Innovative Participatory Funding Developed

Tuesday 18 June 2013

S6300544On Friday 7th June over 100 people came together for our Central Region’s Participatory Funding event in Glasgow. The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is pioneering what is called “Participatory Funding”. This builds on the work of Participatory Budgeting which acts as a way of giving local people the right to chose how to spend public money in their local community.

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has committed £80,000 from reserves to fund “Outcomes are Fun” projects. Chief Executive Austen Smyth explained “our Participatory Funding initiative passes over control and funding decisions to people who we support.  They develop their own ideas and projects and then decide, through voting, which projects get the funding. Our four regions each get a share of the overall funding pot”.

Dale Houston, Area Manager, has taken forward the initiative in Central Region. The involvement of supported people was central to the process right from the start. A Steering Group was set up and they developed the processes for project bids. This culminated in a Bid Presentation and voting event. Only supported people were eligible to vote.

On a sunny afternoon on 7th June bidders welcomed all voters to their stalls. This gave everyone an opportunity to see and hear what their project was about and to answer questions of those who ultimately vote and decide on who get the funding awards.

Everyone got an information pack which included a summary of all the projects. In total there were 12 projects put forward for funding. Each project team gave a three minutes presentation on what their project was about and what benefit it would bring. The talent, energy, skill and commitment from all the bid teams was simply quite outstanding and breathtaking. For many this was their first ever presentation and to achieve this in front of an audience over 100 was really significant. All bid presentations produced powerful messages.

Votes were cast! A team of independent vote counters (Jim Fraser, Management Committee Chairperson and Moira Agolini, Care Inspectorate Officer) ensured the votes were properly counted on a ranked scored basis.  We even had impromptu entertainment from one of the bid team members whilst the votes were being counted.

Awards were made to all successful bids. The funded projects now go into implementation. Dale Houston, Area Manager and compeer for the event stated “the simple giving of funds would not have engendered such commitment, drive and creativity. Today was a wonderful event and passed over control, responsibility, participation and decision making to people who we support. Their outcomes got funded today and we look forward to seeing some real Fun Outcomes being achieved”.

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