Fundraising News: How we got the grant - SNAP and Solo

Janet Down, general manager, Solo

Why did you apply to the Big Lottery Fund? Both the Special Needs Active Partnership, which works with children and young people with special needs, and Solihull Leisure Opportunities, which provides leisure opportunities for children and adults with learning disabilities, had previously received funding from the Community Fund.

The criteria of the Young People's Fund fitted neatly with the holiday activities provided by our organisations. This latest grant will help finance a summer programme that includes a range of leisure activities for young people with disabilities.

What did the application process involve? We sent a pre-application submission of interest and were then invited to submit a full application.

This involved three members of staff working on their individual areas of expertise before coming together to form the proposal. Finally, the senior leisure co-ordinator of Solihull SNAP, Lorraine Baldwin, and I spent a full day on the 24-page application form.

We then had a meeting with a Young People's Fund grants officer. Having previous experience of Lottery bids, we found this two-stage process much more efficient, saving time for both organisations as well as the BLF.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? A significant amount of the funding was assigned to core costs and training. This was largely because the groups of young people that both organisations work with need specialist support - this isn't possible without investing in staffing and training.

Did you apply to other funders? In 2004, Solo had been successful in applying to Children in Need for its one-to-one support work for children with more challenging behaviour, and this year SNAP also received funding from Children in Need. SNAP also applied to the Local Network Fund, but it was turned down because of its high annual turnover.

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