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Grants and Funding


Leaders with Lived Experiences 2020

23 September 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Objectives of Fund

Building on the 2019 Leaders with Lived Experience Pilot Programme, the 2020 programme aims to support lived experience leadership as the UK moves through the COVID-19 crisis. The impact of COVID-19 provides an opportunity to help lived experience to play a key role in shaping how communities move towards recovery and renewal.

The funding is for up to two years and enables organisations to focus either on the immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis, or helping communities recover and renew after the impact of COVID-19, or both.

Value Notes

Grants of between £20,000 and £50,000 are available.

It is expected that between 30 and 40 grants will be awarded.

The funding is available for up to two years.

Who Can Apply

Applications will be considered from:

  • Voluntary or community organisations

  • Registered charities

  • Constituted groups or clubs

  • Not-for-profit companies or community interest companies.

Organisations can apply if they:

  • Were set up by a lived experience leader

  • Are run by lived experience leaders

  • Have a leadership that reflects those they seek to support.

Organisations who have already applied for COVID-19 funding from the National Lottery Community Fund can also apply to this programme.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for projects which meet the Fund's priorities:

  • Lived experience leadership can be central in developing strategies for the renewal of civil society through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Supporting and developing lived experience leadership at all levels of an organisation.

  • Creating new opportunities for lived experience leaders and lived experience-led organisations to be central to any COVID-19 recovery and renewal response.

NLCF defines the term ‘lived experience leader’ as ‘someone who uses their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change for communities and people who share those experiences (and works with them to do that)’.

For example, a lived experience leader could be:

  • Someone who has been homeless who is working to improve homelessness services

  • A person with HIV who has set up and is running a peer-to-peer support service for other people with HIV

  • A person who has lost a loved one to suicide sets up and runs a support group for others who have lost someone to suicide.

A lived experience leader would not be for example:

  • A non-disabled person who has volunteered with disabled people, and wants to set up a disability charity

  • A parent/carer of someone with HIV who has set up a support group for people with HIV

  • A middle-class person who is running a working-class mentoring scheme.

The following are examples of projects that might apply for this funding:

  • Involving lived experience leaders in designing and delivering services that meet the needs of communities most impacted by COVID-19.

  • Creating time and space for lived experience leaders to think more about strategy, objectives and influencing, or developing strategy in general.

  • Creating time and space for lived experience leaders to influence how communities recover and renew after the impact of COVID-19, in a strategic way. This might be for a specific geographic area or for a particular sector.

  • Developing networks of support and collaboration between lived experience-led organisations, to create strategies that resolve intersections in lived experience. For example, working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) care leavers, or disabled people in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer + (LGBTQ+) communities.

  • Helping lived experience-led organisations become more resilient and sustainable. For example, through training, personal or professional development, planning to hand leadership over to others, improving digital capacity, or support packages to improve wellbeing.

  • Supporting existing projects or creating new projects that help lived experience-led organisations and leaders to meet the needs of the communities they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Supporting existing work or creating new projects that help to prevent crises like COVID-19 from impacting some communities (such as disabled people and BAME communities) more than others.

The funding can be used for a wide range of items, including but not limited to the following:

  • Equipment (eg, office equipment)

  • One-off events

  • Staff costs

  • Training costs

  • Transport

  • Utilities/running costs

  • Volunteer expenses

How To Apply

Applications will be accepted until 5pm on 13 October 2020 (5pm).

The online application form and guidance are available on the National Lottery Community Fund website.

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