In July 2017 the Big Lottery Fund in Wales relaunched our People and Places grant programme which is open to applications of between £10,001 and £500,000 for community projects lasting up to five years. You can read about the changes here. One of the key changes is that we’re asking all applicants to show us how their project fits into three themes:
- strength based and
To help explain these in more detail, we’re publishing a series of blogs to help outline what we mean by each theme. Read about people-led here and read about strength-based projects here. For this post, we asked Local Knowledge Coordinator, Amy Wilson to tell us a little more about being connected.
We want our applicants and projects to have a good understanding of other activities and services in their community and can show how their project will complement these.
In a snapshot, what does ‘connected’ mean?
We want the projects we fund to have a good understanding of the activities and services in their communities and be able to show how their idea, work and project works with and complements what already exists.
A connected approach means that you understand and are using what you have learned from being both people-led and strength-based.
You can think about being connected at two levels:
- Being connected means that you know what services or activities the people you work with want and will use. If you are people-led you will have this knowledge. When groups are connected, they are using this information to make sure that what they want to do is appropriate and feasible.
- Being connected means that you know the community you work in. You know what services exist, what opportunities exist and you have a plan on how you can build on these opportunities.
What does being connected look like?
There is no ‘one sizes fits all’ approach when it comes to being connected. It will vary between organisations and communities. We’re not looking for a certain level of connection but for connections that make sense for your project and that will give your activities the best possible chance of being successful. Here are a few examples:
- Informal links and activities like meeting with local people, the membership of a management committee or a steering group.
- Working with other organisations from running activities together, by providing training or guidance to others, to using another organisation’s building, transport or membership.
- We have seen that sometimes a partnership with other groups or statutory services is essential to creating a strong project that will reach people who need help the most.
- In can be more formal with a partnership agreement or delivering services through a contract or service level agreement. However, we do not require a formal partnership for the People and Places programme.
What if we don’t have any connections?
From our experience, every group is connected in some way and no group is working in isolation. Have a think about the work you do and the links you already have, even if they’re quite informal.
Sometimes people and groups do need to work more independently. For example, when working with sensitive issues such as people with addictions, ex-offenders, different sexual orientation, domestic abuse. In these cases, there might be a need to work in a less integrated way within the wider community. However, you could show that your connections are on a more regional/national b
asis, working with other similar organisations to share learning and keep them informed of your work.
What are the benefits of being connected?
We want to know that you know the community that you are working in and why your project makes sense to you and the community. By understanding what similar services currently exist, you can be sure that you’re project is adding value and not duplicating what’s already being provided.
Being connected will help you make informed decisions on your approach, that you have considered the community and the people when you developed the project idea. By doing this there is more chance that what you plan to do will have a positive impact and be successful.
If you would like to find out more about People and Places – visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/peopleandplacesmedium for medium grants (£10,001 to £100,000) or www.biglotteryfund.org.ukpeopleandplaceslarge for large grants (£100,001 to £500,000), call 0300 123 0735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.