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Comic Relief & NET announce new £3.4m fund for BAME projects

Melanie May | 2 July 2020 | News

Comic Relief and National Emergencies Trust have set up a new £3.4 million fund to provide support to hundreds of small Black, Asian, and minority ethnic focused projects across the UK. 
The fund aims to help vulnerable communities by supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic projects struggling to continue their services because of the pandemic. It includes £2.75m in emergency funding from NET’s Coronavirus Appeal.
Comic Relief and NET are providing the money through 10 BAME-led organisations, which will in turn provide the funding. The 10 organisations specialise in and will fund small projects across a range of services including mental health, domestic abuse, sports provision, gender, racial equality and family services. Each has been awarded between £275,000 to £440,000 to distribute to UK projects. The grants will be available from mid-July with each organisation setting their criteria and grant amounts individually, and applicants applying to them directly.
The organisations include: Imkaan – a charity working with Black, minoritised and migrant women’s communities, The ATM – a non-profit organisation committed to tackling discrimination and promoting fairer and more equitable societies, Sporting Equals – who promote equal, ethnically diverse sport, and work across the health and physical activity sector, BAWSO – an organisation who deliver a range of services to thousands of people across Wales, including refuges, domestic abuse service, child services and outreach projects, and Next Step – an initiative that empowers, transform and supports African communities in Scotland.
In addition, Comic Relief is earmarking a further £1.8m from its new £9m Change Makers programme specifically for BAME projects.
Jacqueline Onalo, Comic Relief Trustee said:

“The disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on Black and Asian communities has been truly devastating. Smaller projects that work within these communities have also been adversely effected, after many years of neglect, with many at risk of closure. Our ring fenced funding aims to directly address these inequalities and empower BAME-led organisations, with specialist expertise, to reach and support grassroot local projects that are a lifeline to the people they help. Alongside the £1.8 million Change Maker BAME grants, I hope we can make a real difference to hundreds of projects struggling to support people throughout the pandemic and its recovery.“

John Herriman, CEO, National Emergencies Trust said:


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“Partnering with Comic Relief to support BAME-led charities means we can continue to get emergency funds to those that need them most, while building vital capacity where there’s been historic underinvestment. Since our Coronavirus Appeal launched in mid-March, around 17% of funds distributed have gone to projects primarily benefitting BAME communities and around 12% have gone to BAME-led groups. It’s an encouraging start, but we know these communities have been the hardest hit by this pandemic and that more needs to be done. That’s why this partnership with Comic Relief is such an important step.”