The National Lottery Community Fund and The Ubele Initiative, on behalf of The Phoenix Way Partners, have today jointly announced a new £50 million partnership aimed to boost funding and support to Black and Minoritised Community charities and grassroots groups over the next five years.
‘The Phoenix Way’ will create a series of national and regional panels, made of leaders and decision-makers from Black and Minoritised Community-led charities and grassroots groups from across England.
The Phoenix Way National Steering Group will work with The National Lottery Community Fund to identify national and regional priorities and award funding to Black and Minoritised community-led charities and grassroots groups that are best placed to support their communities to thrive.
It builds on The Phoenix Fund, a £2.4 million community-led fund co-designed and co-led by community leaders from across Black and Minoritised groups in England in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, The Ubele Initiative, and Global Fund for Children.
Designed to target groups that The National Lottery Community Fund had not previously engaged, the reach of The Phoenix Fund was striking: more than 65 per cent of the organisations that applied to the scheme had no previous history with The National Lottery Community Fund.
The new initiative will help to facilitate engagement with Black and Minoritised community-led charities and grassroots groups to enable them to access funding and support that have previously failed to reach them and have been difficult for them to access.
News of The Phoenix Way programme comes as The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, continues to use its funding to support people and communities most affected by COVID-19 – building on and strengthening the connections, organisation, and resilience that enables communities to thrive.
Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO at The Ubele Initiative, said: “The Ubele Initiative is both proud and privileged to be working with The National Lottery Community Fund and Black and Minoritised Community Leaders and Organisations across England to develop The Phoenix Way.
“This £50m investment in The Phoenix Way allows partners to connect directly with those with lived experience of racism and racial disparities, and work together to offer innovative and creative funding opportunities in response to identified challenges.
“The Phoenix Way will also facilitate the deepening of a unique collaborative approach, which emerged during COVID-19, and to work together to transform systems of funding, decision-making, and support to Black and Minoritised communities and organisations over the next five years.
“We will develop national and regional priorities, and decision-making will primarily take place at the regional level in response to these priorities.
“The Ubele Initiative and The Phoenix Way partners will work with The National Lottery Community Fund to capture and share learning to shape the future of grant giving to embed the principles of participation and collaboration with those with lived experiences and equity in processes and decision-making across England.”
Abdou Sidibe, Deputy Director of Partnerships at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “I’m delighted to announce this new and innovative fund – £50 million for Black and Minoritised communities, awarded by leaders and decision-makers at the very heart of those communities, thanks to National Lottery players. This is a truly collaborative effort – combining National Lottery funding with the reach, lived experience, and expertise of The Ubele Initiative and our Phoenix Way partners – so that vital money and support reaches some of those communities that need it most, but can often struggle to access it.
“By shifting out of our comfort zone, admitting we don’t always have all the answers, and by instilling collaboration into everything we do, we can reap rewards of working alongside expert organisations to ensure that National Lottery funding is genuinely for everyone.”
Operational details of The Phoenix Way programme will be designed and developed over the summer – with the aim of awarding funding, from autumn 2021. Black and Minoritised community-led charities and grassroots groups that wish to register an interest in the programme should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, last year we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk.