camelon, community, funding, tamfourhill

Vote Vote Vote (part one)

You may remember promotion a few months back regarding some new funding available through Falkirk Council called Community Choices. This is where the council have taken a percentage of their budget and opened it up to communities to apply for things in their area, and then to vote on what gets the money.

Well, some local groups have been busy, we’ve been supporting them as needed, and now the first opportunity to vote has now arrived! This is for the small grants section of the fund which is for projects or activities up to a maximum of £1,500. Voting is per local authority ward (so Camelon is in Ward 6 and Tamfourhill is in Ward 7) and your vote will only count if you live in the specific area (this will be verified by your postcode). Everything is being done online, but if anyone doesn’t have access to a device, they can contact us to be referred to get a paper ballot or record their vote via telephone.  Voting is open until 18 June and then it will be the turn of the larger capital fund projects, but I’ll be back with info on those at the appropriate time.

For now, here’s information on the projects seeking your vote right here in our area (in alphabetical order). There are others listed in each ward as the boundaries extend beyond our area, but I have just highlighted the ones either in Camelon or Tamfourhill for obvious reasons. You can vote for up to 3 projects and, with an allocation of money per area, the projects with the most votes will get the cash or a portion of it depending on how the results end up. The link you need is further down the page.

Ward 6 (Camelon)

Camelon Community Centre – Exercise for all – £1,500
Funding will enable local people to access exercise or sports activity in the Centre without worrying about not being able to afford to attend.

Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy Clean and Green – Pop up Parks – £1,500
Funding will enable local volunteers to turn as many unloved rough grassy patches as possible into super-green, clean, safe and colourful mini-parks with plants and seating, for a fortnight or more at a time.

Let’s talk Table Tennis – Bringing back Table Tennis – £832
Funding will allow for the safe return of Table Tennis for the over 50s at Camelon Community Centre.

Ward 7 (Tamfourhill)

Stirlingshire & Midland Counties Table Tennis Association – New Community Table Tennis Sessions – £1,370
Funding would enable the launch of new Table Tennis sessions based at Tamfourhill Community Hub.

Other Options

As I said, there are some other options in each area that might attract your vote and would still benefit this area. Here’s some info on a couple of them:

  • Ward 6 – Falkirk Fury Basketball Club – £1,500 – Funding would support their ongoing program in delivering basketball to primary schools.
  • Ward 7 – Cyrenians – £1,400 – Funding would support a project called “Growing Plants, Growing People” at Dollar Park.

To vote, go to www.falkirk.gov.uk/ccvote and follow the links and instructions there. Again, if you have any difficulties or know someone without digital access, please get in touch so we can make sure everyone’s vote can still be registered. There’s also more information on this flyer

camelon, community, development, funding, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Want some free money?!

Well if that headline hasn’t grabbed your attention I don’t know what will!

When I’ve put up blogs about funding before, they’ve been mainly directed at organisations and admittedly not relevant to everyone, but this one is different and is worth reading on – I promise!

Falkirk Council have released over £3m of funding that is available for local communities to apply for to bring about the changes that can make a difference in their community. There are different allocations for each local authority ward and ultimately, you, the council tax paying public, will get to vote on which projects get the money. It is released under the banner of “Community Choices” and all the information is on the council website but I’ll summarise the main points for you here.

Before I get into the funding specifics, let me remind you about how the Council Wards are structured. Our work actually covers two Wards, with the Forth and Clyde canal essentially being the dividing line: Camelon is in Ward 6 (Falkirk North) that also includes Langlees, Bainsford, Bankside, Middlefield, Merchiston, West Mains and Grahamston. Tamfourhill is in Ward 7 (Falkirk South) that also includes Bantaskine, Summerford, Arnothill, Woodlands, Callendar Park, Glen Village, Lionthorn and Hallglen. I list all these areas to let you know what you’re up against as every area will feel it deserves its fair share of the funding and will undoubtedly have worthy projects to put forward.

So, do you have an idea that will improve the quality of life in our community? Do you have a proposal that will make a positive and lasting difference to our area? I know of quite a few options and this fund could be the way to make it happen. Essentially, here at OPCT, we will support you as much as possible to help make your application as strong and relevant as it can be. You don’t have to come through us but if you do need assistance, we can help with application wording, background information, or anything else you need. Importantly, we may also know of a project that is similar to what you are thinking about and so could provide relevant advice and, if appropriate, we could link you up to double the strength of your application.

