Comic Relief invests funding into communities experiencing racial inequality

Comic Relief has announced nearly £3million in new funding to support communities experiencing racial inequalities across the UK, as part of The Global Majority Fund, an initiative in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET), Barclays and The Clothworkers’ Foundation. 

Comic Relief and NET first collaborated in July 2020 to create a £3.4million fund for projects led by those experiencing racial inequalities, as a growing body of research showed these communities disproportionately affected by Covid-19. 

Due to an overwhelming response, an additional £2,950,000 is now being made available, which includes contributions from Barclays, as part of NET’s Coronavirus Appeal, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Comic Relief. A total of  £2,150,000 will be available to make and manage new investments opening today, and the remaining £800,000 will be distributed to intermediary technical partners that applied for funding in July, to distribute to community groups.

During this second round, The Global Majority Fund is actively encouraging applications from organisations taking an intersectional approach, working with communities experiencing racial inequality and other inequities, including other protected characteristics or lived experiences. 

Comic Relief is looking to recruit 10-15 new intermediary technical partners with the skills, expertise and networks to distribute and manage funding to a range of locally led grassroots projects. 

Mutale Merrill, CEO of BAWSO, one of Comic Relief’s intermediary technical partners, said:

“Given the fact that even in normal times, communities experiencing racial inequality are disproportionately represented in all indicators of poverty, funding from Comic Relief specifically for these groups is a life line during these very challenging times.”

Nik Trivedi, Director of Development at Sporting Equals, also an intermediary technical partner, said:

“It is fundamentally important to support the many micro and small Black and Asian organisations to navigate how they continue to support the vital work around community development, helping them plan, manage risk, and step up to the new ‘normal’.”

More than £1.9million from Comic Relief’s first wave of funding has now been distributed to support a diverse range of projects, including food banks, assistance for women experiencing gender based violence and projects using sport to support the mental and physical health of vulnerable adults. 

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive at Comic Relief, said:

“Across the UK, communities experiencing racial inequality have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which right now, is showing no end in sight. It’s a distressing time for many, and local projects closest to the communities they support need us to step up.  We are delighted to be partnering with the National Emergencies Trust and The Clothworkers’ Foundation once again to provide millions more in funding and help more people through this incredibly difficult and uncertain time.” 

Mhairi Sharp, Director of the National Emergencies Trust, said: 

“These projects are providing a lifeline to their communities in this time of dire need, but are far too often disconnected from traditional funding sources. Beyond this Fund, and this emergency, there is much work to be done to rectify systemic issues with racial inequality. We’re a new charity and committed to being part of that change because it’s the only way we can ensure fairness, at speed, in future emergencies.”

Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said:

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities such as Comic Relief and National Emergencies Trust have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support. As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that through partnerships with charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”

Jocelyn Stuart-Grumbar, CEO, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, said:

“Recent events have highlighted the ongoing structural racism and inequality that persist in our society and that are mirrored in the grant-making sector. Recognising that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities facing racial injustice, The Clothworkers’ Foundation wants to ensure that its Phase 2 response to the pandemic is delivered with a racial equality lens. Acknowledging that we can do better, and wanting to learn and be part of the solution in the grant-making sector and beyond, we are very proud to be partnering with Comic Relief and the National Emergencies Trust on The Global Majority Fund as part of our Phase 2 COVID-19 response.”

Organisations interested in becoming intermediary partners for the Global Majority Fund should visit comicrelief.com/funding/funding-opportunities/ to apply and access further information. The application deadline is midday on 30 November 2020.

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