• Thursday, October 06, 2022

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Lloyds Bank foundation launches racial equity funding for charities supporting minorities

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE racial equity funding by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales for small and local charities that are led by and support black, Asian, and ethnic minority (BAME) communities will open on 20 April.

Charities can apply for two-year unrestricted grants of £50,000 alongside development support under the funding , and there is no particular deadline, a statement said.

The Foundation is looking to support charities where more than half of their Trustee Board self-identify as BAME, with an annual income of between £25,000 and £1 million, and with a strong track record of helping people from minority communities across 11 complex social issues.

According to the statement, the foundation is committing at least a quarter of its £9.5m grants budget in 2021 for small charities led by and for BAME communities.

Last year, it awarded 38 per cent of its Covid recovery fund grants to small charities led by members of minority communities.

Paul Streets, chief executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said: “The charities we partner with see first-hand how structural and institutional racism continues to affect lives. These inequalities are present across the complex social issues we fund yet charities led by minoritised communities face greater barriers to securing much-needed funding.

“Small charities led by those who serve these communities have been vital in reaching those who have been less well served by mainstream provision, especially during the pandemic. We remain committed in our role as a funder in tackling the funding inequalities facing BAME-led charities, to help them continue to reach people facing racial inequalities.”

The foundation awarded a £50,000 grant in December 2020 to the Angelou Centre in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, which empowers black and minoritised women and children to rebuild their lives free from violence and abuse. Last year, the centre supported more than 850 people through their advocacy work.

“Through the pandemic our referrals across services have continued to increase by 50 per cent and referrals into our refuges increased sixfold as mainstream public and voluntary agencies failed to accommodate destitute migrant women,” said Umme Imam, executive director of The Angelou Centre.

“Core funding from the Foundation has enabled us to continue our support to the most deprived and disadvantaged survivors of violence and abused women with no recourse to public funds.”

NILAARI, a charity which provides culturally appropriate mental health services to minority communities in Bristol, received funding to expand services to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Jean Smith, director of Nilaari, said: “During the pandemic, many of our service users felt fear and anger arising from reports of a higher death rate among their communities and of Covid’s disproportionate impact on their mental health and job opportunities. Some failed to access prescribed mental health medication through self-isolation, confusion, inability to contact their GP or belief that pharmacies were closed. This only exacerbated their conditions.

“The grant from the Foundation helped us to increase staff capacity to support a higher caseload of BAME clients through digital platforms and help those who were especially vulnerable with shopping and medication collection.”

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