Lloyds Bank Foundation awards Covid recovery grants to vital but under-resourced and small charities led Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

The pandemic has hit minority communities the hardest and drawn a sharp focus on existing deep-rooted and systemic inequalities in our society. These same inequalities are faced by small charities led by and for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities which typically haven’t had access to an equitable share of voluntary sector and government funding.


Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has awarded 38% of its Covid Recovery Fund Grants to small charities led by Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups to help them continue to provide vital services to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This amounts to £2.8m and brings the Foundation’s ringfenced funding for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic charities above the 25% that racial equity activists have called charity sector funders to commit to. The Fund awarded £50,000 in two-year grants to 71 charities which are led by and provide support for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.


In 2020, to address funding inequalities for Black, Asian and minority ethnic charities, the Foundation evaluated the diversity of its grants portfolio, analysing past applications by using the Funders Alliance on Race Equality framework. Through this process, it found that applications to Foundation funding from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic-led organisations had lower approval rates overall. To tackle this, the Foundation committed to ringfencing at least 25% of its funding to charities led by Black, Asian, and minority ethnic-led communities. To achieve this, the Foundation adapted some of the assessment criteria which can often hinder minority-led charities’ access to funding.


Alongside unrestricted funding, these charities will have access to a range of tailored development support to help build organisational capacity and resilience. Additionally, through the Community Match Challenge funding - part of the Government’s £750 million charity support package – the Foundation has been able to distribute an additional £1.7m to Black Asian and minority ethnic led charities. This includes funding for charities across England and Wales working on domestic abuse, mental health, sexual abuse and exploitation, homelessness, and more.


Paul Streets, the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales’ Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be funding excellent charities across the country that have been right on the frontline helping some of our most disadvantaged communities but too often hidden from view.


“Setting ourselves the 25% target forced us to reflect on our own practices and to identify and address hidden barriers which means too often charities had been turned down or not applied. At the Foundation, we are reflecting on why this is the case, and we are committed to distributing our funds equitably.”


One charity funded through the Foundation’s racial equity stream for the first time was the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD), an African women-led charity in London which works to end violence against women and girls.


The charity’s Executive Director, Naana Otoo-Oyortey, said: “Lloyds Foundation’s recovery grant and the DCSM match funding is welcome news for FORWARD. This grant will enable us to reduce our income deficit as we had to utilise our reserves to address our income gap and scale up our services to meet increased demand.”


She added: “The capacity building support will enable us to improve our digital delivery services, train staff, and pilot our Black, Asian, and minority ethnic young women’s support service. These young women face multiple forms of abuse, intersectional discrimination, gender inequality, and social norms and practices that makes them vulnerable to abuse and mental health issues including low self-esteem and self-harm. Funding will enable FORWARD to provide timely and culturally appropriate support to girls and young women and help to improve their wellbeing and create positive change.”


Another charity which received funding from the Foundation through the racial equity stream, One Community link, spoke about how funding will help them to provide vital support to community members in Stockton-on-Tees.


“Lloyds Bank Foundation funding will enable our charity to jumpstart the mental health awareness and support centre to all and with particular attention to BAME men. The project will be ongoing in 2021 and the future in a renovated, more spacious, sustainable and income generating building and allowing to recruit and support the wider community,” Euphrasia Makaure, the charity’s Community Development Worker, said.


The Foundation is committed in its role in tackling the structural racism and funding inequalities that exist in the charity sector. In realising that this is an ongoing, iterative process, it will continue to apply and revise its application processes to ensure that it can continue to meet the 25% funding target for charities led by Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.




For more information, please contact censor@lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk or 07384535633. 


Notes to editors 


About Lloyds Bank Foundation  


Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales partners with small and local charities who help people overcome complex social issues. Through funding for core costs, developmental support and influencing policy and practice, the Foundation helps charities make life-changing impact.  

During 2020, the Foundation awarded £24.8m to small and local charities helping people facing disadvantage. With the unprecedented circumstances of coronavirus such charities have been never more needed. The Foundation is an independent charitable trust funded by the profits of Lloyds Banking Group. 



We are the African women-led organisation working to end violence against women and girls. From female genital mutilation and child marriage to domestic and sexual violence, we tackle abuse and discrimination – enabling African women and girls to have the dignity, health and equality they deserve. At FORWARD, we focus on personal stories and the bigger picture. That’s why we support affected women and girls on the ground – bringing together communities, developing skills and knowledge, and nurturing young women leaders of tomorrow. And it’s why we work strategically to challenge and support decision-makers and practitioners – conducting community research, building partnerships and creating opportunities to transform lives.


About One Community Link

One Community Link is a registered charity that support asylum seekers in accessing mainstream services, raising awareness of hate crime, challenge and empower Black, Asian minority ethnic community to report. it We support refugees and asylum seekers in Middlesbrough and Stockton.

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