Current funding opportunities

Invitation to tender reopened: External Evaluation of Champions Boards for Young People with Care Experience   

Project Specification

The Trust believes that investing directly in young people and placing them at the heart of all efforts to transform the care system is vital if we are to achieve lasting change. This evaluation project will explore the impact of the investment in the Champions Board initiative, particularly in terms of:

•    nurturing leadership capability, developing skills and growing aspiration amongst young people with care experience

•    contributing to wider systems change for young people with care experience

The evaluation project will have two distinct but interrelated parts:

1.    an assessment of the outcomes achieved by Champions Boards (we expect this to make up around 75% of the evaluation project)   

2.    an assessment of the outcomes achieved by the National Champions Board Network (we expect this to make up around 25% of the evaluation project)

For more information on this evaluation and the Champions Board initiative, please see the the full tender document.

Part One: Evaluation of Champions Boards for Young People with Care Experience and the National Champions Board Network

The following outcome themes will be the focus of the work of evaluating the Champions Board initiative: 

•    assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in directly benefiting young people with experience of care 

•    determining the impact of the initiative in relation to strengthening the commitment, knowledge, skills and capacity of organisations

•    reviewing whether or not policy and practice have become more responsive to the needs and aspirations of young people with care experience

•    assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in improving public awareness and attitudes towards young people with care experience

•    determining the impact of the initiative in relation to service improvements for young people with care experience

As well as reviewing the progress of Champions Boards against the outcomes outlined above, the evaluation should also consider the contribution Boards are making to wider systems change for young people with care experience. Outcome themes relevant to this work include:

•    prioritisation of relationship-based policy and practice 

•    evidence of a culture of learning and reflection

•    prioritisation of employment opportunities for young people with care experience 

•    development of leadership opportunities which are appropriate to the skills and talents of young people with care experience 

•    improved collaboration across service and sector boundaries

Part Two: Champions Board Network

The following outcome themes will be the focus of the work of evaluating the Champions Board Network:

•    assessing the effectiveness of the Network in enabling the sharing of learning from different Champions Boards  

•    determining the impact of the Network in relation to giving Champions Boards opportunities to strengthen their participation and engagement approach 

•    reviewing whether or not the Network has improved collaboration across Local Authorities and regions, and supported staff and young people to develop their leadership skills

Project Requirements

Through this contract, evaluators will have access to a range of resources, including but not limited to:

•    monitoring and self-evaluation information from Champions Boards

•    learning reports produced by the Life Changes Trust

•    champions Boards contacts and the National Network

•    key stakeholders 

Submitting a bid

Before you submit a bid, please read carefully the full tender specification, which includes more detail of our expectations and how you should approach your tender. The full tender document is available on Public Contracts Scotland, and can be accessed here.

Please paint a very clear picture of what your vision for the evaluation is and provide us with appropriate detail in relation to how you will achieve this vision – there is no word length limit for submissions. Bidders should demonstrate an ability to commit to this work over a period of 17 months (March 2020 to July 2021 – see timescales in full tender document, accessed here). 

Deadline for bids:  5pm on 17th January 2020

The full specification with more information and timelines, is available through Public Contracts Scotland website. Bids should be submitted through Public Contracts Scotland, sent to ceypapplications@lifechangestrust.org.uk or posted to: Mhairi Reid, Life Changes Trust, Edward House, 199 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3EX.

Bids submitted after the deadline will NOT be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure that your bid reaches the Life Changes Trust by the deadline. Enquiries should be directed to Mhairi Reid at mhairi.reid@lifechangestrust.org.uk or Catriona Kelly at catriona.kelly@lifechangestrust.org.uk or via the Public Contracts Scotland portal.

Value of the tender

The value of this tender is £100,000 over 17 months (inclusive of VAT). 

 Get Writing! Be included in our creative writing project   

We are excited to launch a new creative writing project for people with care experience in Scotland. We will publish a super shiny book in the Summer of 2020, and the theme will be Past, Present and Future.  

The good news is that this is a project, not a competition! We will be aiming to include as many entries as possible. The book will feature:  

•    Poetry

•    Song/rap lyrics

•    Flash fiction stories (very short stories of no more than 200 words)

•    Social media posts (e.g. Tweets; Facebook posts)

•    Illustrations (drawings only)  

We are looking for any piece of writing which fits in to the list above from people who have current or past experience of care, and writers can interpret the theme in any way they choose. We would love to receive a wide variety of writing which covers lots of topics – if you want to write about your care experience that is an option, but you can also write about other things that are important to you.

Anyone who would like to include illustrations with their work is also welcome to do so.   

There is no minimum or maximum age for people who want to have their writing considered, but we will particularly welcome writing from young people aged 14 to 26. You can send us more than one piece of writing, but we might only be able to publish one piece depending on space.

We have provided some guidelines for anyone who would like to take part in the project, which you can download here.  

