Communities Can – Launch Event

Date: 29 June 2015

On Monday, 29 June 2015, The Young Foundation will host an event to launch Communities Can, a pilot programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

This exciting new programme is focused on providing support to small, informal community groups in five Local Authority areas in England: Barking and Dagenham, Blackpool, Peterborough, Sunderland and Torbay.

Our aim is to test new ways of enabling such groups to build on their skills, knowledge, confidence and evidence base of ‘what works’, in order to increase their influence and support people in their local communities.

Our focus will be on engagement with individuals and groups, with a turnover under £10,000, who currently find it difficult to access support and funding. We will help match groups to local, regional and national support providers who will be paid to meet their development needs. Support will be allocated from a £1.2million fund, provided through vouchers at a maximum value of £2,500 which will pay for the providers support time.

We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund has chosen the Young Foundation to administer Communities Can, which will see this methodology refined and developed as we enable local groups to access the support they need to develop.

Baroness Glenys Thornton, CEO Young Foundation said:

“Communities Can is a pilot programme designed to help small community groups access the support they need to grow and thrive. We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund is supporting The Young Foundation’s community mapping methodology which will underpin this project in which we will find and enable hundreds of community activists, movement builders and grassroots organisations – who are all too often wrongly labelled as ‘hard to reach’.”

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England chair said:

“We are looking forward to seeing the results of the Communities Can pilot led by The Young Foundation as it reaches out to those organisations that traditionally struggle to find funding and access support. There is much that we and other funders will be able to learn from it in order to develop new ways of funding in the future.”

Our event will be informal and will feature a series of conversations led by Baroness Glenys Thornton (Chief Executive The Young Foundation), Sufina Ahmad (Policy and Learning Manager Big Lottery Fund), Monica Needs, (Market Development Manager, Integration and Commissioning for Barking and Dagenham Council), Erika Jenkins (Chief Executive, Barking and Dagenham CVS) and Gillian Mcdonough (Chief Executive Sunderland CVS) BDCVS and SCVS are two of five local partners who will be helping to deliver this work.

On arrival at 10am we will provide tea, coffee and a light breakfast. Speakers will begin at 10.30 with a working lunch provided at 1pm.

The event will take place at the Young Foundation at 18 Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, E2 9PF.


Notes to editors:

Young Foundation

1. The Young Foundation harnesses the power of social innovation to tackle the root causes of inequality. We believe that inequality undermines the economy and corrodes our wellbeing. We work across all sectors; building and supporting institutions, movements and ideas that create a more equal and just society.

Founded 60 years ago by activist and innovator Michael Young, The Young Foundation has since created and supported over 80 organisations including the Open University, Economic and Social Research Council, NHS Direct, and Action for Happiness.

2. Contact:


Twitter: @the_young_fdn, @Communities_Can

Big Lottery Fund

1. The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

2. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

3. Big Lottery Fund media team: 020 7211 1888,,

out of hours 07867 500 572.


Twitter: @biglotteryfund #BigLottery