Fundraising: How we got the grant - Maca (Mental After Care Association) - Fariba Kellaway, head of fundraising

Why did you apply to this funder? The Supporting Carers Better Network was established three years ago with a Section 64 grant to support and promote mental health carers and organisations that help them. The network has grown from 270 to 1,600 members, but the new three-year grant will help us to expand that to 4,000. It will help us develop the first nationally accredited training curriculum for carers and develop a marketing arm so the network can be self-sufficient by 2008. We must present the project funder with audited accounts each year.

What did the application process involve? There were two formal stages.

The first involved a short outline proposal, but the formal application was hefty, like all Section 64 applications, and ran to 19 pages. I spent three weeks working on the form between last May and August - this excludes time spent by the network's manager assessing the training needs of various mental health carers. He conducted an email consultation with the network in 2003, which showed an overwhelming need for our planned carers' curriculum - with separate modules to suit individual GPs' and carers' needs - because current provision is patchy and lacks effectiveness without accreditation.

Is part of the money for training? About half. In the first year, we will assess the training need and analyse our findings. In 2007, the training scheme's separate modules will be piloted and the nationally accredited carers curriculum will be launched and marketed in 2008.

Did you apply to other funders? I believe I will get the extra £102,000 needed to complete the funding. Our grant application for the remaining money has been selected to go forward to the trustee meeting at the Foyle Foundation. We made the bid under its health criteria, and I expect to hear the final result by May. I have some potential funds in mind if we miss out, but my fingers are crossed for the current bid.

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