A National Lottery cash boost announced today (Monday 1st July) will support Scots with lived experience to develop as leaders within their communities.

Among those benefitting are people who have experienced problematic substance use and recovery who will become leaders in representing their communities, thanks to an award to the Scottish Recovery Consortium.

Also sharing in the funding from the National Lottery Community Fund is Inclusion Scotland who will pilot a leadership programme for disabled people across the country.

Both organisations are receiving funding as part of wider £800,000 package of grants to 20 projects across the UK from the Lived Experience Leaders Pilot Programme. 

The new grants will enable organisations to put people with first-hand experience of social issues in the lead. Organisations, including the Scottish Recovery Consortium and Inclusion Scotland will build capacity for those with lived experience to become leaders within their community, for example by providing training for emerging leaders, improving governance structures and enabling people to feed into the development of services and policies affecting them.

Thanks to an award of £50,000, the Scottish Recovery Consortium will establish a National Lived Experience Network across Scotland, bringing together and training people with lived experience of problematic substance use and recovery to become leaders in giving a voice to their communities. These leaders will be encouraged to play an active role in the design and development of services at local, regional and national level and will feed into existing Scottish Government policy.

Welcoming the award Michaela Jones, National Lived Experience Development Officer, Scottish Recovery Consortium, said: “If we continue to design systems and make policy decisions that do not take into account the voices of people who are directly impacted by those decisions, we will always be missing an important part of the puzzle. This award will enable us to work directly with people with Lived Experience and their families to ensure that they can bring their own unique perspective to the table. After all, we all want the same thing, for everyone to have the best chance of getting and staying well.”

Inclusion Scotland today receives £49,972 to run a pilot project aimed at bringing together a group of disabled leaders to design and deliver a programme of leadership training and mentoring.  Those taking part will have the opportunity to join policy panels to influence disabled rights at a national level.

Ethan Young, Civic Participation Officer, Inclusion Scotland, said: “We are delighted to receive a grant for our Leaders with Lived Experience pilot project. We will use coproduction methods to develop a leadership programme that works to promote lived experience leadership and remove the barriers to leadership development opportunities.

“The Fund is a major step forward in promoting the value of lived experience in leadership and decision making. Disabled people have a wealth of lived experience and skills that too often go untapped. We need a radical shift in societies perception of disabled people. Instead of simply being the subject of consultation there needs to be recognition of our role as change-makers and leaders.”

The Lived Experience Leader Pilot Programme, which was developed through workshops across the UK involving more than 70 lived experience leaders, is a core part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘people in the lead’ strategy. The pilot aims to better embed experts by experience in all aspects of an organisation’s operations – and enable the Fund and the wider sector to continue learning about how people with first-hand experience can become leaders, and how funders can support them.

Announcing the funding, Maureen McGinn, Scotland Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Today’s National Lottery funding will support people with lived experience to develop as leaders within their communities.  The voices of those with lived experience have frequently been absent from important discussions   such as those on assets, services and resources.  This funding should help remedy that.  In Scotland, people living with disabilities and those with direct experience of drug or alcohol misuse will use their first-hand experience to create positive change for others. I admire them for their passion and ambition to assist others and look forward to following the future development of this valuable activity.” 

Today’s announcement is also a key part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to enabling civil society to be fit for the future – helping organisations and the social sector create opportunities for people with first-hand experience to be at the forefront of decision making.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk   

About us

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.  

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.