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BBC Children in Need to match Stormzy’s £10m pledge to benefit young Black lives

BBC Children in Need will match the £10m donation pledge over 10 years made by Stormzy to help tackle racial inequality in the UK. In partnership with BBC Radio 1Xtra the charity will create a new funding programme “to support young Black talent to achieve their full potential”.

The fund will develop a plan of action that will support individuals, organisations and groups in all areas of the UK and fund a range of activities that will enhance young Black lives. This programme, says the charity, will be developed in partnership with young people themselves. They will be “involved throughout the design and delivery process”.

This will include:


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The grantmaking committee will be facilitated by BBC Children in Need, which will include young people and volunteers with direct experience of the Black British experience.

Details of how and when to apply will be announced soon.


Young entrepreneurs, leadership development and access to learning

The fund will include help to:

Stormzy welcomed the BBC’s matched giving pledge. He said:

“Further to making my pledge last month, I’m happy to hear that the BBC have also taken up my plea for others to pledge. I’m also pleased to know of their commitment to allow young black people to decide where the money will be spent and I believe this decision is an imperative factor in supporting and strengthening the young black community. We continue to urge others to join us in pledging.”

Stormzy's quote, welcoming £10m match funding from BBC Children in Need
Stormzy welcomes matched funding from BBC Children in Need. Image: BBC Children in Need

£10m from Stormzy

The UK grime star had announced last month that he and his company #Merky would donate £10m over 10 years to “Organisations, charities and movements that are committed to fighting racial inequality, justice reform and black empowerment within the UK.”

SEE ALSO: Stormzy launches Cambridge scholarship for black students (16 August 2018, BBC)

He added: 

“The uncomfortable truth that our country continuously fails to recognise and admit, is that black people in the UK have been at a constant disadvantage in every aspect of life – simply due to the colour of our skin.
…Black people have been playing on an uneven field for far too long and this pledge is a continuation in the fight to finally try and even it.”

One key element of Stormzy’s announcement was his appeal for others to contribute or match his gift.

BBC Radio’s involvement

BBC Radio 1Xtra will be supporting the project by helping to develop opportunities to tell the stories of the communities and individuals involved.  

BBC Pop music stations will also be looking for opportunities to celebrate the huge amount of talent coming through

 SEE ALSO: Stormzy to help young authors get published with Penguin (5 July 2018, BBC)

BBC Children in Need

BBC Children in Need currently funds over 3,000 charities and projects across the UK supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK from a wide range of backgrounds. Although this includes a number of projects which focus on addressing the specific challenges faced by young Black people, this new fund and programme “represents a significant further commitment from the charity to tackle these issues, remove barriers and create opportunities”, according to the charity.

Kenny Imafidon, a trustee of BBC Children in Need, said: “The anti-racism movement in the UK has truly gathered momentum to bring about sustainable and long-lasting change. Many people, groups, businesses, and brands have had to reflect, look inwards and ask themselves “what can I, or we do to change things and make a difference?”
“I can speak for the entire Board of Trustees and all the staff at BBC Children in Need when I say, we were really inspired by Stormzy’s pledge. I am excited about this new fund and I truly believe that this is the beginning of greater things to come, as we continue on our mission to support children and young people most in need.”

Lorna Clarke, Controller of BBC Popular Music, added: “We are committed to telling authentic stories of young “hard to ignore” lives across the country, on 1Xtra, and across the BBC’s Pop music stations.”


The significance of Stormzy’s pledged donation resulted in fundraising consultant and co-founder of the #CharitySoWhite campaign Martha Awojobi launching a public campaign to invite him to speak at the first ever BAME Fundraising Conference that she is curating with Fundraising Everywhere.

She said that Stormzy “is one of the most exciting Black Philanthropists in the UK and we MUST hear what he has to say”.

Despite extensive coverage of her request Stormzy declined the invitation.

The BAME Fundraising Conference has also received a booking from the British Red Cross for every single member of staff! This is almost certainly unprecedented from such a large charity.


Reactions to Stormzy’s success at securing matched funding