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Get funded series: with Lucy May

A step by step breakdown of how I secured over £400k of Lottery funding for my not for profit community cookery school

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In 2004, I set up a not for profit organisation called The Organic Cookery School with the aim of developing and delivering quality outreach cookery and nutrition programmes for children, parents and young people.

As a primary school teacher, I had no previous fundraising experience, but I had spent the previous 18 months in a consultancy role delivering and overseeing lottery funded extended learning projects in targeted schools across Surrey.

Working on this lottery project gave me an insight into the breadth and variety of activities that lottery funding could support, as well as the benefits and improved outcomes for both beneficiaries and partner organisations.

My cofounder (another lottery project coordinator) and I set about consulting with schools and partner organisations, and making our first funding applications.

By November 2004, we had secured funding for three projects from three different organisations, the first being for just under £10k from the BIG lottery, through the popular Awards for All programme.

We went on to successfully secure three further Awards for All grants (again all in the region of £10k) for ‘Cooking for Baby’, ‘Man with a Pan’ and a Community Cookery Room Project.

The success of this project lead to us being referred to the BIG lottery Reaching Communities Funding Programme, from which we received £156k in 2011 for a further four years of ‘Cooking with Dad’, and £159K in 2013 for four years of ‘Cooking with Baby’.

In addition to BIG Lottery funding, we’ve accessed close to £40k of Health Lottery Funding via The People’s Health Trust to expand ‘Cooking for Baby’ across Surrey Hampshire, West Sussex and Kingston Upon Thames.

Over the past 13 years, we’ve worked with over 50,000 families, 500+ schools and children’s centres and generated over £1 million in funding for community cookery projects.

Applying for funding can seem daunting, and many social enterprise/CIC/charity founders put off applications because they are worried about what the process entails, what to write, what to put in the budget and how to accurately cost out the project.

There are many sources of funding advice available, but very few from those with recent experience in the development, delivering and monitoring projects from a grant holder’s perspective.

I’d love to share a step by step breakdown of my experience of lottery funding application processes including the prework required, the kinds of questions you’ll be asked, how monitoring works once you’ve been successful and my strategies for continuing project activities post-funding.

The Organic Cookery School being awarded over £156,000 on the National Lottery Good Causes Programme


This ‘Get Funded Now’ webinar aims to improve your confidence in making lottery applications, give you advice on how to assess whether your project idea is ready to be funded, and give you real life breakdowns of lottery funded projects from 10K to £159k.


Attendees will have the chance to ask questions and receive access to a replay if they can’t attend live.

This webinar is scheduled from 12 noon -1 pm on Monday 26th February 2018.

Attendees will receive access to the replay for 7 days and are able to submit questions both live and in advance.

I’m also offering limited 1 hour recorded Zoom/Skype sessions where you can pick my brains on your project idea and get feedback on your draft application (max 2000 words).

COST: Webinar only £79 (£49 if booked before 16th Feb, quote EARLYBIRD)

           Webinar and 1 hour review £179 (£149 if booked before 16th Feb,quote EARLYBIRD) LIMITED SPOTS

Proceeds to The Organic Cookery School Community Cookery and Nutrition Projects.

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