Third sector organisations can develop their community organisation’s capacity to tackle welfare reform and inequality with a grant of up to £5,000.
The fund will increase the capacity and resilience of communities and third sector organisations to provide people with the support and skills they need. Awards range from £1,000 to £5,000, with project activity expected to start and finish between January and August 2017.
Applications are invited from third sector organisations with an annual income of £200,000 or less.
Successful projects will achieve one or more of the following:
Expand/develop your organisation’s capacity to meet demand in relation to welfare reform
Develop a pilot project which focuses on tackling the impact of welfare reform and inequality
Help organisations work in partnership to support people
Develop people’s ability to prevent themselves from reaching crisis point
The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 31 October 2016.
If you have any questions please contact Irene Connelly on 0141 559 5027 or email email@example.com.
My girlfriend and I recently took a week’s annual leave and headed for Barcelona for a short getaway. It’s a city I’d never visited but after our first evening there, I was soon pleased with our decision. The city itself is incredibly well designed and we were able to walk to all our points of interest from the hotel (admittedly we walked around 8 miles a day).
What was of most interest to me was the Catalonia attitude and culture towards health and exercise. They have dedicated lanes for bikes and joggers . As we walked the main streets of the Barcelona, I noticed they featured what I can only describe as street side ‘exercise parks’ with a range of fitness equipment free and easy to access anytime of the day. What was more incredible was people were using them. The idea itself is excellent and something we could further consider introducing into British cities. Barcelona is a busy city with not a huge amount of green land, by making exercise as accessible as possible (right on the main street), we would be reducing barriers to exercise for all (indeed it mostly over 50s and 60s I saw using the equipment). The next question would be whether exercising in such a public venue could be ‘culturally acceptable’?
Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the Nou Camp – which for me, as a football aficionado, was the highlight of my fleeting visit to Barcelona. The Nou Camp will feature on every fans’ Stadium ‘To-Do List’ and if it doesn’t, it perhaps should do. It was marketed as the ‘Nou Camp Experience’ and although somewhat pricey I didn’t begrudge the €23 entry fee for museum and stadium tour, as it was that fee alone for the view of the stadium from pitch side.
What struck me instantly upon walking through the gates was that this was essentially football’s answer to Disneyland with a whole village of complexes, merchandise stalls, eateries and bars surrounding you as you head to the jewel in the crown. This is something I’d be keen to see further within Scottish sport – stadiums at the heart of a community.
As you walk out of the tunnel onto the pitch and take in just what an incredible stadium the Nou Camp is, you are instantly struck with the words ‘Mes Que Un Club’ spelt out in yellow within the stands. ‘More Than A Club’. The club was created by foreigners and soon became a focal point for Catalonism, and when Francisco Franco banned the use of the Catalan language, the stadium of Barcelona became one of the few places the people could express their dissatisfaction, thus showing the ways in which sport and politics and wider society interact on so many levels.
Beyond the history of what differentiates it from others, it was the founder’s approach to being a ‘Multi Sport Club’, commitment to social responsibility and governance that really sets it aside.
FC Barcelona have a rink hockey department, an ice hockey team, a rugby league team, a basketball team and a futsal team (they also previously had a baseball team). The whole sport campus in which the stadium is based acts as a home for its other sports and the games of the other teams are advertised and promoted across the city, although they might not receive the level of attention the football club gets (which isn’t an issue unique to Spanish culture).
I like this approach and it’s something I’d be keen to see more clubs adopt within Scotland. What we can most relate this to is the rise in Community Sport Hubs, with clubs sharing assets and making them viable social enterprises through their cooperative approach. I like it not just from a sustainability perspective, but a developmental point of view for young people.
At the Scottish FA Convention last year, I was able to hear from the Assistant Manager of the Icelandic football team who spoke about their approach to youth development. Whereas in the UK, young children are often shoehorned into a sport and expected to play that sport alone, in Iceland, children play various sports until the age of 16, at which point they’ve developed a wider range of techniques and skills.
The club’s commitment to being more than a club also reaches their social responsibilities and they’re renowned for once paying Unicef to host their logo upon their shirt (very rare in the modern day where clubs think mainly as businesses, rather than assets of community and social benefit). The club continues to work with Unicef using sport as a tool for social development (sport’s ability to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals is worthy of a blog to itself) and their work and partnership is proudly displayed within the museum.
