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COVID-19: We received £360k of National Lottery funding to help BAME community organisations through crisis and develop our organisational strategy and infrastructure

October 6th, 2020

Photo: Adiam Yemane @adiamphotography

Ubele has been awarded almost £360k in National Lottery funding to support its work with black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community organisations, throughout this time of COVID-19 crisis. We will use the funding to provide targeted support to 50 BAME led organisations across England, as they begin to re-open and to help them increase their capacity to deliver their services.


Given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities in the UK, Ubele has had to pivot its approach in order to respond quickly. We have designed and delivered a series of infrastructure support regionally and nationally including: influencing COVID-19 strategy for BAME groups; direct COVID-19 support to BAME groups including fundraising, advising, organising large scale events and providing information; national research on COVID-19 and BAME community-based organisations and 30 case studies; advocacy and campaigning for equity in emergency funding decisions across England and for an Independent Public Inquiry into the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities.  


The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will allow us to build on the work they have started since the pandemic. Over the next 6 months, we will design and deliver a programme of innovative projects for and with BAME led organisations which should strengthen their local responses to Covid-19. At the same time, the Ubele team will be able to develop their organisational strategy, and develop a BAME led model for working with BAME communities.


Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative, says: 

“We are delighted to have secured emergency funds to continue some of the vital work we started in response to Covid-19. We are also able to respond to emerging needs, BAME led organisations have been providing community support without funding in the most challenging circumstances for decades. As the idea that led to the establishment of Ubele reaches its 10 year anniversary this month it is not only significant that we have secured core funding and been recognised as a key national organisation but that we can also use this platform to ensure that the incredible work of other BAME groups are highlighted and advocate on their behalf to receive financial and capacity building support.”

Elly de Decker, Director of England Funding at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: 

“The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on BAME communities, and we recognise the need to try to help address this.

Thanks to National Lottery players, we are proud to be funding The Ubele Initiative’s vital work. Not only are they providing emergency guidance and support to BAME- led organisations now, but they are also equipping them to grow their organisational strategy and infrastructure to work towards a more equitable future.”

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.  

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.


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