Urgent advice req. Health Lottery Grant. Charity maintenance startup

9 May 2012
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United Kingdom
Hello all.

If you are in a hurry you can skip to the point.

I am a volunteer with a local community group and we have recently been offered a substantial grant over the next three years to put towards projects for and run by the local community. We need to put forward proposals with costs for each project.
We have made various enquiries in different ways asking the community what they feel would make the area a better place to live in.
One of the stories I heard was of an elderly man who had phoned up the local housing association and asked if they would change a light bulb for him. They replied they didn't change light bulbs. Without getting into the "they could've, they should've", I'm sure we've all heard stories of the times they, for whatever reason didn't, and we must assume this is one of them. Tragically it wasn't just a case of a failed lamp but a leak in the roof which had tripped the breaker leaving him with no lighting other than the lamp on his kitchen smoke detecter. The story goes he lived in his kitchen under that light for a considerable time.
I have no idea if it is true or not. To be honest if it is it is heatbreaking, if it's not I don't care, it could happen. Since this I have spoken to many elderly and disabled local people and am amazed at how many have simple (to the able) jobs that have been waiting months or years to be done just because they can't. Washing net curtains, replacing a toilet seat (can't bend down and can't undo wing nuts) refix a corner of wallpaper by the ceiling or put photos of grandchildren up on walls.

So, to the point.

I am trying to put a proposal together to give to the Health Lottery with the hope of getting a grant to start a maintenance service for the elderly and disabled to carry out the work that the housing association does not do. We have spoken to the housing association and I have a copy of all the works they do not do.
I have a background in appliance repair, electricians mate, office refurbishment and planned maintenance but have not had to put together a start up plan.

I have got as far as to list what I think we will need, vehicle, tools, insurance etc and gone as far as to get rough costs for each. What I'm really lost with is laying it out in either an Excel or Word doc. I have started both but with for instance the various cost of 3 vans how would I get to a single figure to present to THL.

If anyone has any ideas or would like to take a look at what I have done so far please reply. I was informed on Friday I need to have this ready within 3 weeks.

Many thanks in advance
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There are sample applications and advice available:

There's probably many more.
To sum all the figures on a spreadsheet, just use the @sum function.
If you want to total each section, use the @sum function for each section, then use +cell reference+cell reference+cell reference, etc for the overall total.
Good on ya!


This is the service supported by the City Council in the area where my elderly mother lives - it sounds very similar to what you're proposing. There are some direct line phone numbers on the About page including the Finance Officer who may be willing to give you a hand.
Wow guys thank you so much. I have just had a quick browse at the 3 links you posted Himaginn, was I a mile off the mark! I can see I have a lot more to do than I originally thought and without your help I don't think I would have got this project off the ground.

Ceres, your link is almost exactly what I would like to create here and I am looking forward to speaking to the council tomorrow. Hopefully they will be willing to give me some assistance.

I can't thank you guys enough, you input has saved me hours if not days. I will be back to this thread in the future with hopefully a link to our new community project. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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I would guess you'd be in a stronger position if you had a "board of members/trustees" to help you get the scheme of the ground and to give/ensure some commercial integrity and accreditation.
It might assist with experience of grant financing and it would certainly assist with accrediting the scheme with some credibility/longevity.
We do have both of those. I have been tasked with putting the application together for the sole reason I have most experience in this field. I will certainly be putting their names on the proposal. The community facility trust has been up and running for a number of years, we are just hoping to be able to do a bit more for the community in a number of ways. Thanks again for your advice and support.