“Good event, enjoyed the friendly informal atmosphere.” “This was excellent, more of this would be great.” “Great session all round!”
This is just some of the positive feedback we received after our recent “market stall” event, held for National Lottery Community Fund grant holders in the Causeway Coast & Glens, Derry & Strabane and Mid & East Antrim council areas. Based on what the grant holders told us – they wanted to meet up with other groups to share learning and make connections – we organised an event to enable them to do this.
Over 65 organisations were invited to attend an event in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady. They were offered the opportunity to host a “market stall” where they could showcase their work. Again based on grant holder feedback we held a session on evaluation and how to showcase your project and highlight its impact.
We had a number of excellent keynote speakers from funded projects, who talked about their work and highlighted the many inventive ways they have found to effectively carry out evaluation. Garvagh Development Trust and On Street Community Youth each shared their amazing films, both of which brilliantly highlight the impact of their work.
Catherine Taylor from Be Safe Be Well gave a really moving talk on how they try to capture the impact of their Men’s Shed. Whilst it is easy to showcase their amazing creations, it can be difficult to capture the greatest impact, that of improved mental health. She described how they have found ways to do this by using things like Becks Depression Inventory, personal testimonies, videos and blogs.
There were also some expert tips and advice on evaluation from our Knowledge and Learning team. Our website has a new Insights & Evidence Library where you can search and access reports and evaluations from other grant holders across the Fund.
We would love for grant holders to send us their learning so we can share it! Current topics we’d particularly appreciate learning on include:
- climate change; &
- youth voice.
A top tip on evaluation came from Eileen McKibbin who talked about the importance of evidence being useful to the organisations themselves and how evaluation should focus on what matters to them and not try and fit it into “a box” of what they think the funder wants.
Speaking about the event, Michele Loughrey from Causeway Rural Urban Network (CRUN) said: “It was a super event, we met lots of new groups accessing funding and we have made a few links already to develop initial contacts from the day. Many thanks for organising.”
Karin Eyben from Garvagh Development Trust who gave a really insightful presentation on how they have developed some innovative ways of evaluating their project said: “I was just blown away by the diversity of what has been funded, with a common theme of investing and trusting in creative ideas and fantastic people. Definitely do that again.”
And as we are coming up to the National Lottery’s 25th birthday, we couldn’t resist taking a crossed finger selfie to say thanks to all the National Lottery players!
We would love you to get involved with our crossed finger selfie on Tuesday 29th October too. Here’s how you can:
- Gather a few people together and take a selfie with everyone posing with crossed fingers. You may want to get a few volunteers, staff, community members together.
- Write a short message thanking National Lottery players for supporting your group to do the fantastic work you do. Include the hashtag: #NationalLottery25
- On Tuesday 29thOctober, post your message and crossed fingers selfie on your social media channels.
Please remember to tag us in your posts!