Partnership Awards

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

Through our work, we have learned that there are some issues which cannot be addressed solely by providing awards to individual charities. 

This may be because of a need for increased awareness and understanding of a problem and its root causes or increased evidence of approaches or interventions which are successful in addressing it.  It may also be that a problem requires a collaborative and/or longer term approach to be taken to address the complexity or scale of the issue at a structural or system level.

Alongside our main grant giving work, we have developed an Innovation and Learning approach which seeks to:

  • Build our knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing individuals and communities
  • Build our understanding of the policy and practice context in areas of identified interest;
  • Identify and test approaches which address complex issues and which help us gain evidence about "what works, what doesn’t work and why"
  • Build effective partnerships and use our knowledge and evidence to support development of policy and practice
  • Use knowledge and evidence to build capacity and skills in third sector organisations
  • Improve our understanding of the impact and effectiveness of our own grant making and other resources on beneficiaries

A key component of our Innovation and Learning work is the development and delivery of our Partnership Awards.  These Awards seek to test new ways of working and to build evidence around what works, what doesn’t work and why, in areas of particular interest to us.

Please note that organisations cannot apply for Partnership Awards through our open application process. Instead, they may be invited to apply for an award, or awards may be advertised openly for application, depending on the programme. 

The themes in which we currently invest or undertake research are listed below:

The Trust’s interest in criminal justice as a funding strand stemmed from the DORIS (Drug Outcome Research in Scotland) carried out on our behalf by Professor Neil McKeganey at the University of Glasgow.  One theme emerging from this research was the ‘revolving door’ of prison which existed for many serving short-term sentences, many of whom had addiction issues.

Through our theme of Criminal Justice we aim to:

  • Develop the evidence-base of the approaches that are most effective in diverting people away from the criminal justice system and other negative outcomes
  • Reduce the impact that offending behaviour has on individuals, families and communities

The Trust has had a long-standing interest in supporting community sport projects, recognising the potential they have as diversionary activities for young people.  More recently we have recognised the specific area of Sport for Change where sporting activities are intentionally used to deliver social impact for individuals and communities beyond increasing participation in sport.

Through our theme of Sport for Change we aim to:

  • Increase understanding of Sport for Change approaches and ‘what works’ when trying to develop sustainable sports organisations that meet the needs of their communities
  • Develop the evidence base on what type of approaches are most likely to be effective
  • Support funded organisations to deliver better impact through sport
  • Inform the policy and practice environment around Sport for Change

The Scottish Government’s Alcohol Strategy; Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action was published in 2009. The Trustees were concerned about the issues that harmful drinking were causing for young people, their families and their communities and considered that the Trust could contribute to the lack of evidence-base about what works.

Through our theme of Alcohol Misuse we aim to:

  • Develop the evidence base of the approaches that are most effective in supporting young people to make informed and responsible choices about alcohol
  • Reduce the harm that alcohol misuse can have on young people, families and communities

In June 2011, the Scottish Government setup the ‘Commission on Women Offenders in Scotland’ in response to figures showing that Scotland’s female prison population had doubled over the past 10 years. The Commission was tasked with finding more effective ways of dealing with women in the criminal justice system. In 2012, the Commission published a report of their findings and made a total of 37 recommendations for changes that were needed to improve outcomes for women in the criminal justice system. This included establishing local community justice centres that could provide interventions and support for women offenders at every stage of the criminal justice system. The Trust is interested in exploring if and how Women’s centres can be co-designed with local women that provide space, activities, services and support for all women including those who are in or are at risk of becoming in the criminal justice system.

Through our theme of Vulnerable Women we aim to:

  • Divert vulnerable women and girls away from negative outcomes and help break inter-generational cycles of negative outcomes within families and communities
  • Support vulnerable women, girls and their families to be safer, happier, healthier and more achieving

This Theme developed as a result of our learning from funding projects that support young people leaving custody. The evaluations we commissioned evidenced that for some young people their lives could be turned around with positive futures to look forward to. However, these young people have the stigma of having been in the criminal justice system.

Through our theme of Realising Potential for Vulnerable Young People we aim to:

  • Increase understanding of the value of investing in preventative services and develop the evidence base of the approaches that are most effective in diverting people away from negative outcomes before they occur
  • Improve the ability for children and young people to achieve their full potential by supporting them to develop the skills, resilience and motivation they need to do so