All writing must be sent with an entry form, which you can find here.  

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 27 February 2020. For more information on how to send us your writing, please see the guidelines. If you have any questions, or would like to talk to someone about the project, please call 0141 212 9600 and ask for someone from the Young People’s Programme – we would love to hear from you.  

Please spread the word! This is a great chance to get your writing into print. We’re also planning a launch event once the book is published, and there will be opportunities to take part in filming and reading to an audience for people who are interested. If you prefer to stay anonymous, that’s fine too. We can’t wait to see what you all create, so Get Writing!

 ASPIRATIONAL AWARDS - they're back!

After six phenomenally successful - and popular - rounds of Aspirational Awards funding, we are thrilled to open round 7 for applications.

What are Aspirational Awards?

Aspirational Awards is a young people-led grants fund for young people with care experience aged 21-26.  The grants we fund through Aspirational Awards are aimed at supporting young people with care experience to think big about their future and to help them reach their best potential. 

Who can apply?       

This funding is open to young people aged 21-26, resident in Scotland, with at least three months of care experience.  Is this you? (Or someone you know?) Then read on…..

What we mean by care experienced is someone with experience in any of the following types of care:

•    looked after at home (e.g. supervision order)

•    foster care

•    residential care

•    secure care

•    kinship care - this means that social work has made arrangements for you to live with a relative or guardian

If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact us.

What do we mean by ‘aspirational’?

We understand that everyone’s aspirations are different. However, we believe that an aspirational idea must be based on these principles:

•    an ambition or dream which will create a long-term impact on your life

•    something which will help you achieve a long-term goal

This could be something that you have been working towards over a long period of time (and would have proof of doing so).

What do YOU aspire to?

This is an exciting opportunity for us, through these awards, to support you to think big about your future and allow you to apply for funding which will support you to achieve your aspiration.

What will the Trust fund?

The Aspirational Awards funding is flexible and is designed to meet the specific needs of individual people. Applications will be assessed on their own merit but below is some guidance as to what we are looking for. We will fund applications which…

•    are likely to have a long-term, positive impact on your life

•    will support you to achieve your aspirations in life

•    will be something which you have already made steps towards achieving

What we won’t fund

•    anything which is unlikely to have a long-term impact on your life (short-break holidays, basic living costs)

•    anything which should be provided by a statutory body - that is, funding which Local Authorities have a duty to provide (crisis loans, basic university bursaries)

•    body alterations (tattoos, cosmetic surgery etc.)

•    repayment of debt

•    driving lessons

If you are considering applying for funding to cover costs of a laptop to support your studies, please check with your local authority or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for any other funding options that may be available to you before submitting an Aspirational Awards application.

So what did you fund in the first six rounds of Aspirational Awards?

To date we have awarded over 80 Aspirational Awards across Scotland which means we’ve awarded just over £200,000 directly to young people with care experience. We have funded a wide range of applications over the first six Rounds of Aspirational Awards. These have included funding for: 

•    start-up businesses

•    help with vocational courses such as art & design materials or cookery classes

•    volunteering abroad

•    specialised qualifications such as mechanics and tree surgeons

•    internships

•    specialist equipment for music/DJ-ing and writing

•    funding towards a PhD!

Our key aim with this initiative, though, is to help young people with care experience to achieve their goals, so we want to hear from you, whatever your aspirations are in life.

What made for a good application?

A good application showed us:

•    a real passion for the aspiration itself and sense of why it is important to that individual

•    that the individual had carefully thought about their future and were clear in their own mind about what they wanted to achieve

•    determination by evidencing the steps already taken to achieve the aspiration, prior to applying for an Aspirational Award

Is there anything to avoid in my application?

•    not being clear on what your ultimate aspiration is

•    not indicating why it is aspirational to you

•    not answering each question or providing enough detail

What are the conditions of being awarded the money? 

We ask all applicants to provide contact details for two references. We will only get in touch with these references if your application is successful. If you are unsure who to include as a reference or unable to provide one at this stage please do get in touch with us on the contact details below and we can chat through other options.  We will also ask for receipts or other proofs of purchase to ensure money has been spent in line with the original application. Most applicants will also have other conditions specific to their application. 

Furthermore, each applicant will be asked to take part in some evaluation work so we can learn more about the impact of the award. All applicants will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire. If you agree, we may also invite you to get involved in further evaluation work e.g. an informal telephone follow up, writing about your experience, becoming part of a focus group or speaking at events.

How can I apply?

Applications are open from Thursday 7 November and close at midnight on Thursday 12 December. We would encourage you to get in touch with us first of all to discuss your application, by emailing us at ypce@lifechangestrust.org.uk or call us on 0141 212 9600.

You can apply electronically using our application form - click here to download the application form 

Please also contact us if you would prefer to submit your application by email, in writing or by video link.

Any questions?

You may have queries about what we will fund, what the application process involves or whether or not you qualify to apply.  Here are some Q&A's we made earlier.....

