UK-wide Big Lottery Funding is essential for supporting the third sector in improving its work and sharing the best of what it does right across the UK and internationally.

Here at SCVO we’ve been busy responding to the UK Government’s consultation on the broad remit of the Fund.

UK Government Ministers are able to set the broad principles of the Fund, although it operates on an arms-length basis beyond this remit-setting.

We’re keen to ensure that the best of the Fund – its ability to share best practice, allow space for strategic policy work, and support long-term projects – is maintained. Our full response to the consulation is available on our Policy wepage.

As an example of what the Fund can achieve, Realising Ambition is worth a look. A UK-wide, £25 million programme, it seeks to prevent children and young people from entering the criminal justice system.

Launched in 2012, the five year programme provides grant funding and specialist support to over 20 organisations to improve and build the evidence base for the services they operate. So the aim is not to provide frontline service provision, but rather to gather and share evidence on what works best, in order to help the sector as a whole to improve.

Because the programme lasts for five years, Realising Ambition gives those organisations from across the UK that are involved in the project the space to:

  • improve the evidence base of what works and why
  • promote learning about how best to replicate interventions
  • and help commissioners ask the right questions about evidence, practice and impact.

The programme is led by charity Catch22 with the Dartington Social Research Unit, Substance and the Young Foundation as partners, showing what can be achieved when the third sector has the space to work with others – another positive of the UK-wide Big Lottery Funding stream.

With so many positives coming from such a unique Fund (no other operates in such a way across the UK for such long periods and with such a broad remit) we’re seeking to ensure it is given the same positive remit from the current UK Government.

The consultation is open until 12th August. If your organisation is interested in this area, make sure you have your say.