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Supporting Sustainable Living Grant Guidance

 

The SSL scheme is now closed for applications. Project reports and evaluations can be found here. Please take a moment to have a look through some of the innovative and influential projects that have been funded.

 

The Supporting Sustainable Living Grant Scheme aims to bring about long-term changes in lifestyle that will reduce Wales’ greenhouse gas emissions and help organisations and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

As this is a small grant scheme, it will be necessary to prioritise projects for funding.  Projects which have the greatest impact in proportion to their cost will take priority.  It is expected that projects will focus on areas where carbon savings can be clearly evidenced and measured or which can lead to practical adaptations to climate impacts.  It is expected that this will be easiest to achieve, for emission reduction, in behaviours related to energy and transport.  Measures for adaptation should be those which confer greatest demonstrable protection for the spend.

For examples of possible adaptation projects that would fit within the SSL scheme please click here. Two examples are included, together with outlines and evaluation plans. 

Before you consider filling in an application form it is essential that you discuss your project with a Development Officer. This will ensure that your proposed project is suitable for this scheme and will guide you to the appropriate stage in the grant framework.

Whilst your Development Officer will provide you with the application form, an outline of the information requested at each stage is included below.

Applications at all stages must demonstrate value for money and a commitment to sustainable development principles in project delivery. They must also demonstrate that:

  •  the applicant organisation or partnership has the capacity and resources to undertake the proposed project;
  • potential risks associated with the project have been identified and planned for;
  • there is a clear timetable for activities that can be completed within the grant timeframe i.e. within the period for which the grant is awarded.

The form has 5 main sections:

Project Aim   Stage-specific
Resources and Risks  All stages
Plans and Timescales  All stages
Budget    Stage-specific
Evaluation and Follow-up Stages 2 and 3 only

Organisations have the choice to apply for projects that will be completed within the financial year in which the grant is awarded i.e. by 31 March 2014 OR to run a longer project that will be completed within the first quarter of the next financial year i.e. by 30 June 2014.

If you choose the second option, you will need to submit 2 budget pages at application stage indicating which costs will be incurred in each financial year. The financial year runs from 1 April one year to 31 March the next. Your Development Officer can advise further on this process. This will not alter the maximum grant amount that you can apply for.


PROJECT AIM


STAGE 1

Purpose
The Stage 1 grant is to help organisations gather the information and insights that they need to develop a credible pilot behaviour change project. It is expected that applicants will have already identified an area of behaviour that they wish to change. This grant is to help groups explore which specific behaviours within that area will have the biggest impact; why  undesired behaviour is present or desired behaviour is not present; who their chosen audience should be; what might help that audience make and maintain the desired changes; and when is the best time to put project interventions in place.

The output should be a Scoping Report summarising all these findings which can form the basis of a Stage 2 project delivery plan. The Report should also identify potential actions, timescales and budgets for a Stage 2 pilot project.


What do you want to do with a Stage 1 Sustainable Living grant?
You will be asked to tell us about the project you want to develop. Because this grant is aimed at behaviour change projects you will need to have a clear idea what area of behaviour your project is aiming at altering. We do not necessarily expect you to know the precise behaviour(s) that you will target or the specific audience that you will be working with as those are some of the things that this Stage 1 project can help decide. We do need to know that the project will focus on some specific area of life that currently produces greenhouse gases and which you believe can be targeted for reduction OR an area where you can help your business, organisation or community adapt to the impacts of climate change.

An example could be looking at methods to reduce the greenhouse gases produced through getting children to school. This is quite a broad category and the Stage 1 project might, in the first instance, look at what changes would have the biggest impacts so you know which behaviours to target. It will not be enough to say ‘transport’ or ‘heating’ in this section but, unless you have evidence to back it up, we would not at this stage expect you to be targeting a specific behaviour such as leaving lids off saucepans. In this example, minimising fuel use in cooking would be more appropriate.

You will be asked to indicate the carbon reduction or adaptation benefits that might result from action in your chosen area and to produce or reference evidence for this. You will also be asked about other sustainable development benefits that might result.


