Meet Norma Gregory. In 2016 she applied for £96,700 of National Lottery funding – and she got it, through her social enterprise, Nottingham News Centre CIC and project partners, Communities Inc. and the National Coal Mining Museum for England.
Now she’s running ‘Digging Deep’ – a two-year project (2017-2019), which seeks to reveal and preserve the untold story of the UK’s black mining heritage.
“Black miners? I didn’t even know there were black miners!”... is often the first thing Norma hears when she begins to explain her project, which only serves to reinforce the importance of the project coordinator role she’s undertaken.
Norma said, “The last deep coal mine in the UK shut-down in December 2015. There are none left. We’re interviewing miners who are 94 years old, if we don’t share their narratives now, these voices will be lost to history forever.”
So I took a deep breath and applied for National Lottery funding.
"The online application form looks long, but there are people to help you every step of the way and it helps you to evaluate the strengths of your project as you apply, which is really valuable.”
National Lottery players (yes, you) raise around £30 million for good causes every single week. And since launch in 1994, more than £38 billion has been awarded to projects all over the UK. The funding is available to everyone. In fact, more than 535,000 grants have been awarded so far, spread over four main funding areas: Community, Arts, Heritage and Sport.
So if you’ve got an idea, but you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our ‘Funding Finder’ tool. Just answer four short questions to find compatible funding programmes.
Norma said, “I would tell anyone thinking about applying for funding to go for it. You need to have faith in your project and be passionate, but if you believe it’s important, don’t let anything stand in your way.”
And if you’re still not sure, watch the short video above to see how it feels when you find out you’ve been awarded the funding. It’s truly life changing.