The following are unedited testimonials from recipients of the training and consultancy advice provided by Stephen Wright.

“What I thought might be intense and difficult to keep my attention, Steve proved the opposite! I was able to keep focused and involved throughout the day. The support and guidance received through his training has helped Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service secure a lottery bid for £434,511. The step-by-step handout that ran alongside the training was invaluable and I was able to refer to points and tips that led to our success.”.

Sam Morris, Chief Executive, Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service

“Really enjoyed the day, learnt a lot, picked up loads of useful tips and information, and didn't look at my watch once! I have to admit that I really had to think about attending the course because of our funding restraints and had to check it out with my Chair. But I have to say, I really felt it was money well spent! Thank you”.

Clare Robinson, Senior Co-ordinator, Home-Start Central Cheshire

“Fantastic - the course was very informative and of great use to all participants. Stephen's delivery is professional, enthusiastic and really engaging - we all got a lot from the day and I have no hesitation in recommending Stephen's services, indeed, I have already passed his details to colleagues for their future training events”.

Danielle Daglan, Cultural Co-ordinator Manager, The Moray Council, Scotland

“The course was exceptionally detailed and I could not praise it highly enough, I came away with so much more detailed information on my specific cause than I had ever done from any other fundraising talks. The course was set up to be personal, easy to follow, good for making yourself think more laterally as to how something could be achieved and Stephen made the subject matter interesting rather than dry. It helped me to understand reasons why we had failed to secure grant funding on previous applications and also gave good useful pointers as to how to make a strong application with relevant references to our own specific projects. The course has subsequently enabled me to obtain a £25,600 grant for a computer centre and a £50,000 grant for a community hall refurbishment programme ”.

Hilary Scarratt, Trustee, Tattenhall Community Association

“I thought Steve's style of training was very effective and I came away with a much clearer understanding of how to approach grant funding applications. I applied what I had learnt on the course to help me complete a European funding application for £61,000, and thanks to Steve's help we were successful. Thanks Steve”.

John Heselwood, Head of Rural Affairs, Cheshire Community Action

“Steve has given lots of help, inspiration and support in putting applications together for Blakenhall and District Village Hall. I liken him to a school teacher who encourages and nurtures you, but ultimately the applications are all your own work”.

Chris Leighton, Adviser to Blakenhall and District Village Hall

“...They said “You won't make any difference, it can't be done", until Mr Rolls met Mr Royce, result. Mr Lennon met Mr McCartney, result. Sonny met Cher, result. Mr Card met Mr Wright, BIG RESULT! £602,955 grant funding secured”.

Mike Card, Supported Community Business, Crewe

“Age UK Cheshire has worked on numerous occasions with Stephen on various successful applications, both on single bids and in partnership with agencies from across sectors. The rate of success achieved has brought considerable capacity and innovation, both to our own award winning services and to the overall extent to which partnership working has evolved and developed across Cheshire.

Stephen has been able to ensure that applications are brought together on time and written in a manner that not only shows how we are able to deliver the stated requirements but to also present a unique and easily understood perception as to the overall “added value” that organisations can bring to a project, showing an ability to quickly grasp and focus on partner organisation working cultures, key priorities and where submissions fit into the local, regional and national policy context.

He has brought his extensive and detailed knowledge of funding possibilities to a range of partnerships that we are currently working within and his input has had a considerable impact on our ability to offer a diverse range of services that promote well being and increase personalisation and choice. His extensive knowledge and comprehension of the working language, his ability to quickly establish good working relationships and to work under considerable pressure has been a key asset to our organisation, and we are looking forward to a continued “successful” relationship with Stephen in the future”.

Ken Clemens, Policy and Campaigns, Age UK Cheshire.

“As a Commissioning Manager in Adult Social Care Services, I am increasingly looking for opportunities to seek external funding and grant resources to support and supply services to the most vulnerable people in the community. However, in this highly competitive area of work, most of my team and I felt ill-equipped and untrained in this area of fundraising. When we learned Stephen could help us prepare and complete applications and was willing to run practical workshops for us, we jumped at the chance. The session was most informative, practical and useful.

Stephen's varied experience in this specialist area and his general approach to sharing his learning helped us all to focus on the task, learn the skills required and have confidence to move forward. It was particularly good to have the offer of his expert observations and comments once we had completed a draft application; sometimes you just can't 'see the wood for the trees', so Stephen's input was most welcome. I would highly recommend this training”.

Denise Coy, Carers Manager (Cheshire East Council) and Expert Advisor (Dept. of Health).

“Having been thrown in at the deep end as Trustee and main fundraiser for the Museum of Policing in Cheshire, and in addition being told that we needed about £45,000 to create a dedicated access and disabled facilities, it was, to say the least, a bit daunting. I had been involved in charitable fundraising all of my life but applying for grants was something quite new to me.

Luckily, I came across a course being run by Stephen and I made sure I got on it. What I learned was invaluable and set me on the road to making two successful applications under the Landfill Communities Fund. I couldn't believe how simple the process was once someone had taught you the ropes, and to achieve grants totalling £43,000 with my first two applications is a fitting tribute to the guidance Stephen gave me and others on the course.

If you want to understand what funding is available, where to apply and importantly how to apply, then I would suggest you get yourself on one of Stephen's courses. You will find the content and delivery are pitched at the appropriate level”.

Chris Upham BEM JP, Trustee, Museum of Policing in Cheshire.

“Having been selected for the second stage of a Big Lottery Fund application, we sought all the professional help that we could identify. Stephen Wright, when working at Cheshire County Council, arranged a working session on understanding what is needed to complete successful applications for funding. This was an extremely useful, listening to his suggestions and real-life experiences of grant applications. We also shared ideas with other fundraising groups and in 'case studies' looked closely at the need to read and understand exactly the criteria that meet the funding body's purpose. This made us look very carefully at what aspects of our project satisfied the funding body's criteria and how we could make our case special. Steve's input throughout the process was invaluable and we are pleased to say that we were successful in obtaining over £300,000 of funding”.

David Hawkins, Fundraising Manager, The Hall at Marthall, Cheshire.

“Stephen gave me confidence to try for small grants and then to proceed to more adventurous goals. His training was excellent; I came away feeling that 'I could do this'. Stephen is helpful and very easy to work with”.

Keith Ineson, Agricultural Chaplain.