The National Lottery Community Fund has committed £1.4m to a new partnership with Global Fund for Children and the development and delivery of a new black and ethnic minority-led fund to support communities and BAME leadership practice in England.
The new Phoenix Fund will also be part of a wider response to help address long standing inequalities present within both the sector and wider society. It is expected to be launched within weeks to provide emergency funding to support small and micro organisations in communities most affected by the pandemic, and more details on who and how to apply will be available at launch.
The partnership with Global Fund for Children came about following a meeting between black and ethnic minority civil society leaders and The National Lottery Community Fund, and is expected to inform The National Lottery Community Fund in developing its approach to equity and inclusion and to funding diverse groups.
The Phoenix Fund will be co-designed and developed by a core group of black and ethnic minority-led organisations from across the sector, and young people from the National Lottery Community Fund’s advisory group will also be involved.
The Ubele Initiative is one of the organisations involved in the Phoenix Fund. Yvonne Field, its CEO and Founder, said:
“Our communities have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and there is an urgent need to get funds to front line organisations. I am pleased that we are using a participatory approach as we are often excluded from grant making and are unable to influence the design and/or decision-making processes.
“We need to begin to shift these deep-rooted power dynamics and by distilling the learning, we will begin to create systems change longer term.”
Dawn Austwick, CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“This partnership is an important step on our journey to be a fully inclusive funder and we are excited by the opportunity it gives us to learn from and work with black and ethnic minority-led organisations. This dedicated fund sits alongside our responsive funding and we hope it will inform and influence all our practice as we continue to develop our approach to equity, diversity and inclusion.”
John Hecklinger, President & CEO of Global Fund for Children, added:
“We recognise that systemic racism and prejudice impact children and families from BAME communities on a daily basis. The Phoenix Fund will help shift power to these community leaders to build a brighter future for young people through the lens of racial justice.”
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