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We are a convening partner of the Phoenix Fund, a new black and ethnic minority-led fund, that will support communities and BAME leadership practice in England

August 4th, 2020

The Phoenix Fund is now open for applications!

The National Lottery Community Fund has today announced that it is committing £1.4 million to a new partnership with Global Fund for Children. 

The investment will support the co-creation and delivery of the Phoenix Fund, a new black and ethnic minority-led fund, that will support communities and BAME leadership practice in England. 

The fund will also be part of a wider response to help address long standing inequalities present within both the sector and wider society - exposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

When people are in the lead, communities thrive. The partnership will, as part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s wider commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, look to elevate voices that may have been previously side-lined from key decision-making processes.

The partnership came about following a meeting between black and ethnic minority civil society leaders and The National Lottery Community Fund, where it was recognised that more needed to be done to support black and ethnic minority-led infrastructure, nurture and develop new leaders and enhance reach and practice. 

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The partnership is expected to inform The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, in developing its approach to equity and inclusion and to funding diverse groups.

The Phoenix Fund will be co-designed and developed by a core group of black and ethnic minority-led organisations, which are also exploring better ways to work together in partnership, and the communities they represent.

These individuals and organisations, from across the sector, will also make up the majority of the funding panel and play an active and informative role in the decision-making process. 

Young people from the National Lottery Community Fund’s advisory group will also be involved to help lay strong foundations for future BAME leadership in the sector. 

The move comes at a time when the spotlight is on funders and employers to review their practices through an equality, diversity and inclusion lens. The National Lottery Community Fund is committed to doing this and says that it is particularly conscious of reaching black, ethnic minority and other communities to ensure that National Lottery funding is for everyone.

The Phoenix Fund is expected to be launched within weeks so as to provide emergency funding to support small and micro organisations in communities most affected by COVID-19. More details on who and how to apply will be made available at launch. 

Dawn Austwick, CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“We are delighted to announce this partnership with the Global Fund for Children. It is an important step on our journey to be a fully inclusive funder and we are excited by the opportunity it gives us to learn from and work with black and ethnic minority-led organisations. 

"This dedicated fund sits alongside our responsive funding and we hope it will inform and influence all our practice as we continue to develop our approach to equity, diversity and inclusion.”

John Hecklinger, President & CEO of Global Fund for Children, said: 

“We recognise that systemic racism and prejudice impact children and families from BAME communities on a daily basis. At Global Fund for Children, we believe that local organisations – with people from the community in the lead – are best positioned to drive social change. 

"The Phoenix Fund will help shift power to these community leaders to build a brighter future for young people through the lens of racial justice.”

A convening partner of the Phoenix Fund, Yvonne Field, CEO and Founder, the Ubele Initiative said: 

“Our communities have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and there is an urgent need to get funds to front line organisations. I am pleased that we are using a participatory approach as we are often excluded from grant making and are unable to influence the design and/or decision-making processes. 

"We need to begin to shift these deep-rooted power dynamics and by distilling the learning, we will begin to create systems change longer term.”

More information coming soon!

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