New £100m fund will tackle inequality among disadvantaged groups and young people

Funding organisations from across London are uniting to create a £100m fund to support voluntary and community groups to drive change and tackle inequality.

Over the next ten years, Propel will support organisations led by and for disadvantaged groups, including young people, women and girls, LGBTQ+ communities, deaf and disabled people, and communities experiencing racial inequality. 

The growing collaboration represents public, private, and independent funders, including Bloomberg, City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder – The National Lottery Community Fund, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and advice funders co-ordinated by London Legal Support Trust.

London Funders – the membership body for funders in the capital – is powering the collaboration, building on their experience of co-ordinating large scale funder collaborations during the pandemic.

The first grants available under Propel will help organisations support young people, build stronger communities and support sustainable advice services, staffed by people rooted in the communities they serve.

To ensure a safer, greener, and fairer city, Propel partners are encouraging more funders and corporations to get on board to provide communities with the resources and capacity they need to drive long-term change.

Giles Shilson, City Bridge Trust Chairman, said: “This ambitious new initiative, which supports our mission of tackling disadvantage and marginalisation across London, will target funding where it is needed most and help communities across the capital to address the issues which affect them.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted to join with organisations across London to create this fund to help tackle inequality in our city, with investment from City Hall being used to support young people. This is part of our ongoing work to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners, particularly those at risk of getting caught up in crime. We all have a role to play in building a safer and fairer London for everyone, and by working together we can ensure that this help reaches those who need it the most.”

John Mothersole, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund for England, said: “We’re proud to be working alongside the Propel partners to award this vital funding which will support London’s communities to tackle challenges and make the changes that matter to them. Thanks to National Lottery players, grants awarded through Propel will help to build a stronger, more collaborative civil society in London, which will in turn allow communities to thrive.”

Nezahat Cihan, Chief Executive of London Legal Support Trust, said: “Due to the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, there’s been a detrimental impact on people’s well-being. More people are turning to advice agencies to access justice and support. A sustainable and healthy advice workforce with roots in the local community is therefore crucial and the Propel funding addresses this.”

London Funders’ Chief Executive James Banks said: Uniting all the Propel partners is a shared belief that just as during the pandemic, the big issues facing the capital can best be addressed when funders, charities, and community groups come together to pool their resources and experience.”

Jemma Read, Head of Global Corporate Philanthropy at Bloomberg said: “We believe in the power of collaboration to strengthen the communities in which we live and work. This is why we are proud to be part of the Propel partnership at a time when many of London’s most vibrant and diverse communities are facing acute funding shortages.”

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