Our ability to quickly identify challenges faced by our communities enabled us to inform and influence the response of national funders and infrastructure partners to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic revealed deep-rooted social and economic inequalities and institutional racism impacting on Black and Minoritised communities across the UK.
“I understand why the restrictions are in place but there is not much help for people who have long term health issues both physically and emotionally, I would just like to see more being done about it.”
“My level of care was suddenly cut off and I was told counselling services were further delayed because of lockdown. I did not feel able to go to A&E or anything because of the virus.”
— Young people responding to the YoungMinds survey, Summer 2020
Early in the crisis, we recognized that research by national infrastructure bodies was not sufficiently capturing the effects of the pandemic on marginalised communities. We carried out two national surveys assessing the impact on organisations responding to the crisis in their communities and we conducted a rapid review of the impact of the pandemic on those with protected characteristics in London.
We were also able to support urgent calls by campaign groups such as CharitySoWhite and Youth Futures Foundation for action to tackle institutional racism in the charity sector. For many years, the Black and Minoritised VCSE sector has experienced systemic barriers to accessing funding; Covid-19 brought this inequity into sharp relief and galvanized funders to review and improve their practice.
Our team worked with leading funders to co-design and co-deliver emergency and recovery support programmes, providing greater reach into Black and Minoritised communities and removing barriers to entry.
Booska Paper exposed structural racism in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and explored the impact of the pandemic on funding attitudes in the UK. We took a convening role, leading on this research to amplify the voice of local, regional and national Black and minoritised community leaders in the sector.
To tackle the growing mental health crisis in our communities, we incubated BAMEStream - an alliance of mental health practitioners, therapists, policy specialists, organisations, activists and academics, dedicated to bringing the mental health needs of Black and Minoritised Communities into the mainstream.
Given the relative invisibility of young adults in national discussions and policy approaches relating to COVID-19, Navigating Space Under Lockdown (NSUL) documented the perspectives and experiences of Black and racially minoritised young adults (aged 18 to 35) in England, during the COVID-19 pandemic.