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Heritage Lottery Fund

Heritage Lottery Fund

HLF saw the need to provide funding to support the building of capacity and capability amongst their grant-holders in order to improve both organisational resilience and the sustainability of their investment. Rocket Science is managing a programme of research to capture the learning from investment to support the transition and resilience of a range of heritage projects, including museums and museum services, as well as trusts overseeing historic assets and individual artefacts.

Client: Heritage Lottery Fund

Team Member: Caroline Masundire, John Griffiths

Village SOS

Village SOS

How Village SOS can help your community project

Village SOS is a campaign that aims to inspire local community action, through supporting new, developing and existing community projects that benefit residents in rural communities throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Peer support from a Mentor

Communities involved with Village SOS can learn from other communities across the UK who have been through a successful development process. Village SOS will partner your community up with a VSOS Mentor drawn from these communities who has knowledge and skills relevant to your project.
Mentors will provide between 3 and 6 days of support and are there to provide insights and support to your project from their experience. Current Mentors have experience in:

  • Mediation
  • Planning
  • Funding
  • Governance
  • Networking
  • Public relations
  • Change management
  • Community events
  • Local Government
  • Human resources
  • Establishing community organisations and businesses
  • Community asset transfers
  • Community engagement
  • Sustainable development
  • Supporting volunteers
  • Community transport

Free consultancy support

Projects involved with Village SOS can receive around three days of free consultancy support to help them make progress. Village SOS will help projects to develop a set of actions, in a bespoke plan of support to be delivered by Rocket Science, Forth Sector or other source of specialist support.
Rocket Science is an Edinburgh-based consultancy firm with strong ties to rural support networks in Scotland and expertise in rural development, business and strategic planning, facilitating consultation and community governance.
Forth Sector Development are leaders in thinking and practice on social enterprises, business development, procurement, community benefit, and organisational transformation.
Support will be tailored to your needs, and could include assistance in:

  • Developing clear plans and strategies
  • Engaging your community
  • Sourcing funding and specialist advice
  • Capacity building
  • Business development
  • Effective Governance

If it sounds like your community would benefit from participating in Village SOS then we would love to know a bit more about your project by filling in this form or by contacting Clare Hammond on 0131 226 4949 or


Client: ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England)

Team: Caroline Masundire, Clare Hammond, Lizzie Stanton

Rural Direct

Rural Direct

Rural Direct is the information and advice service about the funding of projects for rural communities across Scotland. We carried out surveys, focus groups, workshops and a wide range of interviews with a detailed interrogation of the Rural Direct Database. This allowed us to develop recommendations about how best to ensure that rural communities across Scotland have access to consistently high quality advice and guidance.

Client: Scottish Government

Audit Scotland – Economic Analysis

Audit Scotland – Economic Analysis

Rocket Science in partnership with Cogentsi, was commissioned in 2015 by Audit Scotland to develop a high order socio-economic analysis of the most important trends and issues across Scotland – and the most significant local variations – that Audit Scotland can draw on both to inform current audit work and identify areas for future audit work.

VCS Assist

VCS Assist

The VCS Assist project was set up to build the skills of the VCS (Voluntary and Community Sector) to secure and deliver ESF (European Service Fund) and Big Lottery Funding. Rocket Science works as part of a consortium of organisations which have devised a new model of assistance for third sector employment-related service providers. The VCS Assist partners have identified and addressed a range of skills needs and cultural changes required to ensure that providers have every opportunity to adapt to new ESF funding arrangements, including the move to prime contractor models and outcome based funding.

Client: European Social Fund Technical Assistance Programme

Team Lead: Caroline Masundire

Growing Concerns – Old Ford Housing Association

Growing Concerns – Old Ford Housing Association

Growing Concerns is a community-based social enterprise centred on a garden centre adjacent to the Hertford Canal in East London.   It comprises a number of business units including a retail outlet, a landscaping/maintenance team and garden design. Rocket Science was engaged by the parent organisation, OFHA, to develop a new strategy and business plan for Growing Concerns which considered the best options for ensuring the organisation’s future sustainability whilst maximising its social value to the community.

Client: Old Ford Housing Association

Team Member: John Griffiths

Village SOS Scotland

Village SOS Scotland


Rocket Science are leading in the delivery of Village SOS in Scotland. We are providing business planning and advice to emerging start-ups or developing social enterprises through Village SOS funding in Scotland. As a lead partner, working with Senscot and Forth Sector we are providing advice to projects, assisting them to move their idea to a plan and creating peer to peer networks to help organisations help themselves.

VSOS images

Project Lead: Clare Hammond

If you have any questions, you can contact Clare on or 0131 226 4949.