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Delivering Change: Community Catalysts

Two pink arrows going through dashed black lines on a yellow background. Text "Be part of the change".


The application for Community Catalysts has now closed.

Delivering Change is a Museums Galleries Scotland programme that recognises that museums have played a part in excluding the experiences and histories of many of Scotland’s people and communities. This three-year programme, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, and the Scottish Government supports museums and galleries across Scotland to make changes to help all people to access culture.  

This animation by Museums Galleries Scotland is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Watch the animation in British Sign Language, العربية, 中文, Gàidhlig, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ , Kiswahiliاردو, Yorùbá.

Why is diversity important in museums?

Narrow and incomplete representations of Scotland and Scottish people prevent us from creating a fair, tolerant, peaceful society. Museums don’t always represent the diversity that enriches Scotland. This is because museums have been built on models of systemic exclusion.  

Systemic exclusion is where groups of people have been intentionally disadvantaged based on their identity, while advantaging members of the dominant group. Disadvantaged identities could include people’s race, disability, sexuality, social class, education level, and gender.   

The Delivering Change team is working with a group of museums to make them safer and more inclusive for systemically excluded  communities. This means that these museums will have developed the skills they need to work with communities in a way that respects and values people and their experiences.  

What does the programme consist of?

During Delivering Change we’ll support approximately 10 community groups to connect with one of the Museum Transformers we’re working with. The Delivering Change team will work with you and your museum partner to help explore your idea and gain the tools to make it happen.  

We welcome your ideas for working together with a museum partner to build solidarity and transform museum spaces for you or your community. Some examples of ideas are: museum displays, community curated exhibits, oral history, accessible tours, artistic collaborations, and multilingual resources. Most importantly it’s your  idea and we’re here to help make it happen.  

Once accepted on the programme your group will: 

  • Receive a development grant of £2,000. This money can be used to support you and your community to take part in the programme. You might want to spend it on travel costs, childcare, venue hire etc.  
  • There will be an initial visit from Delivering Change staff to discuss your project idea and to begin to plan what support, training, and resources you need to participate in the programme. 
  • Your group will then work with the Delivering Change team to be partnered with one of the Museum Transformers. 
  • Then you and your partner museum will develop your project, with support from the Delivering Change team. 
  • Once your project is developed and approved then project funding of up to £25,000 will be awarded. 
  • You and your partnered museum can then get started on making your project a reality. 

Who can participate?

The programme is open to community groups and grassroots organisations based in Scotland. We’re looking for: 

  • Groups with lived experience of systemic exclusion. By that we mean groups of people who have been intentionally disadvantaged based on their identity. This could be because of their race, disability, sexuality, social class, education level, or gender, or a mix of these
  • Groups who would like to engage in partnership work with a museum/gallery 
  • Groups who can tell us how working with a partner museum will benefit them and their community 
  • Groups who can commit to taking part in a project lasting up to 2 years (June 2024 to June 2026) 
  • We’re very happy to speak to groups who have never applied for funding before 
  • You don’t have to have any previous experience of working with museums or heritage

What to expect at the end of the programme

  • To have the confidence and tools to navigate the museum sector to develop further partnerships
  • To have a better awareness and understanding of your Human Rights, and the ability to advocate for them, using the Human Rights-Based Approach
  • To have increased resilience and developed your organisations’ capacity
  • To have enhanced your capacity to share the stories of your community

Funding information

We’re very happy to speak to groups who have never applied for funding before.

In order to qualify for the larger grant of up to £25,000, we will ask for your group to meet some basic governance standards. This is to ensure that your group can effectively deliver the project. At this first stage these standards are not required. During your project development phase, the Delivering Change team will be able to provide assistance and/or sign posting to help you to meet the basic requirements, including: 

  • A constitution 
  • A safeguarding policy
  • A bank account in the group’s name 

The application for Community Catalysts has now closed.

Watch our introductory webinar

Meet the Delivering Change team and find out more about the Community Catalysts programme in this webinar.

Find out more

Information about the wider Delivering Change programme, the research that has helped develop it, and the language used in it.

Delivering Change
The National Lottery Heritage Fund Logo and the words "Taing dhan A' Mhaoin-Dualchais | Made possible with Heritage Fund".
Scotland's national flag of a saltire next to black and grey text in English and Gaelic. Text "Scottish Government Riaghaltas na h-Alba".