People in Place

People in place logo





What are we doing?

We know that there are areas of Scotland where people face multiple, complex challenges; many have borne the brunt of welfare reforms and increasing pressure on public expenditure as a range of issues increasingly impact people’s everyday lives. The People in Place programme is working to reach these communities, areas that historically have accessed very little charitable funding. Through really listening to local people we have begun to understand how funders, policies, and systems impact on community needs and aspirations, and how by truly working together change can happen. We have seen the evidence of frustration from a lack of being heard, a lack of self-belief, trust and confidence. This all results in great ideas never coming to fruition, and robs society of the potential contribution of many individuals. Our approach is showing that by enabling locally led solutions to local issues, growth through small incremental changes can be achieved with little if any money. In the long term, the Foundation aims to step back from each community as the place develops and grows in confidence, leaving a legacy of change and a sustainable investment strategy in place.

We know we can’t do this alone and it is only by collaborating with as many people and organisations as possible that we can support communities to make the changes they wish to see.  We are grateful that some of these collaborators form part of our cornerstone support structure. Making a difference will take much more than simply redirecting cash; it will rely on a shift in the balance of power so that the people of Scotland are in the driving seat, taking decisions and having more control over their own lives.

In summary People in Place was developed to:

  • Connect us with areas where independent funders have not historically reached, despite facing multiple challenges, and where people want change.
  • Get alongside communities, listening to and supporting people to come together to share ideas and ultimately achieve local solutions to local issues. We try to reach across communities, making sure we seek out voices which are not being heard.;
  • Learn from what people tell us about how funders, policies and systems impact on their community needs and aspirations. We’re using this learning to improve our practice and influence others.
  • Collaborate widely to support and enable communities to achieve the changes they want to see. We build relationships with communities, public, private and third sector organisations.

How did we identify these communities?

We used data, desk-based research, and conversations with a range of people to identify communities to work with. You can learn more about this process by downloading “Journey of Finding a Community”.

How do we work in communities?

The community is at the heart of everything we do. Each community we  work with has a devoted community co-ordinator, who will get alongside the community by listening,  bringing people together for conversations, and to identify shared priorities. We focus on inclusive engagement, seeking out voices not necessarily being heard.  We help facilitate and enable capacity building within the community; widening community participation, seeking out voices that are seldom heard; and ultimately resulting in locally-led actions being taken.


Esmee Fairbairn Foundation 2
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Lankelly Chase 2
The Tudor Trust