Lloyds Bank Foundation awards over £336,000 to charities influencing improvements in the welfare system

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has awarded core funding of up to £50,000 to nine charities. The funding will help them to influence and improve the welfare system for those most disadvantaged by the crisis, helping people and communities to recover beyond the pandemic.

 

The Foundation supports hundreds of small and local charities across England and Wales, helping people overcome complex social issues such as mental health, homelessness, and domestic abuse. Each month these charities have seen an increase in complexity and demand for their services, often compounded by the welfare system. The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the challenges people already faced alongside record numbers of new people claiming Universal Credit and more people have needing emergency support.

 

These grants will allow charities to address some of the structural challenges that are making people’s lives harder and build on some of the positive steps taken by Government during the pandemic to improve social security, by focusing on influencing change in the welfare system, through policy, research, and campaigning. This funding programme focuses on the following areas:

 

  • Reducing unfairly or wrongly applied sanctions by funding the Public Law Project nationally to help benefits claimants to challenge unfair decisions.
  • Improving support to those with No Recourse to Public Funds by funding Bristol Refugee Rights to overcome benefits restrictions locally and by funding Homeless Link to campaign for policy change that will end homelessness nationally.
  • Funding the Money and Mental Health Institute to secure national government commitment to change an element of Universal Credit system, making it easier for people to receive help from family and friends in managing their benefits.
  • Improving the support offered to care leavers at the national level by working with the Learning & Work Institute.
  • Funding IPPR to advocate for reforms to ease the pressures created by the welfare system for those most at risk of being left behind by long-term employment.
  • Working with Bevan Foundation in Wales to increase the level of Local Housing Allowance for working age adults without children.
  • Funding Expert Link to work nationally improve the process and support for claiming benefits for people facing multiple disadvantages.
  • Improving the process and experience of disability benefit assessments by working with Z2K to influence the government’s forthcoming Department for Work and Pensions’ Green Paper  

 

Paul Streets, Chief Executive at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said: “We know that many people have long faced key challenges with the benefits system. The pandemic has heightened these whilst also providing an opportunity to do things differently. Through the new programme, we hope that the projects and charities we are supporting will gather the evidence and make the case to politicians and policy makers for positive, systemic change in the welfare system.”

 

He added: “While the government has introduced measures to help those most affected by the pandemic, there remain clear challenges with the system which are preventing people from accessing the support they need, especially among Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities, people who have been unable to access online services due to digital exclusion, and those with No Recourse to Public Funds.”

 

One charity which was awarded one of these grants, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), spoke about how this funding will help them to influence a more equitable system for those with disabilities that sees people access the benefits they are entitled to.

 

The charity’s Chief Executive, Anela Anwar, said: “Of those we help to appeal DWP decisions to remove or reduce disability benefits, over 90% of those claims have their entitlement reinstated.  But this is an unnecessarily long and arduous process, and many lose heart and drop their challenge. The DWP’s decisions should be right first time. Medical evidence provided by the healthcare professionals involved in disabled peoples’ care should be the deciding factor whether someone gets disability benefits.”

 

She added: “We aim to mobilise disabled and seriously unwell people who have experienced the current assessments processes to highlight the impact that they have had and how they don’t sufficiently reflect the challenges and realities disabled people face. With this help from Lloyds Bank Foundation, we hope to work with other charities and disabled people themselves to make a compelling case to persuade ministers to reform the assessment process, so it works much better for disabled people.”

 

Recipients of this funding will be working with small and local charities and people with direct experience of the welfare system, to inform and shape their work and to help make the case for long-lasting change.

 

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

 

To find a full list of the charities awarded funding through the Foundation’s welfare stream, please click here.

 

Notes to editors

 

About Lloyds Bank Foundation 

https://www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk

 

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.

  

About Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K)
https://www.z2k.org/about-us/about-our-work/

Z2K (Zacchaeus 2000 Trust) is an anti-poverty charity that combines direct help for people with national campaigning to fight for a welfare benefits system that works. We believe that a secure income and stable housing are key to preventing homelessness and improving life chances for people and their families.

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