The Challenge of Changing Lives

Harriet Stranks, Director of Grant Making North, acknowledges that delivering good services whilst running a smooth back office isn’t always easy

 As a Foundation we ask charities to do the very best that they can with their funding, in good faith, to change peoples’ lives. That is a very tall order, and we know it.

The Foundation knows that charities have a really hard time keeping their head above water. We know there is an exhausting battle between doing the admin, getting the money in and delivering the services. We know that charities are very often living hand to mouth and the funding climate is changing so rapidly it’s hard to keep up.

Under all this pressure of running a charity, we ask you to change lives…to sit and listen to the man who doesn’t have anyone else to turn to, to make a phone call to the housing office to argue his case, to get him a warm coat, to help him understand he is not alone and to make his lot a bit easier, one day at a time.

If this kind of work was simple, the government would do it and we could all pack our bags and go home. Only the not for profit sector has the patience to work with people who are having a really tough time, furthermore, they do it with humility and give people dignity during moments of crisis.

We know that all of this is not easy, and sometimes it doesn’t work out – that’s ok. We trust you to do the best that you can, with the resources that you’ve got and make as much of an impact as possible, one person at a time.

That’s the reason we’ve invested money in what you do since we were founded in 1985. It’s also the reason that this year, as we mark our 30th anniversary, we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate your work with our 2015 Charity Achievement Awards.

Charity Achievement Awards

We know that the most effective work you do doesn’t always take the form of a shiny new idea or a huge scale project, but nevertheless it makes a transformative difference to your community. And given that times will remain tough, with money tight and the need for help growing, whoever is in power following the general election, we feel that recognising, celebrating, indeed shouting about the part you play as small and medium-sized charities across the country is important. We know you’re helping people get back on their feet and rebuild and improve their lives, and your role is more vital than ever.

So we’ve created six categories that we hope will reflect some of the elements of the work you do and the way that you do it:

  • Outstanding Impact
  • Against the Odds
  • Valuing Volunteers
  • Championing Change
  • Unsung Hero
  • Enterprising Collaboration

If your turnover is under £1m and you were in receipt of an active grant* from us in January 2015 or have been awarded a new grant by April 2015 you’re eligible to apply. We will look at your entries firstly within each region and from then, the winners of each category in each region, will go onto a UK-wide round alongside those from our sister Lloyds Bank Foundations for Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.  Winners will get a small unrestricted grant and we will work alongside you to promote you, your work and your achievements.

So now is your chance to get involved. Don’t hide your lights and achievements under a bushel, tell us about them and enter the Charity Achievement Awards.

We’ve tried to make it as easy to apply with a simple online form and you can enter against as many different categories as you like.

Applications close on 1st June at midnight so don’t delay – apply now!

* An active grant may have been awarded or started some time previous to this date but should not yet have ended and the charity must still be doing work against it. For example any two year grant that started from January 2013 onwards would still be active and therefore eligible.

Harriet Stranks is Director of Grant Making North for Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales. You can read more about Harriet on our website.

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