What information are you going to gather to help prepare for a credible Stage 2 project?
You will be asked to tell us what sort of information you think you will need to look at to develop a pilot project and the techniques that you might use to gather it.  For example, if you were looking at travel to school you may want to look at the numbers of children who are driven, how many children are in each car, particular periods that car travel peaks, barriers to using alternative transport and so on. Remember that your final report needs to identify the which, why, who, what and when factors identified under Grant Purpose and that your conclusions must be supported by evidence or data. Without this you will not be able to demonstrate that any subsequent Stage 2 projects can work or measure the effectiveness of any later interventions. This baseline data can be gathered through various techniques such as interviews, desk research, focus groups, observations, questionnaires etc. You can also explore if relevant data has already been collected by other organisations or through other sources and if this is appropriate for you to use.

STAGE 2

You will complete A if you have already completed a Stage 1 Scoping Report or have already developed a behaviour change project proposal through your own research or other funding

You will complete B if you wish to trial a pilot based on an existing behaviour change project.

A

What do you want to do with a Stage 2 Sustainable Living grant? Outline the proposals developed with your Stage 1 grant funding or equivalent research
You will be asked to  summarise the findings from your research with particular reference to key recommendations. These should include the specific behaviour(s) and audience(s) that your pilot project will target as well as any insights that will inform the type or timing of any activities.

What do you believe would be the benefits from action in your chosen area?
Based on the findings from your Stage 1 project report or equivalent research, you will be asked to give an indication of the levels of carbon reduction or tangible adaptation outputs that might result from your pilot project. Also include other benefits that might arise – for example to health, household income, community cohesion etc. Remember to reference the evidence that you are basing these conclusions on.


B


What do you want to do with a Stage 2 Sustainable Living grant?
You will be asked to summarise the existing project that you have chosen to adapt including where and when it has been implemented, by whom and with what results. Explain its aims, methods and rationale, the specific behaviour or area of behaviour that it targets and the audiences that it has worked with. Finally tell us about any particular factors that appear critical to its success.  You will need to include full details of the existing project, including its delivery plan, as supporting information.

Why have you chosen this particular project and why do you think it will be suitable for your community?
You will be asked to explain why you think this project will deliver successful behaviour change in your community and why you think it is suitable for your organisation to implement.

What changes might be necessary?
You will be asked to tell us about aspects of the project that may need to be changed and how you propose to alter them. This might refer to audience, scale, timing etc.

What do you believe would be the benefits from implementing this project in your area, business or community?
Based on the findings from the existing project, you will be asked to give an indication of the levels of carbon reduction or adaptation measures to the unavoidable impacts of climate change that might result from your pilot project. Also include other benefits that might arise – for example to health, household income, community cohesion etc. Remember to reference the evidence that you are basing these conclusions on. 

STAGE 3

Purpose
This grant is designed to help roll out a behaviour change project that has already been piloted successfully by the applicant organisation or partnership.

PROJECT AIM

Please give a brief outline of your pilot project.
You will be asked to tell us about the behaviours and audience targeted by your organisation either at Stage 2 or through another project. You will need to summarise the main themes and lessons of the pilot and to demonstrate what the take up of the behaviour change was and how lasting this change has proved or is likely to be. If you have not submitted a Stage 2 project report, you will need to reference the evidence that you are basing these conclusions on and to include detailed supporting documentation.

You will be asked to outline the carbon reduction or adaptation benefits that were achieved by these changes and to tell us about any other benefits that arose – for example to health, household income, community cohesion etc.


What area/s do you want to roll this project out into?
You will be then be asked to outline the new areas or audiences in Wales that you wish to take this project to now. You will be asked to explain why you think the project is suitable for expansion or replication and what might need to change. You will also need to demonstrate the potential impacts that the project might have in terms of carbon reduction or adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
Sections applying to all Stages

RESOURCES AND RISKS


Partnerships
You will be asked about the other organisations involved with this project, their roles and the resources that they will bring. This includes physical, financial or human resources as well as intangible benefits such as goodwill, reputation or community relations. You will also be asked if you have undertaken any behaviour change projects before.

Engagement and Volunteers
Lasting change requires a process of engagement, in which those groups we are seeking to change are included as partners in the process so you will also need to tell us how you will engage and involve the audiences that you will be working with.

