A new £1million Community Grants Fund to help support and empower communities across the capital in the wake of the pandemic has been launched by the Mayor of London today.
From today, charities and voluntary organisations can apply for grants ranging from £1000 to £10,000 to support community-led activities and projects that help those most adversely affected by the pandemic.
These could include projects supporting mental health needs, food growing initiatives, creative projects, intergenerational projects, and initiatives working with children and young people.
Covid-19 has had a devasting impact on disabled Londoners, older people and London’s Black and Asian communities as well as Londoners living on lower incomes – further exacerbating existing inequalities in health, employment, learning, housing and access to green spaces.
This fund has been created to address these issues and will help to ensure that all Londoners have the chance to thrive as the city rebuilds.
This Community Grants Fund will ensure that Londoners are supported to lead and shape the recovery of their communities, thereby increasing feelings of belonging and connection, and reducing loneliness and social exclusion.
The Community Grants Fund is supported by partners including Rocket Science, London Funders, London community members, and four specialist equity organisations – Ubele, Inclusion London, Consortium, and the Women’s Resource Centre.
It builds on the work of the London Community Response Fund – a ground-breaking collaboration of over 67 funders – which awarded grants totalling more than £57million in 2020/21 to support essential community action when the Covid-19 crisis first hit, such as supplying emergency food packages, adapting advice services and ensuring that rough sleepers were kept safe.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “Every Londoner has been affected by the pandemic but older and disabled Londoners, our Black and Asian communities and those living on lower incomes have been impacted disproportionately.
“Many experienced lockdown in overcrowded housing, increased social isolation affecting their mental health, or difficulties accessing education and health and care services due to digital exclusion.
“This new £1million Community Grants Fund – which will enable grassroots community organisations and charities to enhance their work – will make a real difference to the lives of many Londoners.”
Natalie Creary, Programme Delivery Director of Black Thrive, an organisation that works with communities to address health inequalities added, “I am excited that the Community Grants Fund will invest in great ideas from communities to enable them to continue to build strong and thriving communities in London. This fund also presents an opportunity for us to understand how the statutory sector can use their levers to further amplify their impact in the long term.”
Michael Hamilton, Programme Director at Ubele said, “The Ubele Initiative welcomes this opportunity for communities to come together and identify their own needs as we emerge out of the confusion, upheaval and challenge of 2020/21. We particularly endorse the focus of this fund on smaller and medium sized projects as we know it was, they who were most challenged by the Covid emergency.”
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