Home > Case Studies > My Lottery Grant Win: A Case Study

My Lottery Grant Win: A Case Study

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 29 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
Lottery Funding; Lottery Grants; Local

Gill Toynton was alarmed at the run-down state of her local village hall, but unsure what to do about it. A talk with a friend, however, gave her an idea.

The Village Hall

“Shortly after my husband and I moved, I thought it would be a good idea to run a fortnightly bring-and-buy charity sale at the local village hall. This is something I’d done where I previously lived.

“The moment I walked into the village hall, however, I was horrified. The place was bitterly cold and smelled strongly of damp. Many of the windows were broken and draughty, and some of the timber was rotten.

“I found out that the parish council was responsible for the upkeep of the hall. When I contacted the council, however, it was clear that there was no money to make any repairs. My idea for a bring-and-buy sale – and for any other project at the hall - was clearly a non-starter.

A Useful Discussion

“That weekend, a friend came to stay. She happened to mention a project she was involved with that had received national lottery funding.

“Although my friend’s project was about a crèche for local children, it gave me an idea. Perhaps I could secure lottery funding for the repairs to the village hall?

The Big Lottery Fund

“Frankly, I had no idea where to start, but my friend told me to look online. I‘m not good with a computer, but I found a site called the Big Lottery Fund. This is where you can read up about lottery grants.

“The Big Lottery Fund took me in turn to a site called Awards for All. This deals with lottery funding for local community projects. The amount you apply for can be anything from £300 to £10,000.

“I printed the application form and the guidance notes that were on the website. I then contacted the parish council again, and made my proposal to seek lottery funding for repairs to the village hall and the provision of basic heating.

“The people on the council I met were friendly but not very enthusiastic. Nonetheless I convinced them to let me complete the application on their behalf.

The Application

“As it happens, I had to involve the parish council every step of the way because the application had to have a lot of supporting information. This included details of the parish council’s accounts.

“Furthermore, the application form was 16 pages long. I’ve come across longer forms before, but it was still a challenge. I was also concerned when I found out that the lottery grants people return 75% of the forms because of errors or poor supporting details.

“Anyhow, I gathered as much information as possible. I obtained quotes for repairs to the windows, for replacement of the rotten wood around the hall, and for the installation of electric heating. I also put in the cost of an initial surveyor’s report, and some money for general decorating.

“On top of this, I needed the support of the local community. They had to endorse the project and provide evidence why we needed a decent village hall.

“I got things moving when I asked the local newspaper to spread the word and encourage people to come up with evidence and ideas. Before long, my initial notion of a regular bring-and-buy sale at the hall expanded. Local people came up with activities that could keep the hall busy four or five days a week.

The Outcome

“All this work paid off. The lottery grants people did return the form to query some point about the parish council accounts. We sorted this out, however, and within eight weeks of the application, we received a payment to cover everything we wanted to do.

“I then had to organise the surveyor, the window people, the carpenters, the heating firm, and the decorators. By this time, however, the parish council was right behind me. Between us, we had the hall up and running as a pleasant, warm, community centre within a further two months. It’s now the hub of the local community – as it should be.”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hello, I live in Norfolk.Have recently registered as a social enterprise Ltd. Co I am a retired social worker with a unique model of high standard care for at risk youth.I want to set up an agricultural enterprise which will provide housing and training.The amount of grants and the go and no go qualifications are daunting.I would appreciate a referral to a grants writer who has experience in social needs/justice system and agricultural grant writing.Thanks
chiefrobin - 29-Oct-18 @ 1:24 PM
i need about 10.000 pounds for a loft conversion i have 3 kids and only a 2 bedroom house its terrace.
jase - 2-Jul-12 @ 7:39 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Pete
    Re: Construction Industry Grants
    Hi I have a cscs card and ive never worked in the construction industry. I want to do my 360 digger course and was wondering if I…
    23 January 2019
  • Marko
    Re: Construction Industry Grants
    I've recently passed and received my cscs card. I'm working now as a Labourer and I'm wandering is there any funding to better my…
    23 January 2019
  • russ
    Re: Empty Property Grants
    i have a flat for more than 3 years now needs alot of work electrical and plumbing some builders quote me around £10,000 worth of work.…
    23 January 2019
  • Tigger
    Re: Get help with Wheelchair Purchase
    Hi Short version...I was divorced from an abusive partner several years ago, made homeless and thankfully managed to gain a…
    22 January 2019
  • Rose Quartz
    Re: Grants Under the Boiler Scrappage Scheme
    Hello i’m Looking for a grant for my home, private property though I still have a mortgage. I’m receive…
    22 January 2019
  • Babs
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    I'm over 60 and my husband is 65 my roof is leaking in a back bedroom which is resulting in my roof needed a bit of work me and my…
    22 January 2019
  • Ivy
    Re: Funding for Home Improvements
    Hello I am a pensioner with my husband we get state pension each. I am on attendance allows.my husband used to get cares allows…
    21 January 2019
  • Ivy
    Re: Regional Innovation Grants
    Hi we live in a bungalow built in the 1960s which is all electric. What I was wondering if we would be entitled to grants. We would…
    21 January 2019
  • MTimson
    Re: Attracting a Grant to Fund Your Sports Club
    Hello, I work for a Housing Association called Live West in the city of Plymouth. Providing support to 16-24…
    21 January 2019
  • Mini
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    No refurbishments for 27 years from one of the biggest we’ll know housing associations Notting Hill Genesis they say no budget every…
    18 January 2019