Support for community groups and organisations

Scarborough Disability Action Group (DAG) – securing funding helped give the organisation perspective

scarborough DAG

With the help of Community First Yorkshire, Scarborough Disability Action Group (DAG) was able to secure funding for a confident and more sustainable future.

What was the challenge?

Scarborough DAG is a unique, free service for local disabled people which provides advice and support on issues such as community transport, welfare benefits and community care.

In order to maintain a free service, the trustees wanted to look at securing new sources of funding but were unsure where to start.

Tim Vasey, Manager, said: “We were really too close to the problem of what to do about future funding – we weren’t sure how to prioritise our strengths or whether the organisation was heading in the right strategic direction. We needed counsel from someone experienced with working with organisations about funding.”

Tim turned to Community First Yorkshire for help.

How did Community first Yorkshire help?

Nina, a Development Officer at Community First Yorkshire, started working with Tim. Her first step was to look at possible funding sources open to the group. It was quickly decided that the best route would be to approach their existing funder, The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) to see if they would consider re-funding.

Paul, a trustee, drafted an application and Nina made suggestions on how it could be improved, for example providing evidence of how their data monitoring and targets were set and the extent to which these were met. Nina suggested that they outline what had changed in the project over the period of the original funding, what lessons had been learnt and what they wanted to change and develop within the project, including ideas to help meet service delivery through the Covid-19 pandemic. At this point, Nina handed the case over to Hilary. Hilary checked the cash-flow forecast, reviewed the figures on how the uplift funding would be spent, ensuring they were presented in an easy-to-read format.

“Scarborough DAG have really taken our advice and run with it. They have blossomed in confidence and have a clearer understanding of the direction their organisation needs to travel in so that they can continue to provide much-needed support to local disabled people.”
Hilary, a Development Officer at Community First Yorkshire

Tim said: “From the start, Nina and Hilary were really encouraging. They confirmed that we were on the right track in terms of our funding ambitions and helped inject some confidence among the trustees about their abilities and instincts.”

“At Nina’s suggestion, we re-approached The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) to see whether they would continue with previous funding. She helped us reconnect and renegotiate with TNLCF. Because Nina and Hilary helped us to market ourselves to the funder, we were successful in our bid.”

Hilary adds: “Sometimes a group needs someone with an external perspective to come in and take a look at what they are doing. Scarborough DAG had it all there but they needed to portray themselves as resilient to funders – we all find it difficult to sell ourselves so it was great that Nina and I were able to instil some much-needed confidence and encourage the trustees to take a different approach to how they applied for funding.”

About the organisation.

Scarborough Disability Action Group (DAG) is a registered charity and was formed in 1989 by local disabled people. It provides information and advice on a wide range of key disability issues including welfare benefits, community care, transport and equipment. It is a user-led organisation that promotes the independence and empowerment of disabled people. Along with its information and advice service, the group offers volunteering opportunities, consultancy about environmental access, and disability awareness training.

What does the future look like?

Tim says: “Thanks to Nina and Hilary’s help we can face the future with a positive frame of mind. We are able to look at ourselves from the outside, take a step back and ask ourselves ‘Why should we be doing that?’ Once you’re able to take that approach, it opens up a completely different range of opportunities for your organisation.

“We can’t thank Nina and Hilary enough for their support and encouragement. I would say that getting advice from an experienced, external organisation like Community First Yorkshire is an important part of allowing your organisation to grow. We feel like we’ve been working with friends.”

Do you need help with…
  • Securing income for your organisation or project?
  • Turning your ideas of becoming a new community organisation into a reality?
  • Benefitting from greater security as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)?
  • Thinking about reviewing your organisation and planning ahead?
  • Understanding trustee’s legal roles and responsibilities?
  • Benefitting from a financial health check?

Our advisers can help. Call us today 01904 704177 or

How we can help you.

As a registered charity, we understand your needs. Our local advisers work across North Yorkshire and will come to you to ensure you get access to the best quality advice and guidance including funding advice, helping you set up as a community organisation, governance and trustees, finance support, marketing advice, and exploring ways to further develop your organisation.
If you know a community group, charity or social enterprise that needs some support to be even more successful, contact one of our friendly advisors on 01904 704177 or