Chocolate Fueled Bid Frenzy

big lottery fund_scotlandIt was ‘all hands on deck’ in the CLS office in late August and early September for round two of the Big Lottery Fund’s Support & Connect Programme. Building on our success in round one, when we secured approximately £500,000 in funding for client projects supporting Starter Packs Inverclyde, tackling fuel poverty in Inverclyde and providing RSL tenants with money education and advice in Kirkintilloch, we were asked to prepare a further five applications this time around.

Suzannah took the lead on developing an application for West Dunbartonshire where the eight community based RSLs plan to work in partnership with three credit unions as well as the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre and the Dumbarton CAB through the Supporting Change Project which will improve the advice and financial services available to their tenants, providing them with easily accessible support to alleviate hardship and mitigate the impact of welfare reform.

Christine pulled together the Argyll NET Works initiative in Argyll and Bute between West Highland Housing Association, Dunbritton Housing Association and Fyne Homes who are hoping to employ three crisis intervention workers who will focus on financial mentoring for tenants progressing those in crisis or experiencing long term hardship into more manageable financial circumstances. This project also aims to enhance the links between the RSLs, their tenants and the local providers of starter packs in Argyll and Bute. The project proposal has received strong backing from Argyll and Bute Council Housing Services and the Welfare Reform Working Group.

Stephen Singer and Suzannah supported Cadder Housing Association in Glasgow with an application focussed on accessing financial advice in Cadder which will provide the Cadder community with a more accessible financial support project. This project will build on existing partnerships with Greater Milton and Possilpark Credit Union, Maryhill and Possilpark CAB, Glasgow City Council, Maryhill Job Centre and the associations’ two tenancy support providers Quarriers and North United Communities.

Louise and Stephen Horsburgh provided assistance with further initiatives in Inverclyde. Louise worked with River Clyde Homes on a bid for the Supporting Inverclyde-Future Skills project which will work in partnership with Inverclyde Council and Grand Central Savings to provide a holistic package of training, drop-in facilities and direct one-to-one support to increase tenants’ financial resilience. Whilst Stephen prepared an application for Inverclyde Connections – a partnership between Inverclyde Community Health and Care Partnership, Inverclyde Advice and Employment Rights Centre, Inverclyde Council on disability and Financial Fitness.

The secret to preparing so many complex partnership initiatives in a short timeframe as a submission deadline looms – CHOCOLATE! And lots of it! As a team we also maintained a good sense of humour, patience with the occasional colleague temper tantrum, a supply of safe items to throw at our computers when they just won’t co-operate, endless cups of tea and coffee and the flexibility to burn the midnight oil if needed. The Big Lottery fund are aiming to let applicants know their decision by the end of November so fingers crossed we’ll have some more positive funding news to share with you before Christmas.

Filed Under: CLS, Funding

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