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Big Big Sing goes UK wide for Glasgow 2014

With the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games fast approaching, one of the highlights of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme - Big Big Sing – is now set to go UK wide.

Big Big Sing aims to inspire thousands of people across the country to take up singing in the lead up to and during Games Time, and bring the celebration of singing from Scotland to communities across the UK thanks to £1/2 million funding from the Big Lottery Fund (the Fund) and Spirit of 2012 Trust.

Big Big Sing is one of six UK projects set to share over £5 million from the Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign which aims to inspire, engage, motivate and mobilise people across the UK to get involved in their community, to volunteer and to harness the collective spirit of 2012.

50 members of the 300 strong Love Music Community Choir, one of the choirs working with Big Big Sing, raised the roof at the Glasgow Emirates Arena to celebrate this new funding.

Speaking at the Glasgow Emirates Arena, one of the specially commissioned Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games venues and home to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said:

"Like the 2012 London Games, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are set to inspire people and communities across the UK. The Spirit of 2012 Trust will be supporting brilliant projects in the run up to next summer and into the future."

“We hope to create a positive, lasting legacy through projects like the Big Big Sing and the others announced today by giving communities and individuals across the UK the chance to show just what they can achieve too.”

Svend Brown Director of Big Big Sing welcomed today’s award of £487,855. He said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to bring Big Big Sing to communities across the UK thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Spirit of 2012. Their support will enable us to deliver the benefits of this major celebration of singing on a UK-wide scale, and we hope to inspire thousands of people across the country to take up singing.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for singers of all ages and abilities to join in, get singing and be a part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. From the many performance and training opportunities to a massed singing event in Glasgow during Games Time, there will be every reason to join in and get singing.”

Established earlier this year with an endowment of £40 million from the BIG Lottery Fund, the Spirit of 2012 Trust aims to build both on the legacy of the London Games across the UK and to develop work to support and sustain community related activities up to and beyond Glasgow 2014.

Sir Harry Burns Spirit of 2012 Trustee and Chief Medical Officer for Scotland added: “All the projects funded today are offering community wide benefit by building on the legacy of London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 to deliver a positive spirit and motivate groups of people into social action.

“Big Big Sing will bring people and communities together with a common purpose and in addition to the social and emotional benefit this kind of activity can bring research has shown that choral singing can have a positive impact on well being and reducing stress for individuals.”

Eileen Gallagher, Independent Director on the Glasgow 2014 Board and Chair of the Ceremonies, Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay Committee, said: “Big Big Sing is already an important part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, allowing people wherever they are across Scotland to get involved in the Games experience. As it grows and spreads across the UK, more and more people will get the chance to become part of a choir or to simply enjoy some of the wonderful performances which will be staged as part of this exciting project.”

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery distributors, has made the money available in advance of the return it will receive from the sale of the Olympic and Paralympic Village. The Spirit of 2012 Trust is looking to fund projects that will capture the volunteering legacy of the London 2012 Games for community benefit, build on the positive spirit created by the Games to motivate groups of people into social action, use local and national events to develop community activities and develop positive attitudes to disability and impairment.

Today’s funding from the Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive initiative from the Big Lottery Fund and Spirit of 2012 Trust enables Big Big Sing, one of the key projects in the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, to have a UK wide reach.

Media Opportunity
Join a 50 strong section from Love Music Community Choir, one of the choirs working with Big Big Sing, to hear them raise the roof at the Emirates Arena and to find out more:

Where: Emirates Arena, 1000 London Road, Glasgow
When: 4pm Monday November 4, 2013
Available for interview / filming / photography:
• Peter Ainsworth Chair UK Board Big Lottery Fund
• Dugald Mackie Chair of the Spirit of 2012 Trust
• Svend Brown Director Big Big Sing
• Members of the Love Music Community Choir

Also receiving funding today through the Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign are:

British Red Cross: Inspired Action grant awarded £778,473
For their project in partnership with the charity Whizz Kids which will work with 1,000 young people aged from 15 to 25 years-old, including 50 young disabled people, drawn from all across the UK to become Humanitarian Citizens and actively volunteer in their own communities.

Mairi Allan, Head of Youth Engagement, British Red Cross said, “The British Red Cross and Whizz-Kidz are delighted to receive the support of the Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive initiative to develop our Inspired Action, partnership project.

“The Spirit of 2012 initiative funding allocated by the Big Lottery and Spirit of 2012 trust will enable the British Red Cross to offer 1000, high quality volunteering and social action opportunities for young people across the UK in the next three years. Young people will be supported to use their time and talents to help respond to local needs – whether that is in providing first aid, supporting people to live independently, preparing to respond to emergencies, or contributing to vital support activities. Working in partnership with Whizz-Kidz we will support a minimum of 50 young people with disabilities to become fully involved volunteers. As well as contributing to the resilience of their local communities young people will have the opportunity to access training and develop a range of transferable skills, building on the legacy of the Olympic values.

