By Michael Dobbins, Liberty Consortium
Bringing a project to life is not an easy task. It takes patience, planning, boldness and resilience. It also needs an enabler to ensure that the delivery happens successfully, or at all.
This is how I have come to think of the Big Lottery Fund in our journey with the Liberty Consortium. We have been lucky to have Big Lottery Fund support the delivery of the major programmes we have embarked upon and to have had them as a critical friend throughout our 13 years.
In setting ourselves three strategic objectives: promoting inclusive play; building community infrastructure and supporting young people with learning disabilities in transition from school, we knew that collaboration and more importantly, partnership working would be crucial to our success.
We also knew that we needed key strategic allies in doing this, and Big Lottery Fund were to become our closest ally. From stewarding the administration of grants, to providing media training and organising key networking and showcase events, the Fund has walked every step of the way with us on our journey to becoming a national award-winning facility with over 75K users annually, supporting over 150 young people with learning disabilities in transition and employing 24 people.
Big Lottery Fund is a unique funder, it gets involved with its organisations, it is interested in their journeys and in helping them in achieving their potential. It seeks new ideas and supports innovation, whilst at the same time challenging the community sector and its partners to go further.
As it challenges itself to be bolder and better, I would ask that the Fund stays true to that vision of supporting innovation through partnership working, so that we can continue to deliver and develop services that enrich the lives of children and young people together.
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