Reaching Out, Supporting Families

Status: Ongoing



The Big Lottery Fund supports good causes which improve health, education and the environment. Reaching Out, Supporting Families is a programme which supports families in Northern Ireland to improve children’s lives by building strong and nurturing relationships. Thirty eight projects funded under this programme will aim to help families develop skills to cope with adversity, support families to come together to learn, and help children and their families be part of the communities where they live. The Big Lottery Fund is investing £25 million over a five year period through the programme in Northern Ireland and has contracted CES’ support until 2022.

Our Role

CES’s role involves providing grant holders with access to high quality national and international expertise on parenting; providing learning and networking opportunities to grant holders; and providing help and support with evaluation activities. Partnership is an important aspect of the programme, and CES is consulting and actively engaging with grant holders about services on offer throughout the duration of the grant.

Activities which CES is planning to offer grant holders include:

  • Individual support and opportunities to share knowledge online and during organised learning and networking activities
  • A communications plan supports a range of communications activities and resources which will be developed based on the needs of grant holders
  • Support with project design and implementation.


CES will work alongside grant holders in the development of outcomes frameworks. The individual needs and experience of grant holders will inform the development of appropriate approaches to evaluation, and grant holders will actively be supported to engage with evaluation processes.  

The Programme draws on CES’s experience in evaluation and self-evaluation approaches, parenting support, as well as international expertise, through a partnership with the Parenting Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, to support grant holders to have a significant impact for families in Northern Ireland. 

Read the Reaching Out, Supporting Families Knowledge Exchange (March 2017) here

Read the Reaching Out, Supporting Families Knowledge Exchange (August 2016) here

Read the Reaching Out, Supporting Families Knowledge Exchange (February 2016) here