Lloyds Bank Foundation opens its Racial Equity funding for charities led by and for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is to launch its Racial Equity funding for small and local charities that are led by and that support Black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities. This funding strand will open on 20th April, when charities can apply for two-year unrestricted grants of £50,000 alongside development support.

The funding will be open year-round, meaning charities can apply at a time that suits them and will not be restricted by deadlines. The Foundation is looking to support charities where more than half of their Trustee Board self-identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, with an annual income of between £25,000 and £1m, and with a strong track record of helping people from minority communities across 11 complex social issues.

Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on existing deep-rooted and systemic inequalities in our society, with minoritised communities disproportionately affected by the crisis. These inequalities are present across the complex social issues the Foundation funds such as homelessness, domestic abuse, mental ill health and the criminal justice system, with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities less well served by mainstream provision, and disproportionately affected.  

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is committing at least a quarter of its £9.5m grants budget in 2021 for small charities led by and for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities. This follows on from the same commitment made last year by the Foundation, which awarded 38% of its COVID Recovery Fund Grants in 2020 to small charities led by members of minoritised communities. In realising that tackling structural racism and funding inequalities is an ongoing, iterative process, it will continue to apply and revise its application processes to ensure that it can continue to meet the 25% funding target. 

One such charity that the Foundation awarded a £50,000 grant to in December is The Angelou Centre in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, which empowers Black and minoritised women and children to rebuild their lives free from violence and abuse. In the past year alone, they have supported more than 850 people through their advocacy work. 

Umme Imam, the Executive Director of The Angelou Centre spoke about how the grant has helped the charity. 

“Through the pandemic our referrals across services have continued to increase by 50% and referrals into our refuges increased sixfold as mainstream public and voluntary agencies failed to accommodate destitute migrant women. 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.”  

Similarly, NILAARI, a charity which provides culturally appropriate mental health services to minoritised communities in Bristol, spoke about how the Foundation’s funding has helped them 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.” 

She added: “The grant from the Foundation helped us to increase staff capacity to support a higher caseload of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic clients through digital platforms and help those who were especially vulnerable with shopping and medication collection. We were also able to work with a Foundation consultant to support our Trustees and CEO in thinking outside the box in the aftermath of the pandemic so that we could reshape our services and funding mix and increase sustainability.” 

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.” 

He added: “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 Black, Asian, and minority ethnic-led charities, to help them continue to reach people facing racial inequalities.” 

This funding is right for you if you can demonstrate that some of the services you provide are in-depth, holistic, and targeted at a particular Complex Social Issue. You’ll also be able to tell us the needs of the community you serve, and how you’ve identified these. 

For further information the Foundation’s funding criteria and eligibility please visit: https://www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/we-fund/racial-equityor watch a recording of the Foundation’s grants webinar here. 

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