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First 25 Big Assist awards announced

Over £100,000 in awards has gone to the first recipients of support from the new Big Assist programme. The awards, which averaged £5,000 in this round, are intended to give infrastructure organisations access to support and advice to help become more effective, efficient and sustainable. The awards are in the form of vouchers that can be spent with a wide range of support providers.

Commenting on the awards, Big Assist application reviewer Paul Levy said:

"We’ve seen a number of new ideas and innovative practices emerging from speaking to applicants in this round. The voucher awards will provide support to help infrastructure organisations implement these changes.

"There is a clear trend in organisations planning to form consortia to give them better access to public service commissioning."

Among the Awardees is Rural Action Yorkshire, a membership organisation that works to help improve the quality of life of people who live and work in Yorkshire, has been awarded vouchers to help it create a new income strategy and develop its marketing and communications. The organisation wants to develop its own consultancy service.

Leah Swain, Chief Officer of Rural Action Yorkshire, said:

"Rural Action Yorkshire are delighted to be awarded Big Assist vouchers. We look forward to working on our income and marketing strategies with the expert help we have been offered."

CAVSA, the Council for Voluntary Services in Hammersmith & Fulham, has been awarded vouchers to spend on support to develop new products and services and to develop new skills in areas such as strategy and funding.

Peter Okali, Chief Executive of CAVSA, said:

"CAVSA is very pleased to be recommended for support by Big Assist. The priorities identified through the self-assessment and review process should help us strengthen the organisation in key areas to meet the challenges of a more commercial and competitive environment in the years ahead."

Applications remain open and people can sign up and apply via the website The next voucher awards are expected to be made in early April.

The Big Assist programme is delivered by NCVO under contract to The National Lottery Communiyt Fund (TNLCF).

Big Assist also provides a wide range of other opportunities through a large ‘peer to peer’ programme including networking events, sponsored visits and mentoring and online events, share space and resources.

For more information, please contact Aidan Warner in the NCVO press office: 020 7520 2413, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


NCVO champions and strengthens the voluntary sector, with over 10,000 members, from the largest charities to the smallest community organisations.

Full list of awardees in this round:

  • Respect
  • Bury Third Sector Development Agency
  • Croydon Neighbourhood Care
  • Cheshire Community Action
  • Young Gloucestershire
  • Greenwich Action for Voluntary Service (GAVS)
  • Menter
  • Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered VCOs
  • Autism Alliance UK
  • Community Matters Partnership
  • Community Action South East
  • Mansfield CVS
  • Rural Action Yorkshire
  • Staffordshire & Moorlands CVS
  • Staffordshire CVYS
  • Surrey Youth Focus
  • Sussex BME Partnership
  • UK Association of Building Preservation Trusts
  • Voluntary Action Lewisham
  • South Yorkshire Community Foundation
  • CaVSA
  • Living Sport
  • South Somerset Association for Voluntary and Community Action - SSVCA
  • OPAAL - Older People’s Advocacy Alliance
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