So, who can apply?

Clubs, organisations, community groups and even individuals can apply for funding to make these changes happen. Applicants do not need to have a formal constitution but if you’re an individual or group of friends/residents considering putting a bid in for something, the Community Choices team will aim to link you up with a recognised organisation that could hold the funds for the project.

What can you apply for?

Firstly, let me say that this funding will not solve everything we’d want to do locally and is unlikely to help with large projects – but it’s a start. The public vote system will at least bring visibility to what you want to do which might even attract others to join in with you.

There are two separate funds on offer. The first is a small grants programme with a maximum of £1,500 per proposal. There is around £10,000 for each Council Ward in year 1. The second fund is a Capital programme where £3m is available over two years. Proposals for this fund must be for a minimum of £5,000, and can be used for building something new, improving an asset, and purchasing equipment. Remember that £3m is across all 9 Wards so even though there is no upper limit on application, large projects are unlikely to be successful. However, the Community Choices team will also aim to provide additional support including signposting to other suitable funding if possible.

What do we need to do?

At this stage, the council just require an Expression of Interest form to be completed. This is not a full application and needs a couple of hundred words to explain what the project is, who it would benefit and who would be involved in making it happen. It does not require full financial information but a broad indication of costs would be helpful. The form is on the website.

The important thing to note is that Expressions of Interest are due by Friday 5 March with final applications due by 9 April. This is a very tight timeline but that’s what we have to work with and, with the right support, the right applications can be submitted. The final stage is a public vote that will take place between 26 April and 14 May. We will keep you posted as we hear how that vote will operate.

So, over to you?

What do you think could be applied for? Can I help you get that application in? Get in touch with me (Dan) in the usual way via email to communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk, call on 07444 873151, or message via social media. Let’s make this happen!

camelon, community, development, funding, gardening, growing, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Funding – Community Climate Action Fund

We are delighted to be able to officially tell you that we have received some funding to help develop our Community Growing projects in the area. Here’s the official bit…

Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill are tackling climate change and contributing to a green recovery thanks to Community Tool Sheds and raised beds which will be helping the Camelon and Tamfourhill communities to reduce local carbon emissions through development of community growing spaces that are localised and accessible to all. The Community Tool Sheds and raised beds are funded through the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF) with Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill (via Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Association) awarded a CCAF grant totalling £3,358.44 in January 2021. The CCAF is Scottish Government fund, administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful, and it was announced on 8 January 2021 that 279 community-based organisations from across Scotland had been awarded more than £3.2 million of funding to tackle climate change.

That’s the official speak done. What is means is that we will set up 2 Community Gardening Tool Sheds – one in each of Camelon and Tamfourhill. These will contain basic hand tools to be used on local community growing projects. We then also have some funding for a few raised beds to be constructed.

This is a really exciting boost for our fledgling project. We’ll give you more information when we progress this funding and let you know how the tool sheds can be accessed, but for now would like to thank The Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful for approving this funding for us. You can read their full official press release, and see the full list of awardees, at https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/news/jan-2021/delivering-scotland-s-green-recovery/

To keep up to date with all our Growing activities, to sign up to receive news straight to your inbox, or to get involved, head to our dedicated Growing page.

#CCAFScot

camelon, coach, community, development, funding, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

Community Funding Support

Getting funding for projects can be a nightmare! Where do you look? When can you apply? What can you apply for? How do you write the application? Just some of the many questions that will go through people’s minds when thinking about getting funding. But whilst it is true that there are so many different options it can be a very confusing landscape, at the same time there is a lot of help and support available for people whether looking to get funding for something completely new, or to continue/develop something that is already happening. I am part of that pipeline of help for you and am here to give you confidence in your own abilities as you learn how best to navigate the world of funding, and to support you in completing applications according to need.

I often share posts on our social media about funds that are available – and there are many! So for this week’s blog, I thought it would handy to group some of the recent posts together in one place for you. There are countless more funders out there – these are literally just some of the recent ones we’ve shared news on. For more, you can get information in a various different ways but we will highlight:


Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme

https://scvo.scot/support/coronavirus/funding/scottish-government/community-recovery

This is a new programme from the Scottish Government that aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. As well as providing ongoing crisis support, they will be planning and implementing changes to adapt and thrive in a very different social and economic climate.

