Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland Creates Change for vulnerable people

A ground-breaking £1.9m programme initiated by Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland has helped improve the lives of hundreds of people in Northern Ireland.

Creating Change, a unique long term funding pilot programme, which has just been completed, helped 18 smaller charities to grow, increase outreach and become more sustainable.

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for NI set up the six year Creating Change programme in 2008 to provide £1,880,479 to voluntary and community organisations in a bid to make a long term difference to the groups and the communities they serve. Each group was also supported by the Foundation with training and mentoring.

The programme has just finished and in an independent report completed by the Institute for Voluntary Action Research found that this long term approach to funding recognised that achieving change takes time, particularly on complex social issues.

 “This was a bold, groundbreaking initiative. The Foundation wanted to see what impact it could have on small charities if they received funding over a longer period of time. Many charities are constantly fire-fighting never knowing if they’ll have enough money to keep going. The idea behind this project was to take away that concern and give them a chance to develop in a safer space,” explained Lloyds Bank Foundation for NI Executive Director Sandara Kelso-Robb.

The overall aim of the Foundation is to support underfunded, grassroots charities that enable people, especially disabled and disadvantaged people, to play a fuller role in society.

The Creating Change programme began in 2008 when the economy was in crisis and charities were being hit by massive reductions in European funding making it impossible for organisation to develop strategically and work towards sustainability.

Each of the charities received funding of up to £100,000 over the course of the pilot project and this gave them more long term security. It also allowed them to apply for funding from other organisations, , with the advantage of having much of their core funding already in place. For every £1 invested by Lloyds Bank Foundation for NI via the Creating Change programme, these groups were able to leverage a further £5.80 from other sources – making a total of £10.6 million pounds in additional funding brought in by these groups.

For example, Carryduff group Caring Breaks was awarded a £890,000 grant from a significant funder as they were able to demonstration the stability of the organisation.

“During the recession many charities were taking much more conservative decisions and becoming risk averse because they just didn’t know where their funding would come from. Our approach was to offer a flexible funding model plus support and an active relationship with Foundation staff in order to help these groups to become more sustainable in the long term,” said Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland Chairman, Tony Reynolds.

The programme had a direct impact on the funded charities. Some examples of this include: Caring Breaks which was able to expand activities available to adults with physical or learning disabilities; Kilkeel Parish Bridge Association launched a new outreach service to young people in which trained staff went out onto the streets to ensure young people got home safely at night; Learmount Community Development Group in the small rural village of Park near Derry expanded its network of volunteers to 190 and started 20 new volunteer led services.

ARC Healthy Living Centre in Fermanagh used their funding toward a programme called Chit Chat Support, a telephone service to check on social isolated people on a daily basis. “Our funding was actually a matter of life and death for a couple of people – one lady had fallen and another had a stroke. We phone three times and if there’s no answer we go out there. The lady who had a stroke would be dead if it weren’t for Creating Change,” said Tiernach Mahon from ARC.

To view the evaluation report completed by IVAR, please click here.

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Clifton House Heritage Centre
2 North Queen Street
Belfast BT15 1ES

T: 028 9032 3000
E: grants@halifaxfoundationni.org

Registered in Northern Ireland Number 19019

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Charity Number: NIC101763

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