THE National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has today launched a Strategy Renewal process that will shape how it supports people and communities to prosper and thrive into the future.
The move is part of the Fund’s ongoing commitment to putting communities first. The 18-month process will engage a wide range of stakeholders and provide many touch points for people to join in conversations about the challenges, opportunities, hopes and ambitions of the UK’s diverse communities.
This will help shape how The National Lottery Community Fund invests in communities going forward as well as the wider support it offers.
The funder, which has given out £3.4 billion in the last five years alone is urging people to join in with its Strategy Renewal, saying that all input is welcome and will help it to learn, explore and build big ideas.
As such it has kickstarted a deep, structured programme of engagement and other activities designed to draw a broad range of people into the conversation. It has also launched a microsite and a hashtag,#TNLComFundStrategyRenew, where people can join in.
Research released today by The National Lottery Community Fund suggests that this conversation is coming at an opportune time. Findings from its Community Research Index – an annual survey of over 8,000 adults across the UK designed to find out how people feel about, and their ambitions for, their communities – show a stark difference in how communities across the UK think they are faring compared to others.
It reveals significant contrasts in people’s perceptions of quality of life, opportunities, job and employment prospects and other key measures, such as health and wellbeing, based on geography, social class, education, levels of local deprivation and ethnicity.
Overall, almost three-quarters of people in the UK (72%) think their local community is faring well for the quality of life compared to other communities in the UK. This jumps to 78% of people in the South West of England, but dips to 67% in North West and North East and falls to 62% for those living in the most deprived areas of the UK.
David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“This research is about putting communities first and asking them directly what their challenges, hopes and ambitions are today and for the future. We know our funding has a critical role to play in supporting communities to unleash their energy and potential so they can get to where they want to be.
“It’s the start of an important conversation. That’s why we are kicking off a Strategic Renewal process today that will shape how we continue to invest in communities into the future and support them to prosper and thrive. We want to draw on the knowledge, foresight, experiences and ambitions of communities. Thanks to National Lottery players every seven minutes we’re able to back a community to bring people together and make amazing things happen. Now is an exciting and inspiring time to explore how we build on the best that’s been with the best that’s yet to come.”
As part of the launch, David visited Middleport Matters, a community project in Stoke-on-Trent that is in one of the most deprived areas in the country. It is using National Lottery funding to help improve the quality of life and life opportunities for residents. Middleport Matters brings people from across the area together to overcome challenges faced by the community and is helping create a safe, thriving, and welcoming place to live and visit.
National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded £3.4 billion in 72,000 grants in the last five years, supporting amazing things to happen in communities across the UK.
To find out more, please visit: http://www.puttingcommunitiesfirst.org.uk/.