It has two strands to the programme:

  • Adapt and Thrive: This part is more about support to adapt rather than just funding your project. It offers tailored, specialist advice, but can also provide grants and loans. It is delivered in partnership by Firstport, Corra Foundation, SCVO, Just Enterprise, Community Enterprise and Social Investment Scotland.
  • Communities Recovery Fund: This is funding to implement changes to reintroduce the delivery of existing services and activities that have been suspended or severely reduced because of COVID-19 and/or deliver new services identified as a priority by the community as a result of COVID-19.  The funding will consider grants for individual organisation applications between £5,000 – £25,000 to implement changes to facilities, services and activities. It will also consider grants for partnership applications up to £75,000. There will be a 21 day turnaround for a response to your application which is really welcome.

This programme just opened this week and will be open until March 2021 when any funding should be spent. However, as this fund was prepared ahead of the latest restrictions, I can see changes being made to this in time. As always though, the sooner an application is submitted, the better. If you need support, guidance, or just another pair of eyes to read over something, then please get in touch.


The National Lottery Community Fund

https://www.cvsfalkirk.org.uk/tnl-community-fund-scotland-funding-programmes-update/

Nothing new here from this stream of funding, but because of Covid-19, they have lifted their plans to pause and redevelop their funding as they reached the end of its 5 year cycle. Instead, all current funding programmes will remain open for an extra 18 – 24 months, though they will be adapted as needed. By remaining open for applications, they hope they can better support the third sector through COVID-19 and recovery.

There is more information in the link above that will take you to CVS Falkirk’s website, but the headlines for now are:

  • the National Lottery Awards for All and Young Start funds will remain open and unchanged
  • the Improving Lives grants remain open, but will be shorter, quicker to access, and will fund a wider range of work focused on recovery from COVID-19
    • from Thursday 1st October, the maximum grant will be £200,000, from on year up to 3 years, with a single stage application.
  • Community-Led Activity grants remain open; the team are reviewing these now to make sure they are relevant to the current situation, and will make any changes before the end of 2020.
  • COVID-19 responses are still prioritised across all funds, but they remain open to non-COVID-19 related work too.

This fund is always a popular source for people searching for funding and as our own project is funded by them, we have a good relationship with them so can be an extra strong source of support for you as a result.


Aviva Community Fund

https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/start-crowdfunding

This fund is always very busy but rather than just giving direct funding, this is a form of CrowdFunding but as well as wider public funding possibilities, Aviva employees will be able to view projects and between them will share out £250,000 of funding.

The current round of applications, for fresh ideas looking to secure up to £50,000, is open until 13 October. Those approved to go forward will have crowdfunding pages created for them that will be live from 11 November to 10 December and can be shared as widely as you wish.

So this could be as much about raising awareness of your project as well as generating funding. And as before, if you want some guidance on submitting an application here then get in touch.


The Robertson Trust

http://www.therobertsontrust.org.uk/news/strategy-update-what-to-expect-from-our-funds

At the point of writing, Scotland is eagerly awaiting the new funding strategy from this well respected funder. The link above gives some insight from their Head of Giving as to what we can expect from the new look strategy which is due to be launched any day now. They have extensively consulted on what organisations required, and then extended that consultation once we were hit by Covid-19 to see how they can respond to that. So, the main points we can expect to see are:

  • More core, unrestricted and longer-term funding
  • Less emphasis on match-funding
  • Less emphasis on financial independence post-grant
  • More shared learning
  • To continue funding a breadth of topics – although their top focus remains on tackling the causes of, and solutions to, poverty and trauma.

All these headline points are very welcome news but will undoubtedly mean the funds could be even more competitive, so we need to ensure applications are as strong as possible. Whilst I will keep you updated and will of course be here to support any application you choose to make, at the bottom of the page linked above is a chance to sign up to the mailing list for the Trust so you can get information first hand.


I want everyone to feel special and valued and they will see what they can aspire to.

Ethel Robertson, Co-Founder of The Robertson Trust

I love these words from one of the Robertson sisters which sum up why I do this job, so it is a fitting place to end this week. And if helping you understand and navigate the world of grant funding is part of that journey for you, then please get in touch.

Dan Rous, Community Coach, 07444 873151, communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk