National Lottery Community Fund Leaders with lived experience – applications open until 13 October 2020

Article date
2 October 2020
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

This programme builds on the Leaders with Lived Experience Pilot Programme. And will award National Lottery funding to support lived experience leadership as we move through the Covid-19 crisis.

Because of the impact of Covid-19, there is an opportunity to help lived experience to play a key role in shaping how communities move towards recovery and renewal.

This is important, because leaders with lived experience and their organisations have the local and community knowledge, and a deep-rooted understanding of the challenges their communities face, to help renew communities.

The funding is for up to two years
So you can either focus on the immediate response to the Covid-19 crisis, or helping communities recover and renew after the impact of Covid-19, or both.
Who can apply?

Voluntary or community organisations, set up or run by leaders with lived experience.

What do they mean by ‘lived experience leader’? 

Someone who uses their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change for communities and people who share those experiences (and works with them to do that). Examples of leaders with lived experience include:

  • someone who has been homeless who is working to improve homelessness services
  • a person with HIV who has set up and is running a peer-to-peer support service for other people with HIV
  • a person who has lost a loved one to suicide who has set up and is running a support group for others who have lost someone to suicide.
What are some examples of projects that could be funded?

The projects that are more likely to be funded will show not just the role of lived experience  in their organisation and in how their project is run, but also how they want to develop and support lived experience leadership.

  • Involving lived experience leaders in designing and delivering services that meet the needs of communities most impacted by COVID-19.
  • Creating time and space for lived experience leaders to think more about strategy, objectives and influencing, or developing strategy in general.
  • Creating time and space for lived experience leaders to influence how communities recover and renew after the impact of COVID-19, in a strategic way. This might be for a specific geographic area or for a particular sector.
  • Developing networks of support and collaboration between lived experience-led organisations, to create strategies that resolve intersections in lived experience. For example, working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) care leavers, or disabled people in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer + (LGBTQ+) communities.
  • Helping lived experience-led organisations become more resilient and sustainable. For example, through training, personal or professional development, planning to hand leadership over to others, improving digital capacity, or support packages to improve wellbeing.
  • Supporting existing projects or creating new projects that help lived experience-led organisations and leaders to meet the needs of the communities they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Supporting existing work or creating new projects that help to prevent crises like COVID-19 from impacting some communities (such as disabled people and BAME communities) more than others.
What can the grant be spent on?
  • equipment (e.g. office equipment)
  • one-off events
  • staff costs
  • training costs
  • transport
  • utilities/running costs
  • volunteer expenses
Is there a deadline for applications?

Yes applications will need to be submitted by 5pm on 13 October 2020

More information and how to apply:
  • More information and how to apply online here.
  • If you would like support with the governance needed to apply for this funding and you are a voluntary or community group delivering services in Reading, please contact Herjeet at