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Meet fairandfunky friends! (blog #10)

Meet fairandfunky and friends is our new blog series (can we still call it a new blog series now we are on number 10?!) to get to know the people we work with and how together, we all take little steps to change the world. Today we welcome Lisa Jagger to the blog to answer our questions…..

Who are you, where are you from and what do you do? I’m Lisa Jagger and I founded, and run a micro business called Straightforward Funding. I help people become more confident, motivated and skilled at preparing and submitting grant applications -specifically grants that support people and communities to fulfil their potential. Over the last couple of decades I have applied for hundreds of grants and now I feel it is time to share my skills, knowledge, experience (and mistakes). To effectively and consistently attract funding, I believe writing skills are only a small part of the process. Organisations need to have a strong grasp of who they are, what they do and why they do it. They need to make sure they have a solid project or activities that make a difference – the writing bit is much harder if that isn’t in place first. In addition to the grant writing process, I help people uncover the strengths and weaknesses of their business – and give them time, space and tools to take action and create change.  

What makes you a fairandfunky friend? I actually first met Sophie and Helen when I was still employed, and working as Enrichment Activity Facilitator for the North Huddersfield Learning Community, a group of schools in North Huddersfield. I developed a number of community engagement events – our annual Winter Warmer, a Community Arts Day, and numerous other smaller events. fairandfunky became our first choice facilitators of family friendly creative activities and could often be found managing an activity for us in their wonderful style. Expertly engaging with dozens of local families creating something from nothing – and helping us deliver a message that arts, and sustainability go very well together. Fast forward a few years and our paths continued to cross in many different ways. Eventually we met for coffee – and we just clicked! We now have a professional working relationship, it’s very “un-corporate”, a lot of fun, but with very clear and focused intentions – to ensure fairandfunky maximise their potential and thus maximise their impact upon the world around them. Giving more people the opportunity to take their first steps to changing the world.

What little steps do you take to change the world? At a business level, my mission is to empower more people, and more organisations to be able to extend, and enrich what they do. That often means motivating and persuading them that they can do it – anyone can learn the skills needed to apply for grants – but many need a better reason why to do so. I’ve always had ‘development type’ roles when employed. The best bit about that is having the freedom and ability to make things happen, and the satisfaction of seeing growth and development take place. The tough bit is that you are never finished! A job is never complete, there is always more to do; or circumstances change and everything needs to pivot.

On a personal level I am constantly learning to adapt how I live, and consume. I try to walk, or cycle whenever I can instead of using my van. (to be fair, my mileage is probably very low in comparison to many). I try to buy second hand wherever possible – and that saves a few pennies too! But, it is hard! We are bombarded with messages and invitations to buy, buy, buy! At the most basic level, I recycle wherever I can – an additional recycling bin in my kitchen is my personal ‘hack’, I think the only way to develop sustainable habits is to make it as easy as possible for myself. Make it easier to recycle, reuse or refrain than the alternatives.

Who influences or inspires you? And why? That’s actually a really tough question to answer. There’s a quote I heard recently that kind of sums it up: “Everyone I ever met knows something I don’t”. I may not have captured that perfectly, and I can’t remember who created the quote, but the general ethos is there! The quote resonated strongly. I learn from everyone. Yes, there are a couple of people, that have been a strong influence, who I’ve met at pivotal points of my life and career (or maybe they encouraged or nurtured those pivotal moments…) But in general, I learn from everyone I meet. And these little nuggets of wisdom, tips, ideas and theories I pick up as I’m talking to clients, mingling at network events or even reading comments on social media – help me shape and design the programmes, resources and applications I create.

How do You inspire others to take little steps to change the world? Grants create opportunities, raise aspirations, and improve awareness. Grant funding combined with strong organisations and innovative people can be the catalyst to change lives. My career began when I attended a free training course which had been grant funded – not that I realised at the time – but that opportunity changed my life. It was a Level 1 Rugby League Coaching Course and from that I was inspired to leave a low paid dead end job, progressed from no qualifications to having a Degree – and was eventually appointed as the first female Rugby League Development Officer working within the men’s game. I hope I inspire others to hang on in there when the going gets tough – and recognise that by doing so, they absolutely will make a difference.

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