I’m proud to have sat on the national grants committee for the Big Lottery Fund Fair Share Trust – managed by the Scottish Community Foundation the Trust has helped channel over £6m to local projects, with an emphasis on making a real difference in local communities, helping build lasting connections and networks.
The Fair Share Trust has now come to an end in Scotland and I think some of the lessons learned from the programme are invaluable to anyone interested in raising community capacity.
As is detailed in ‘Fair Enough…lessons from the Fair Share Trust in Scotland’ (below), the Trust “went beyond grant giving. In each neighbourhood a panel made up of people living or working in the area determined the local priorities and advised on funding. This local knowledge and involvement ensured communities maintained ownership of the FST programme in their area and produced the added benefit of building social capital, the dynamic mix of skills, knowledge and resources in a community that will sustain the impact of the programme long after the funding has been spent.”
The fact that almost three quarters of projects funded by Fair Share Trust in Scotland are continuing in some way beyond the life of the programme is testament to its success.