Head Injury Support

People and Communities

Head Injury Support

Supporting positive change in the community. The People and Communities programme is designed to support you to work with local people to bring about positive changes in your community. A community could be a geographical area or a community of interest.

Area
Northern Ireland
Funding size
£30,000 to £500,000
Total available
£57 million
Application deadline
Ongoing
Key facts Arrow pointing down
  • All voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations are eligible to apply.

  • Funding is available between £30,000 and £500,000 for projects lasting between two and five years.

  • We can consider funding capital costs of up to £100,000 within revenue projects.

  • Projects specifically targeting young people aged between 8 and 25 should apply to our Empowering Young People programme. Please check the programme page or give us a call on 028 9055 1455.

More information:

We expect all projects to have engaged meaningfully with each of the following key themes: people led, strengths based and connected. You can read more about what we’re looking for & how other applicants have been successful in the case studies below.

What can be funded? Arrow pointing down

Our programme will support projects that clearly meet the following two programme outcomes:

  • People make changes that improve their lives.

  • Communities build on their strengths and share learning.

We want all the projects we fund to embrace the three key themes of:

People-led: This means the people you’ll be working with will be meaningfully involved in the development, design and delivery of your project.

  • Have you spoken to people in your local community about what they need and what’s important to them?
  • Have you listened to what they've said & used it to develop your project?

Check out our short video below to help you get an idea of what we mean when we say ‘people-led’

Strengths-based: We’d like to support people and communities to build on the knowledge, skills and experience they already have to make the changes they want.

  • What is working well in your community?
  • How will your project help to build on these successes and make the most of the resources the community already has?

Connected: We want to know that you have a good understanding of other activities and services in your community and can show how your project relates to these.

  • Have you spoken to other groups in your area that are doing similar or related work?
  • Have you thought about how you could support each other or work together?

To help you understand what we are looking for, here are some stories about our funded projects that are already people-led, strengths-based and connected.

How to apply Arrow pointing down

Talk to us – we're really interested in your ideas. And we're here to support you to make the best application possible.

If you have a project idea call us on 028 9055 1455.

This is an opportunity to tell us about your project: what it will do, who will benefit from it and why it’s needed. You can also ask us questions.

Based on our conversation, we’ll advise you if you are ready to apply and send you an application form. Or we may offer you some advice for you to consider on the three key themes (people-led, strengths-based and connected) before sending you an application form.

You can talk to us as many times as you need to about your project idea. This is not an assessment. This is a chance to get early feedback to further develop your idea. There are no deadlines on this programme so you can take as much time as you need.

Alternatively, if you prefer a face-to-face chat about your project idea, we are happy to call with you when we are in your area, as we are working more locally across Northern Ireland.

Once we have received your completed application form, we will assess it – find out more about this stage in the What happens next? section.

A sample application form is available below for you to use as a guide to consider when you contact us.

The Big Lottery Fund is a Living Wage Friendly Funder. This means that we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Living Wage.

Related documents

People and Communities guidance (PDF 162KB)

People and Communities sample application form (PDF 619KB)

Get help using our electronic forms here.

Checks

As an organisation that gives out public funds, we carry out some checks on the information you provide us. Learn more about our checks

Next steps Arrow pointing down

1. Receiving your application – Once we receive your completed application form we will send you an acknowledgement e-mail / letter and let you know the name of the funding officer who will carry out your assessment.

2. Assessing your application – Your funding officer will contact you to arrange a visit that suits you and may ask you for some additional information.

This could include, for example:

  • A detailed project budget
  • Staffing information
  • A copy of your organisation’s latest accounts
  • If your work is existing, some evidence of the impact or difference your project has made to date.

3. Face-to-face assessment visit – During the visit your funding officer will discuss your project and explore how it meets the programme outcomes and has engaged with our three key themes. Your funding officer will also discuss with you how the project will be delivered and the difference the project will make.

4. Assessment report – Once the visit is complete your funding officer will write up an assessment report which will consider:

  • how your project meets the programme outcomes and our three key themes

  • If the delivery and cost of the project is appropriate and realistic

  • if your organisation has the skills, experience and resources to deliver the project.

The assessments will be moderated by our team. If we need more information, your funding officer will contact you.

5. Decisions – There are different decision routes depending on how strong your application is and the amount of funding you have requested. Your project is presented at decision meetings alongside other projects and this is a competitive process.

Assessment criteria

The team will meet to discuss your project. If it does not meet the assessment criteria, your project will not be awarded funding and your funding officer will inform you of the decision. At this stage, you will be given the opportunity to receive detailed feedback on why your project was unsuccessful. An unsuccessful application does not affect your ability to re-apply.

If your project meets the assessment criteria, then who makes the decision will depend on the amount of funding requested:

For applications requesting funding of £200,000 and under

Projects at this level will be presented at a meeting of experienced staff from across the organisation. Your funding officer will inform you of the decision taken at this meeting.

For applications requesting funding over £200,001

Projects at this level will be considered by our Northern Ireland Committee, which is made up of six people (Read more about the Northern Ireland Committee members). Your funding officer will inform you of the decision taken at this meeting.

Between submitting your application and receiving your decision should take no longer than four months.

If your project is unsuccessful your funding officer will provide feedback by phone and you can also arrange a feedback meeting. You will also receive a letter confirming the decision.

If your project is successful, we will send you an offer letter and your funding officer will be in contact to discuss next steps.

Examples of projects that have been funded