Download our FAQ's here

Or watch our handy wee video....

Invitation to Tender: Evaluation of the Life Changes Trust Advisory Group 

Project Specification

The Life Changes Trust is committed to truly listening to the voice of people with care experience as we believe that this is the key to achieving transformational change. It is a fundamental principle that this approach underpins all of our funded projects. To make sure we model this practice within the Trust, we established our Advisory Group, whose members have all had experience of care at some point in their lives.

The members of the Trust’s Advisory Group volunteer their time to advise the Trust, and work on specific projects and initiatives. The role of the Advisory Group has developed extensively since we first began our journey with the Group in 2016. 

This evaluation project will explore the impact of the Trust’s investment in our coproduction approach, specifically through our Advisory Group, and capture the learning that we have gathered. 

The evaluation project will have three distinct but interrelated parts:

•    An assessment of the impact of the Advisory Group on the Life Changes Trust and members of the Advisory Group.

•    An assessment of the impact of the Advisory Group’s external influencing work and the impact of Aspirational Awards.

•    A review of what we have learnt about coproduction and how this approach could be implemented by others.  

For more information on this evaluation and the Advisory Group, please see the full tender document.

Part One: Assessment of the impact of the Advisory Group on the Life Changes Trust and members of the Advisory Group

This evaluation should help us understand the impact of the Trust’s coproduction approach on the members of the Advisory Group, and the Life Changes Trust as a whole. By this we mean:

•    the personal impact on members of the Advisory Group in areas such as confidence, knowledge, leadership skills, relationship-building

•    the personal impact on members of Life Changes Trust staff involved in this work, in areas such as confidence, knowledge and skills, relationship-building and job satisfaction

•    the impact on the Trust’s internal policies and practice, with regard to relationship-based practice, culture, and governance

•    the impact on the Trust’s funding approach and decision-making

Part Two: Assessment of the impact of the Advisory Group’s external influencing work and the impact of Aspirational Awards

This evaluation should help us understand the impact of the Advisory Group on external stakeholders. By this we mean:

•    the impact of the Group’s influencing work, including whether or not external stakeholders who the Advisory Group have worked with have become more responsive to the needs and aspirations of young people with care experience

•    the impact of Aspirational Awards (the individual grant scheme designed by the Advisory Group) on young people with care experience

Part Three: Review of the Trust’s approach to coproduction and how this could be implemented by others

This evaluation should help us understand how our approach to coproduction has developed and how it works in practice, including highlighting areas of learning and challenge. 

We expect this part of the evaluation to review the practicalities of adopting a coproduction approach. We expect the following themes to be included in this Part of the evaluation:

•    resources required, including financial investment and staff resources

•    functionality of Advisory Group, including how this has developed over time

•    relationship building between staff and members of the Advisory Group

•    strategic commitment of the Life Changes Trust, including values and ethics of Trust

•    role of volunteers, including their commitment and how this is maintained

•    a brief comparative review of any similar practice amongst other funders in Scotland

Project Requirements

Through this contract, evaluators will have access to a range of resources, including but not limited to:

•    members of the Advisory Group and Trust staff

•    outputs completed by the Group (e.g. presentations, consultation responses)

•    evaluation responses from a sample of Aspirational Awards awardees

•    key stakeholders

In terms of outputs, as a minimum we expect the successful bidder to produce:

•    a film documenting the role and impact of the Advisory Group

•    2 reports (one interim report and a final report)

It is important that bids demonstrate a track record and appropriate skills to undertake both the evaluative work and the production of a good quality film alongside young people. Bidders must demonstrate a strong track record of film making and editing, preferably one that includes previous work with young people. We would ask that bidders include examples of previous film work in your bid.

Submitting a bid

Before you submit a bid, please read carefully the full tender specification, which includes more detail of our expectations and how you should approach your tender. The full tender document is available on Public Contracts Scotland, and can be accessed here.

Please paint a very clear picture of what your vision for the evaluation is and provide us with appropriate detail in relation to how you will achieve this vision – there is no word length limit for submissions. Bidders should demonstrate an ability to commit to this work over a period of 13 months (March 2020 to April 2021 – see timescales in full tender document, accessed here). 

Deadline for bids: Monday 16 December 2019 at 5pm

The full specification with more information and timelines, is available through Public Contracts Scotland website. Bids should be submitted through Public Contracts Scotland, sent to ceypapplications@lifechangestrust.org.uk or posted to:

Catriona Kelly, Life Changes Trust, Edward House, 199 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3EX

Bids submitted after the deadline will NOT be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure that your bid reaches the Life Changes Trust by the deadline.

Enquiries should be directed to Catriona Kelly at catriona.kelly@lifechangestrust.org.uk or via the Public Contracts Scotland portal.

Value of the tender

The value of this tender is £60,000 over 13 months (inclusive of VAT).