Welsh charity to help Comic Relief deliver new £2.8m fund to specialist projects tackling Covid-19 racial inequalities

The Global Majority Fund, in Partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Barclays, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, aims to help diverse communities disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 in the UK 

  • New £2.8 million fund will be awarded to 10 organisations led by people from a range of ethnicities. These organisations are set to offer grants to support hundreds of small projects across the UK offering key services to communities with the greatest risk of Covid-19
  • Race Council Cymru in partnership with BAWSO and Welsh Refugee Councilwill open their own funding call from the end of February for local projects, with applicants applying to them directly   

Comic Relief has awarded 10 specialist charities a share of a new £2.8 million fund which is set to help hundreds of smaller grass roots projects across the UK that provide vital services to diverse communities who have the greatest risk of Covid-19.

The selected 10 charities are ‘intermediary partners’ and have each been awarded between £179,000 to £360,000 to distribute to smaller UK projects at the forefront of delivering community Covid-19 response activities. Each intermediary partner has also been awarded an investment for grant management and organisational development. Each partner will open their own funding calls from the end of February and set their criteria and grant amounts individually, with applicants applying to them directly.

As many small projects struggle to adapt their services and develop new ways of working during the pandemic, recent research from The Ubele Initiative report* found 9 in 10 Black, Asian and Minority ethnic-led charities could cease operating if the lockdown continued and a projected 15,000 to 20,000 users per week would be unable to access services.

The Global Majority Fund aims to help address these inequalities by targeting services for the most at risk communities. The £2.8m fund includes contributions from Barclays, as part of the NET’s Coronavirus Appeal, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Comic Relief.

The selected 10 intermediary partner charities are:

  • Race Council Cymru in partnership with BAWSO and Welsh Refugee Council Awarded: £318,000. Across Wales, projects that break down barriers, promote participation and community cohesion and integration, will be funded
  • Caribbean and African Health NetworkAwarded: £288,000The Greater Manchester-based charity will support projects that help increase inclusion, and reduce loneliness and isolation
  • Do It Now Now:Awarded: £360,000. The UK-wide organisation is set to fund Black-led charity social enterprises that provide services to people that have been adversely affected by COVID
  • Migrant Centre Northern Ireland:Awarded: £179,400. The Northern Ireland based charity is set to fund projects providing access to emergency support with accessing food banks, mental health services and bereavement support
  • Coalition for Racial Equality and RightsAwarded: £288,000. The Scotland based charity will be funding projects tackling food poverty as well as mental health services, healthcare inequalities, gender based violence and homelessness
  • Women’s Resource Centre in partnership with Black Training & Enterprise Group (BTEGAwarded: £276,000.They will fund smaller led by and for, Black and minoritised women’s organisations which provide domestic abuse and violence against women and girls support
  • BME Health Forum Awarded: £288,000. The London based charity will fund community led advice and advocacy, emotional and mental health support, digital inclusion and improved access to food, medicine and health services
  • Lancashire BME NetworkAwarded: £288,000. The charity will provide frontline services such as emergency food parcels, befriending and wellbeing activities, and addressing digital exclusion across Lancashire
  • Africa Advocacy FoundationAwarded: £288,000. The charity is set to fund London based projects supporting Black migrant communities affected by racial injustice, violence, poverty, disability, and mental ill-health
  • Muslim Charities ForumAwarded: £288,000. The charity will fund a range of projects providing mental health, skills and education services plus essential needs (e.g food provision)

Comic Relief and the National Emergencies Trust first collaborated last spring to create a £3.4million fund for projects led by leaders with lived experience of racial inequalities, working with communities disproportionately affected by Covid-19. Combined with the new second phase funding, this brings the total fund to over £6.2 million.

From the first phase of funding, 10 intermediary organisations have helped deliver 449 grants to projects, helping over 16,000 people across the UK, and have been used to provide emergency support to a wide range of communities including mental health support, food bank assistance and bereavement services.

Jacqueline Onalo, Trustee, Comic Relief said: “This funding programme is a vital and long overdue way of reaching key smaller projects that are a lifeline to many marginalised people who are most at risk during the pandemic. The Global Majority Fund is innovating our grants processes, and putting leaders with lived experiences at the forefront. I am proud of the hundreds of projects already funded by our first phase and I look forward to seeing the great work delivered across the UK by our new £2.8 million programme.

“In addition to this fund, Comic Relief is continuing to expand this important work by supporting The Baobab Foundation, the UK’s first grant making foundation, led by and for communities experiencing racial inequity.”

Mhairi Sharp, CEO, National Emergencies Trust, said: “This pandemic continues to have devastating impacts on people’s lives, and in ways that are not always visible or obvious.  Working with specialist charities who know exactly where to look, and how to help, is a critical part of ensuring funds reach all those who need them. The Global Majority Fund has already made a meaningful difference to communities. It’s new intermediary partners bring with them new expertise and fresh perspectives on the pandemic’s impacts, which will enhance and evolve this work further.”

Judge Ray Singh CBE Chair of Race Council Cymru: said: “The news the Race Council Cymru in partnership with BAWSO and Welsh Refugee Council have been awarded this fund to support the underfunded and disadvantaged communities facing racial inequalities is very welcome. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic grassroots groups are underfunded and the emerging statistics evidence that COVID 19 has hit our communities the hardest. These funds will be a lifeline to many small grassroots groups who need urgent resources to address challenges facing their communities and Race Council Cymru and partners are delighted to be able to facilitate a Wales wide reach to marginalised communities in urgent need of help.”