We're delighted to publish the final reports from our Fourteen programme, along with a Q&A with Lily O'Flynn (see below), senior programme manager at UKCF who delivered Fourteen in England and Wales.
Fourteen was a £3.5m programme which allocated £250,000 to each of 14 communities across the UK to deliver sports, arts and volunteering activities with the aim of enhancing social connectedness in those communities.
We awarded grants to the UK Community Foundation (UKCF) and Springboard to allocate funding locally over three years.
You can download a copy of the final report, and the qualitative evaluation, using the buttons below.
Lily O'Flynn, senior programme manager at UKCF who delivered Fourteen in England and Wales, answers five questions about the Fourteen programme and it's conclusion.
1. This evaluation shows that…
Community-led grant making takes time and it is hard to measure tangible and consistent outcomes over a range of communities, causes and activities. BUT the stories are inspirational, the approach works and the communities we’ve funded are more empowered, more resourced and better connected as a result of this funding.
2. The thing I’m proudest about in this evaluation is…
The level of community empowerment this programme has enabled. In communities where typically large numbers of people are reliant on local government services, you may suspect people would feel a lack of control locally, however, our evaluation reports that people who took part in the Fourteen programme not only had an increased sense of pride in their contribution to their community but 70% of respondents felt that they could actually influence decisions affecting their local area; this is huge!
3. The thing I would do differently if we did this project again is…
Increase the timeframe – recruiting a local panel of decision makers, producing a community plan, piloting approaches and upskilling local people to be ready to take on the responsibility of awarding large amounts of money took time and this was only the set up! Building relationships and growing trust took even longer; the three years we had got us in the door and allowed people to consider us as trusted partners but by this point the programme was almost over.
4. An interesting fact in this evaluation is...
That people who took part in activities and volunteers appear to have been heavily influenced by role models, with over three quarters of survey respondents describing them as playing a role in their engagement in funded activity!
5. The thing I still wish we could understand more is…
A more comprehensive picture of the networks we built, we didn’t formally monitor the connections and partnerships we enabled and although we know we are leaving more cohesive and better connected voluntary sector behind we haven’t got an idea of just how many connections came through us.
For more on the Fourteen programme, and UKCF, click here.