Big Lottery Fund appoints regional heads to boost local funding

12 Sep 2017 News

The Big Lottery Fund has appointed new heads of regional funding across England, as part of its drive to make itself more of a local funder.

BIG said yesterday that it has appointed seven regional heads, with one more yet to come. And it will be tripling the number of staff working locally.

“As part of its Strategic Framework, launched in 2015, the Fund held conversations with communities across the country to understand how National Lottery funding can support people to create the changes that they want to see,” BIG said in a statement.

“Building its local presence, the Fund is tripling the number of staff working locally to help realise its ambition to put people in the lead. This will bring teams closer to the people and organisations best placed to make a difference in their communities.

“The heads of regional funding will be responsible for all strategic and operational delivery within their respective regions. This includes developing relationships with local stakeholders and overseeing staff across the region who will have a base for outreach but spend the majority of their time out in communities.”

The seven heads are:

Abdou Sidibe, head of regional funding, Yorkshire and the Humber, who joins the Fund from the Children’s Society. Having started his career as a practitioner supporting refugee children and young people in Leeds, he went on to manage services across Yorkshire. He brings with him 14 years of experience working in the UK voluntary sector.

Duncan Nicholson, head of regional funding, North East and Cumbria, who joins the fund from Rathbone UK, where he focused on strategic and corporate partnership management in the North East of England, Scotland and Wales. Duncan brings senior level stakeholder engagement, a real understanding of the region, and a passion for community development.

Elly de Decker and Sacha Rose Smith, heads of regional funding, East of England, London and the South East. Sacha joined the Fund in 2009 and has worked in various senior funding and policy roles. Prior to this she worked in regional voluntary sector infrastructure, providing support to organisations focusing on equalities and human rights, throughout the South East.

Elly joined the Fund just over two years ago to lead the development of the HeadStart programme, which supports young people's mental wellbeing. Prior to this she worked in venture philanthropy, and she also has experience in humanitarian aid and international development.

Matthew Poole and Nicola Thurbon, heads of regional funding, Midlands. Matthew has worked at the Fund for just over two years, overseeing the Talent Match programme which supports young people furthest from the job market, and the Youth Investment Fund, co-funded with the Office for Civil Society. He previously worked in the voluntary and community sector, and local and regional government.

Nicola joined the Fund in 2006 and has held a variety of roles from grants officer to heading up the local team across England. Before this Nicola worked for a community arts charity, writing funding bids for its community and multi-million pound capital project.

Thomas McCulloch, head of regional funding, South West, who joins the fund from Action for Children, where he held a range of leadership positions, most recently overseeing a large team of members and volunteers across multiple locations in the region.


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