Farewell to Fair Share Trust
After a decade of working with communities to drive local change, Fair Share Trust is ‘officially’ coming to a close as the Trust Deed signed between Big Lottery Fund and UK Community Foundations ends today. In this guest blog, Fair Share Trust’s Bia Carneiro praises the contribution of the enthusiastic individuals who came together with others to make the their areas better places to live in.
In 2003, we were given the responsibility by the Big Lottery Fund to work with communities across the UK that had not received their ‘fair share’ of National Lottery funding because they lacked the resources or the experience to put together successful applications.
We worked with 30 local delivery partners – called Local agents – who in turn used their local grant-making expertise to ensure funding was distributed according to what communities wanted.
They did this by setting up local panels of residents, local authority and VCS organisations that had to work together to define local priorities and make funding decisions.
Over the 10 years, we’ve distributed £51.5M in grants to over 80 communities in the four nations. More than a quarter of a million people have benefited from the programme and local groups attracted another £25M to their areas because of our original commitment.
We can confidently celebrate today as all the brilliant people involved in making the programme happen were committed to a successful closure. All funds were spent and local evaluations were completed well within the deadlines stipulated by the Trust Deed.
Our focus at UK Community Foundations is now on gathering learning from the programme and on finishing the UK-wide impact evaluation. So while the Trust Deed is finished, there is still a lot to do!
We take this opportunity to thank residents, funded groups and Local Agents for their efforts strengthening local partnerships in their areas; but most importantly, we thank the members of the Local Panels for volunteering their time and their extensive knowledge to make communities better places to live.
The local impact evaluations are already online. Locally produced films and reports are available at www.fstimpact.org.uk. The UK-wide evaluation is underway and should be ready soon, so watch this space for more information about the difference Fair Share Trust has made to communities across the UK.
Visit the Fair Share Trust blog to read more stories and learning from local areas.
Bia Carneiro is the Research & Learning Manager for Fair Share Trust at UK Community Foundations.