Finally what interested me about the ‘Barca Experience’ is the club’s pride in being a democratic member owned club. While there may be some issues about how you would come to run in an election to the be the club President, it’s important to note that is operated on a ‘one member – one vote’ system which in a day and age of clubs being public limited companies, is commendable its stayed true to its member owned roots (again, this is worthy of its own blog).
Member owned clubs can work at any level of sport (it’s not just for small clubs!)
Multi Sport Clubs and Community Sport Hubs can help young people develop and they shouldn’t be pigeon holed into one sport from a young age
More clubs, businesses and organisations should come together to share and make the most of community sport assets such as stadiums, pitches and other facilities
Clubs should be assets of community with a responsibility to give back to tackle issues within local communities, but also abroad (and this doesn’t stop them being viable businesses).
Ownership of things matter. Good ownership gives people a say in things they care about, a sense of motivation and a stake in its success – much like being part of a sports team.
However, poor ownership and governance of clubs can have catastrophic effects. Over the years, many professional sport clubs have seen the impact private (and sometimes reckless) ownership can have on clubs, with numerous clubs falling into administration and sometimes liquidation. The same effects of poor governance can hamper non-professional and amateur clubs too, with many being unsustainable and eventually wound up through lack of engagement from volunteers, members and participants.
A preventive step to avoid such disasters is to really think about the ethos, legal structure and ownership of the club. Many clubs claim to already be or feel community orientated and owned, but might not technically be. Many unincorporated organisations or companies limited by guarantee may have significant input from a membership and run in a community’s interest, but not setup in the best way to deliver value to them.
A model we’ve been promoting and working with sport clubs for over 15 years now is the Community Benefit Society model, a type of cooperative ownership structure. This model does exactly what it says, operating for the good of the community, rather than one or two individuals, and enshrining community benefit within its governance structures and constituting documents.
From the outside, cooperative clubs may look like any other club, but inside they are very different. Members have an equal say in how the business is run and they even decide what to do with the profits, working on a one-member/one-vote basis.
Not sure if it’s right for your club?
Maybe you’re unincorporated and thinking about growing your club through development of a facility or taking on ownership of an asset to encourage more participants, successes and have to a greater impact within your community or society. If so, a cooperative CBS model could be a great fit. The major benefit of community ownership of clubs is it gives the community a greater influence in how the organisation operates, in turn leads to superior off the field performance. However, there are many other benefits of the CBS model,
-limited liability for its board,
-increased trust in your governance through partners (including members, councils and funding bodies),
-increased volunteering through members feeling more engaged with the club,
-increased engagement with your members (who are now co-owners),
-knowledge that your profits are being reinvested back into the club and community,
-a commitment to delivering social value being written into club rules,
-perhaps most significantly, an ability to raise capital through a unique and innovative form of crowd funding – community shares.
Community shares are a way of raising finance by offering shares, but in a secure, co-operative legal form. As opposed to ordinary shares in ordinary companies, they seek investment from people that are most interested in the long term success of the Club as a community asset – with the added bonus that it is cost effective way that avoids the red tape that a private Company would face. By giving your supporters and community the chance to invest in the Club it strengthens their connection with it, and as we have seen with FC United it can open you up to significant grant funding opportunities.
It’s the same model that helped Portsmouth supporters take control of their club. Supporter owned Wrexham built a new shop and offices at the Racecourse Ground, and FC United of Manchester raise almost £2 million towards a new facility in Moston that will cost about £5.5 million. Outside of sport, more than 300 pubs and small shops which are now owned by their customers, many relying on community shares to raise the finance.
If you’re interested in either the CBS model for your club, or launching a community share offer, you should speak to Club Development Scotland, leaders within the community ownership and sport sector. To date we’ve helped clubs raise over £6million through community shares and offer a range of support mechanisms to clubs through our consultancy services. Visit our website @ clubdevelopment.scot now or read our brochure here.
Club Development Scotland is Supporters Direct Scotland’s consultancy arm. Supporters Direct Scotland are a cooperatively owned organisation concerned with the promotion of good governance and sustainable sport clubs. They have 25 members across Scotland and are a member of the Scottish FA Congress. You can follow them on Twitter @SuppDirectScot