If your project involves volunteers you will be asked to describe the roles they will take. Remember to include assistance with any strategic planning as well as practical project delivery.

Wales as a bilingual nation
Environment Wales is funded by the Welsh Government and is committed to promoting bilingualism in its activities. You will be asked how your group will include Welsh speakers in its project. Please note that any additions to websites or publications funded by Environment Wales must be bilingual, unless your project can demonstrate that there is no demand for this in your community e.g. if you are working primarily with groups using neither English nor Welsh as a first language.

Risks
It is important to consider anything that might limit the effectiveness of the project or which might affect its outcomes. For example, does the project need to be completed at a certain time of year? Will periods of staff absence or other priorities limit the time you are able to give this project? Are there external factors that need to be considered? You will need to show that you have considered potential risks or constraints.

Plans and Timescales
You will be asked to explain specifically how you plan to spend your SSL grant and tell us what goods or services this will buy and what activities this will deliver.

We expect projects to be completed within the financial year in which the grant award is made, as the norm. The financial year runs from 1 April one year to 31 March the next. Your Development Officer can advise further on this.


BUDGET
You will be asked to supply your budget in line with the following limits:

Stage 1 Grants will usually be up to £15,000 although may be more than this if your project looks set to deliver exceptional outcomes. This can be discussed with your Development Officer.

Stages 2 and 3  Grants will usually be up to £35,000 although there is a maximum grant limit of £50,000 for Stage 2 and 3 projects that involve cross-sector partnership and look set to deliver exceptional outcomes. Applicants wishing to apply for grants of over £35,000 will need to demonstrate clearly that the project either cannot be delivered for £35,000 or would generate significant additional outcomes should a larger grant be awarded. Your Development Officer can advise you further on this.

The grant can pay for project materials and equipment, translation, printing, training, consultants and specialist advice, venue hire, volunteer expenses etc. It can also pay for staff time provided that this is not already paid for by another funding arrangement . If there could be any doubt about this, please supply a letter from your Finance Department, Chairman or Chief Executive to confirm that there would be no double-funding of time or employment costs. The grant cannot fund vehicles or purchase of land. There is a capital item limit of £1,000.

If using contractors to provide specialist help please include day rates. You will be asked to provide evidence of costs for all items over £300; a written quote for items over £1,000; and 3 competitive tenders for items over £5,000.

If you have any queries about eligibility of budget items, please consult your Development Officer.

Match funding
You will also be asked to tell us about match funding e.g. staff, premises, administration costs, your own cash, other grants secured or expected, income from sales or trading etc. Sustainable Living Grants can usually only cover 75% of the overall costs of a project with at least 25% of funding coming from non-Welsh Government sources.
Occasionally these requirements may be waived in exceptional circumstances.

Sections applying to Stages 2 and 3

EVALUATION AND FOLLOW-UP

Evaluating your project is an essential and integral part of the project. Planning and thinking about evaluation starts at the project initiation stage, not near the end of the project. Evaluation will help to:
• communicate a shared understanding of the outcomes you intend to achieve
• promote accountability and transparency (i.e. you can tell the story of how efficient or valuable your project has been, to those funding or otherwise supporting your project)
• produce tangible proof of how well the project has worked
• enable others to learn from your experience and help us to tailor future projects

You will be asked to describe the kind of information that you will gather from project participants and how, and how often, this will be done. Use key indicators if you have them. Also explain whether you have already collected – or have access to - baseline data against which your project interventions can be measured. If you intend to collect baseline data as part of the project, you will need to explain how this will be done. You will need to complete an evaluation plan and your Development Officer can advise you further on how to do this.

You will need to explain how you plan to publicise or share any good ideas, achievements or lessons learnt from your project and you will be asked to set target outcomes for what you hope to achieve with the Supporting Sustainable Living grant by the end of the financial year. These should include, but are not limited to, the indicators already on the application form.

Outcome 

Target

Number of people targeted by project activity

Percentage of people demonstrating desired behaviour change

Reduction in carbon emissions – or increase in adaptation measures -   attributable to this behaviour change

Other sustainable development outcomes attributable to this behaviour change