with gift ideas, have no plans for the holidays or looking for somewhere to walk off all those mince pies, we have the ultimate list of Welsh coastal businesses for you.

These outstanding local, often family- or community-run businesses are supported by the Coastal Communities Fund, endowed by the Welsh Government and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, promoting sustainable economic growth and jobs in coastal communities.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Coastline Sofa Cinema (Tape Community Music and Film)

TAPE Community Music and Film Ltd based in North Wales is an award-winning charity delivering high quality projects from one-hour taster sessions to their annual film festival. While their annual film festival takes place in October, they just recently launched their Coastline Sofa Cinema in Old Colwyn with free screenings for children, families and adults you can enjoy relaxing on lush red leather sofas. Tickets are free but a quick advanced booking is required….and you can bring your own snacks!

For more information on the booking and screenings visit their website.

2 Turtle Doves

Colwyn Bay Watersports

Colwyn Bay Watersports delivers taster sessions and full courses in sailing, windsurfing, power-boating, and paddle boarding, they also hire canoes and kayaks in season. There is also a beach activity club for young people ages 8-14 years old, so it might be worthwhile to ponder about those summer plans as you walk down on the breezy beach after your lunch of Christmas cookies and mulled wine.

Visit Colwyn Bay Watersports’ website to find out how to take part in activities. Read more…

Thank you for making a difference to communities in 2016

December 13, 2016

Supporting communities in Wales

With Christmas just around the corner and the year drawing to an end, Big Lottery Fund Wales’ director John Rose would like to take this opportunity to share his personal appreciation to the many people and communities that have enabled great things to happen all over Wales during 2016.

Firstly, I want to start by thanking National Lottery players. Sometimes people forget that 28 pence of every pound spent on a National Lottery ticket goes to good causes and this financial year alone we will have distributed over £30 million in Wales.

You cannot always appreciate the difference this makes until you speak to funded projects and meet the people they support. Then, once you delve a bit deeper, you see that every day the National Lottery is making a positive difference and changing lives for the better.

Of course winning the lottery is what many people dream of, but if you are not lucky enough to hit the jackpot, then remember that by buying a ticket you are helping to make an incredible difference to a good cause somewhere in the UK. Need convincing? Then read this story about how our funding for Scope’s Face 2 Face 2 Face service is helping to make dramatic changes to the lives of parents and their disabled children.

And, in case you’ve missed it, watch the new National Lottery film thanking players for supporting projects that have transformed our nation.

Read more…

How can a trustee help your organisation?

December 13, 2016

We’re sometimes asked “what do trustees or committee members do for their organisations, and how do they support them?”. Stuart Williams, Principal Officer at the National Union of Teachers Cymru in Cardiff and Chair of Show Racism the Red Card’s Wales Advisory Committee tells us more about his role, the challenges he faces, and how he contributes to the success of their campaign.

“There are many responsibilities in being Chair for Show Racism the Red Card, one of which is to chair the advisory committee meetings which are usually held four times a year. I’m also a media spokesperson for the charity and am expected to conduct television and radio interviews if and when required. I meet up regularly with the UK Chief Executive and Wales Campaign Manager to review and assess the needs of the campaign and give advice on how to achieve the charity’s goals in Wales, and I’m also included in the recruitment process if the charity needs to expand its staff.

Read more…

“My life was changed overnight when I woke up unable to see out of one eye”

December 1, 2016
Diana XXXXX,  has a degenerative eye condition and is being helped  by one of the Big Lottery Fund  supported projects, the Macular Disease Society.

Lampeter, Wales UK
Wednesday 04 April 2016

©keith morris 
07710 285968
01970 611106

After 49 year-old Diana Williams woke up one morning suddenly unable to see properly in one eye – giving up driving, her job, and her home – she became determined for it not to change her life.

Now aged 62, and thanks to a Macular Society project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, she is dedicating herself to supporting other people that are at risk of becoming socially isolated through sight-loss.

“I was 49 and living in Swansea when I woke up one morning without any central vision in my left eye,” she explained. “I’d always been in the caring profession and had always looked after all sorts of people, and had seen and heard of so many things that people go through but you never think any of it will happen to you, and a few years later exactly the same thing happened to my right eye.

Read more…

Roadtrip gets people talking about our Rural Programme

November 23, 2016

hhhBig Lottery Fund communications manager Ben Payne explains how the launch of the £13.5 million Rural Programme hit the headlines, the airwaves and social media timelines. But he says the real quality was in all the face-to-face conversations they had along the way.

Developing local knowledge officer Gareth Hughes and I went on a rural road trip to launch the programme and you can watch a short but fab Flipagram of our highlights below.

The epic two-day anti-clockwise journey around Wales took in all nine areas set to benefit from the funding – Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Powys, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire.

Read more…

What is the future of ‘doing good’ in Wales?

November 23, 2016

BIG_B_BLU_screenBig Lottery Fund Wales director John Rose explains how we want to make great choices for communities the length and breadth of Wales by better understanding the ‘future of doing good’.

 What do we mean by ‘doing good’?

For me, it’s building goodwill and trust in communities through a shared understanding of the challenges and priorities of those living there. It’s about having a concern for the wellbeing of citizens, supporting them to take action, and empowering them to participate in making the decisions that affect them.

‘Doing good’ is arguably everyone’s business. Communities, individuals, and the third, public and private sectors all have a stake in the agenda of making Wales a better place in which to live. The Big Lottery Fund believes that people should lead that change to improve their lives by drawing upon the skills, assets and energy in their communities. We distribute around £40 million every year in Wales to projects that make the changes that communities want to see.

Working in partnership with the Bevan Foundation, we are reaching out to a broad cross section of Welsh society in thinking about what the future of ‘doing good’ might look like in Wales. As part of a UK-wide conversation, we are stimulating discussion with communities, charities, social enterprises, government and business. While we have a good idea of the challenges, we certainly don’t have all the answers, so here are a few questions to stimulate the conversation. Read more…