Working together to bring in hard-to-access funding

Since 2014, Dudley CVS has been involved in work to bring hard-to-access funding, such as the joint EU / Big Lottery Fund programme Building Better Opportunities (BBO).

In 2014, Dudley CVS jointly set up Black Country Together CIC with the three other Black Country CVS in order to maximise opportunities for the sector, including bidding for work and funding to passport to frontline voluntary sector organisations that we know deliver great work.

In 2015-16, Dudley CVS brought 99 people from voluntary sector together to learn more about the BBO programme. BBO funding was available through four strands:

  • Employment support for over 24s
  • Targeted communities
  • Families in Poverty
  • Financial and Digital Inclusion

Each strand was to be administered by a lead organisation and Black Country Together CIC successfully applied to lead the Families in Poverty strand worth £3.4million.

Last year, we continued to support groups to access this funding by bringing together Dudley’s groups and identifying those that could deliver work under each strand, inviting them to attend a series of workshops to learn more. Phase Trust and Lunch on the Run were identified as two possible local partners and they requested Dudley CVS support on the initial expressions of interest and then the final project plan applications.

Our Funding Officer discussed the initial expression of interest face to face with each group and reviewed them before they were submitted. Both groups were invited to the second stage of the application, which was a project plan. Dudley CVS supported each group to put these plans together through a series of one-to-one meetings and email support to ensure that applications were as strong as possible when they were submitted.

Both organisations were successful with their applications. Phase Trust received £100,401 and Lunch on the run received £75,082 for work commencing Autumn 2016 and finishing by December 2019.

Both organisations are now able to support young people (Phase Trust) and people with learning disabilities (Lunch on the Run) through activities that positively address their issues around loneliness and poverty and that bring out their skills. Their work promotes people’s independence and improves their quality of life. Bearing in mind it’s still early days in the programme both organisations are now delivering these additional services (on top of what they usually do) resulting in their beneficiaries moving forward in their lives both individually as well as within their families.


Sally from Lunch on the Run said that she liked our “Professional guidance and better understanding to produce a successful application” in connection with her success in receiving funding through BBO. She went on to describe our support as friendly, supportive, professional and knowledgeable.

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