“In addition over 5000 young people will be inspired through taster events to think about how volunteering and social action could change their lives and their communities for the better.
We are grateful for the support which enables us to form a partnership with Whizz-Kidz, appoint dedicated project staff and develop learning on engaging young people, in particular those who have disabilities, in volunteering and social action. Findings from the project will be shared with the sector at a key learning conference in 2016.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Big Lottery and Spirit of 2012 Trust and excited about inspiring a generation to keep the volunteering spirit of 2012 alive!”
To find out more visit: to different website

UK Active: Asda Active Sports Leaders grant awarded £1,500,000
This project will deliver leadership training and confidence building for young people - aiming to deliver one million measurable hours of community volunteering. The project will use increased access to high quality volunteering opportunities to increase participation in activity, promote health and well being and increase education and employment opportunities for young people across the UK.

Linda Plowright, Chief Executive, Sports Leaders UK said, “Sports Leaders UK is delighted that as a result of this grant award to ukactive, we will be able to build on the great partnership we started in 2013 with ukactive and Asda, through the Asda Active Sports Leaders programme. Over the last 12 months the partnership has seen some 40,000 additional young people engaged in sport and physical activity through events run by Asda Active Sports Leaders. As a result of this funding we look forward to delivering a significant uplift in volunteering by teenagers across the UK, including achieving 1 million hours of volunteering by Sports Leaders; a better understanding the incentives and motivations that create a habit of volunteering and positive social action; and increasing awareness of the value of sports leadership as a valuable enhancer of employment opportunities.”
To find out more visit: to different website

UK Sports Association (UKSA) People with Learning Disabilities: My Sport, My Voice have been awarded a grant of £335,000 to raise awareness of talented athletes with learning disabilities by developing 15 athlete ambassadors to demonstrate strong role models for children and young people.

Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive at UKSA, said: “This funding award from Big Lottery Fund is fantastic news for our organisation and we are truly delighted to see such support for the ‘My Sport My Voice’ project. This new project will help to raise the profile of athletes with learning disability and of their remarkable achievements both in and out of the sporting arena. It will also help to dispel myths around learning disability, challenge outdated attitudes and enhance public awareness of the issues facing disabled people.”

To find out more visit: to different website

Voluntary Arts Network (VAN): Voluntary Arts Week project has been awarded a grant of £999,839 to support and develop volunteering access to and the quality of volunteering opportunities in the arts and crafts for young people and young people with disabilities. VAN seeks to provide opportunities in areas of deprivation and for harder to reach groups to get involved in cultural activity. It aims to develop Voluntary Arts Week, piloted in Scotland, as a focal point for developing and promoting opportunities across the UK.

Robin Simpson, Chief Executive Voluntary Arts said:  “Across the UK tens of thousands of voluntary arts groups regularly involve millions of people participating voluntarily in creative cultural activities. These groups form a critical part of both the bedrock and the grassroots of the cultural life of our communities and nations. The energy, creativity and positive spirit inspired by London 2012 encouraged many people to engage in such activities for the first time and Voluntary Arts is delighted to have this opportunity to harness the legacy of London 2012 across the UK to further increase participation and to support those creative citizens who give their time to make such activity more available within their communities.

“Voluntary Arts believes that participating in creative cultural activity is a natural form of self-expression which enriches and empowers both individuals and groups, making both better able – as creative citizens – to contribute positively to a healthy, creative and engaged civil society. We look forward to working, over the next three years, to keep the spirit of 2012 alive by reinforcing, enhancing and extending participation in creative cultural activity inspired by London 2012 in communities across the whole of the UK.”

To find out more visit: to different website

Youth Sport Trust: Lead your Generation Youth Sport Trust project receives a grant of £971,250 to bring together potential leaders from eight UK cities, chosen for their connection to a major sporting or other event, to a national leadership camp to equip them to deliver similar camps in their communities and work to develop local action plans to enhance and increase participation in sports and related activities.

John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “At the Youth Sport Trust we are passionate about inspiring young people through PE and sport and building on the wonderful events at London 2012. This funding will enable us to further enhance our work linked to our legacy commitment Lead your generation – and will empower both disabled and non-disabled young people to drive the legacy in their schools and communities.”

To find out more visit: to different website


Further information

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Press Team: 0141 242 1415 | 07880 737157
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:
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Notes to editors


• The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.

• Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive is a Big Lottery Fund multi-million initiative to take forward the positive impact of the events of the London 2012 Games for communities across the UK. The Big Lottery Fund has previously announced an investment of £5.6m into five nationwide legacy projects including National Paralympic Day, organised by the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

• The Big Lottery Fund has this year endowed the £40 million Spirit of 2012 Trust to help deliver a lasting legacy for communities across the UK through and beyond the London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £30 billion has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

• For more information on the Spirit of 2012 Trust, visit:

• Big Big Sing is a nationwide celebration of singing produced by Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. It will inspire thousands of people to sign up and get singing in the lead up to and during Games Time. Kicking off this Autumn, Big Big Sing will provide a wide range of opportunities to participate in the Cultural Programme. With the Big Seven Community Choirs across Scotland, a range of live Song Stages in and around Glasgow, and a free Song Book of newly commissioned songs available anywhere, there will be every reason to join in and get singing. There’ll also be a massed singing event in Glasgow, and an online choir combining singers and songs from around the Commonwealth.No experience is required to take part. A new national framework of information and training will underpin Big Big Sing.

• The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors. Running until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time.

• There are two strands: a Scotland-wide programme called Culture 2014; and a Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action called Festival 2014. The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland.

• For more information on Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme visit: to different website

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