Putting Communities First - How you can get involved
David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund
The National Lottery Community Fund has a critical role to play in supporting communities to unleash their energy and potential so they can get to where they want to be.
Every year, the projects we back reach more than 5 million people and help tackle things that matter, such as mental health and loneliness, providing young people with skills and employment opportunities, supporting communities’ COVID efforts and much, much more.
In the last 5 years alone, we have awarded £3.4 billion in 72,000 grants, supporting amazing things to happen in communities across the UK. That has seen at least one project in nearly every local neighbourhood. Thanks to National Lottery players, every seven minutes we back a community project that makes amazing things possible.
We’re passionate about the impact we have and believe now is the time for an important conversation about how we can be the best we can be and make the most difference in our support for UK communities to prosper and thrive going forward.
Our research shows the critical role our funding plays
Our latest Community Research Index shows significant differences in people’s perceptions of quality of life, life opportunities, job and employment prospects and other key measures, such as health and wellbeing, based on geography, social class, education, levels of local deprivation and ethnicity.
While 72% of people in the UK overall think their community is faring well for quality of life, this falls to 62% in the most deprived areas, and we are seeing similar differences in many areas where our funding could make a real difference.
The data shows that our funding can play a critical role in how communities rise to challenges and seize opportunities as we work towards the post-pandemic recovery across the UK, including key areas such as skills, employment, regeneration of local areas and creating community connections.
We want to build on the best that’s been with the best that’s yet to come. That’s why we now want to take stock and renew.
Shaping the future
Our Strategy Renewal process will shape how we continue to invest in communities into the future.
The last two years have seen communities face – and rise to – great challenges. But it has also shown something we all really knew to be true: Communities are at the heart of our nation. The social ties that bind us together. The power of people helping other people at their time of need. We need this more than ever.
This is why we want your ideas to help us better understand the challenges, hopes and opportunities in communities. We will draw on the knowledge, foresight, experiences and ambitions of communities to ensure our funding works for everyone.
How can we best unlock and unleash potential in communities?
As a community funder where have we – and where can we – make the most difference? With limited resource, on what should we focus? How do you see us working - and partnering - together on the issues that really matter?
Every day we are humbled and privileged to see what communities achieve. We look ahead with ambition and hope. This makes it an exciting and inspiring time to shape the future of how we support them, and we intend to do this by learning, exploring, and building big ideas.
How you can get involved
This exercise is about learning from our past, taking forward the best bits and building upon them.
We want you to be involved every step of the way:
- Visit our microsite where there will be full details on events, how to get involved and make sure your voice is heard.
- Use #TNLCOMFUNDStrategyRenew to join the conversation on social media.
- Sign up to our newsletters for up-to-date news and progress.
And please rest assured, while this important conversation takes place our funding will continue to flow. National Lottery funding is for everyone, and we will continue to be there for UK communities throughout.
This Strategy Renewal is about ensuring we are future fit and continue to deliver funding that is for all. As the largest funder of community activity in the UK we know this is what our communities expect, and we ask you all to join us in this conversation over the coming year that will shape how we support you into the future.