As the deadline for the Reaching New Scots Fund approaches, Fatou, one of our volunteer panel members, shares her advice for applicants.

Meet Fatou

Fatou is a volunteer on the panel for the Reaching New Scots Fund.

She is part of a team of 8 volunteers, who met regularly over 2 months to design the funding call.

We asked Fatou to share her experience of being on the panel.

“My name is Fatou I come from the Gambia West Africa. I am an asylum seeker, mother of seven, and grandmother of 12. I am lived experienced person who is here in Scotland. I’m very happy to participate, to do voluntary work and this funding.

“I am volunteering here and I heard about [this opportunity]. I contact SRC to see if I can be part of it and I was accepted.”

Why did you want to take part?

“I want to take part because I know this funding is a very good idea. I am asylum seeker I know what asylum seekers and refugees are going through.

“There are many organisations and these organisations are doing what the government can’t do for us. They will make it easy for the organisations to make us achieve our goals. This is why I’m very happy to do it.”

What did you learn from the process of designing the funding?

“I learned very much. I learned how to apply for funding, what type of groups to fund, why they should be funded, why are they are not to be funded. I know the criteria and I know the funding decision is not only one persons voice.

“It’s just teamwork. Everybody is given space to say why this organisation is needed to be funded and if there is any challenges they challenge debate until they come to a conclusion.”

What advice would you give to groups who want to apply for this funding?

“Make sure that they use the money for what they apply for. Make sure the new Scots benefit from this funding. This funding is created because of the new Scots.

“Everyone should try their chance. When they apply, when the decision-making panel read about their application we can debate it. We can see that the group, what they’re doing is very good and is benefitting the New Scots so we put our ideas together and if they are lucky they can be funded.

“I’m wishing everyone good luck.”

A panel, made up of New Scots volunteers and funding officers from the National Lottery Community Fund, will assess the applications. All applicants, whether successful or not, will be given feedback.

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 18th December.


About the Reaching New Scots Fund

The Reaching New Scots Fund is designed and managed by people from refugee backgrounds in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund.

The project aims to create a fairer and more accessible approach to funding, making it easier for refugee-led community groups to successfully apply for grants.

With the support of funding officers from The National Lottery Community Fund, our panel of refugee volunteers will award £700,000 in grants to groups and organisations that support New Scots communities.

Organisations can apply for grants of up to £30,000 for projects that help people seeking safety feel more at home in Scotland. Your project must do at least one of the following:

  • Raise awareness of services for New Scots
  • Remove barriers that prevent New Scots from accessing services
  • Build capacity for New Scots to access services

We have created application guidance to support you with your application. You can find it here.Please read this in full before you begin the application process. 

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 18th December.

Laura Delaney
Author: Laura Delaney