200+ BAME organisations secure share of £9.5m National Lottery funding to survive Covid-19 pandemic

23 November 2020

205 community organisations led by, or that support, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have received a share of £9.5million of National Lottery funding to help recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition, funding has also been awarded to a further 97 community-led organisations to support their financial recovery as a result of coronavirus, bringing the total grants awarded to 302.

The funding has been awarded through the Covid-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme (CCLORS). The scheme is led by independent trust Power to Change in partnership with Locality, The Ubele Initiative and Social Investment Business, and is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, that launched in May this year.

69% of the grants awarded went to BAME-led organisations, whilst 86% went to organisations that were BAME-supporting, demonstrating the fund’s commitment to helping those communities most affected by Covid-19.

Grants of up to £100,000 were awarded to community-led organisations in England that are facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown. It has helped them to launch health and wellbeing projects, develop digital education workshops and continue providing vital services for their communities.

Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change, said: 

“Whilst Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on people right across the country, it has disproportionately affected Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. By bringing together this strategic partnership, we’ve ensured this much-needed financial support is reaching those communities that need it most.”

Case studies

Impact Brixton CIC is a BAME-led shared office space in Brixton, south London, and is the only Black-owned co-working space in England. The organisation was awarded £47,700 to stabilise the business in the short-term, but they also plan to design and launch a digital business recovery programme to support small, local businesses that need basic digital education to help them adapt and innovate.

Bangladeshi Women’s Association Limited aims to improve the quality of life of residents in Tipton and the wider Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell in the West Midlands. The organisation will use a £10,135 grant to provide specialist tailored counselling support to vulnerable BAME individuals within Tipton/Sandwell, including professional facilitated bereavement group support.

The Pelican Centre in Tyldesley in Greater Manchester is a community hall, swimming pool and gym serving the community of Tyldesley, Leigh and the surrounding areas. The organisation has been awarded a £45,000 CCLORS grant to provide activities such as canoeing, first aid training and volunteering opportunities for members of the community, to break down barriers to help bring the community together focusing primarily on those who are socially isolated and helping to integrate migrant ethnic minorities and their families living in the community.

The Pepper Pot Centre, based in Ladbroke Grove, West London, supports members of the elderly African-Caribbean community. They received a £24,000 grant to fund an outreach support worker who will liaise with members and provide essential support systems for them to keep them safe, healthy and able to maintain their sense of independence throughout the crisis.

Nick Temple, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business, said: 

“At Social Investment Business, we provide finance to create fairer communities and improve people’s lives. Given how Covid-19 has affected communities and exacerbated existing inequalities, we are particularly pleased to have worked on the CCLORS scheme. It shows that with an expert partnership and a co-ordinated approach to design, delivery and decision-making, a much more diverse range of organisations can get support.”

Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative, said:

“The CCLORS programme has surfaced almost one and half thousand groups, the majority of whom are BAME-led and BAME-serving and previously under the radar of our partnership. The reach of this programme has helped us see and now acknowledge the vibrancy of the sector and groups’ ability to pivot during extremely challenging times. They have risen to the challenge creating imaginative responses to some of those in our communities most impacted by Covid-19. Ubele is proud to have contributed to the design and delivery of this programme and our staff and associates look forward to supporting some of the organisations which were awarded grants over the coming months.”

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality, said:

“These grants come at a critical time for community organisations who are making a significant impact on people’s lives during this period. Halifax Opportunities Trust works with families and individuals to promote wellbeing, education and employment. Birmingham Settlement operates a hub and provides money advice, ageing well projects and youth initiatives. Both are examples of the power of community in action. We are offering a range of additional support measures alongside the grants to help organisations to take stock, plan next steps, and share and learn from each other.”



About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2019)

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

About The Ubele Initiative

The Ubele Initiative (Ubele), is a civil society organisation based in London, though works across the United Kingdom and Europe, working with disadvantaged communities, most notably black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Ubele, is taken from Swahili and means ‘The Future’ and is an African Diaspora led intergenerational social enterprise founded in 2014. Our primary mission is to help build more sustainable communities across the UK.

About Locality

Locality supports local community organisations to be strong and successful. Our national network of 1,200 members helps hundreds of thousands of people every week. We offer specialist advice, peer learning and campaign with members for a fairer society. Together we unlock the power of community.

Photo by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash



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The Social Investment Business is the trading name for the Social Investment Business Foundation, Registered Company No. 05777484 (England), Registered Charity No. 1117185 (England & Wales), The Social Investment Business Limited, Registered in England No. 06490609, VAT No. 927456693, Futurebuilders-England Limited, Registered in England No. 05066676 and Forward Enterprise FM Ltd, Registered in England No.11238102. Registered Office: CAN Mezzanine, Borough, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.

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