Monday, 20 May 2024
Monday, 20 May 2024

£1.6m awarded to organisations working together to tackle local issues

LLOYDS Bank Foundation for England and Wales has funded 16 local collaborations led by small charities to influence local and regional change to improve access to accommodation, improve support for asylum seekers and refugees, and make the social security system work better for those facing the greatest challenges.  

At a time of growing hardship and political uncertainty, Lloyds Bank Foundation has awarded grants of up to £100,000 over two years to 16 collaborations. Collaborations are led by local charities working with a total of 79 partner organisations with shared ambitions for local and regional change, ranging from other small charities and grassroots organisations to local authorities, universities, and NHS services. It is the Foundation’s first funding programme designed to support local collaborations providing them with the capacity and resources to lead and create change.

Each collaboration has identified a key issue they want to address and in turn the Foundation has awarded them up to £100k each over the next two years to support them to work together and develop and implement plans to change policy and practice to help communities thrive. The Foundation will also offer a range of development support and bring the collaborations together to enable them to share and learn from each other.

The local collaboration programme has been developed through consultations and discussions with charities, and examination of existing partnership models, collaborations, and effective methods of support. By coming together to address complex issues, the Foundation hopes these collaborations will form strong alliances, amplifying the voices of those they support and putting lived experience at the heart of their work. The funding and additional developmental support the Foundation will provide will enable the collaborations to have the opportunity and capacity to deepen how they work together and to create the plans and processes to influence the policy and practice of others at a local and regional level.

Examples of the collaborations being supported include:

In the Southeast, Fitzjohns Food Bank, Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA), Lewes District Food Partnership, Church Action on Poverty, East Sussex County Council, and Malling Food Bank have come together to focus on influencing local decision-makers around the lack of take-up of benefits and improving access to local welfare support.

Stef Lake, Community Development Programme Manager at SCDA said:

“We are thrilled to have secured this funding, it will help us to centre the voices of people living in hardship in the area.”

In Yorkshire and Humber, the Welfare Benefits Unit, York Foodbank, Peasholme Charity, City of York Council, Citizens Advice York, Age UK and the University of York are working together to influence the current and future design and take-up of local welfare schemes, including Council Tax Support and the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme, to reflect local priorities and be better targeted at people at risk of destitution.

Tom Meares, Chief Executive of the Welfare Benefits Unit, said:

“We’re excited to get funding from Lloyd’s Bank Foundation. This will help us study how local welfare affects York residents. The project will let us evaluate welfare schemes and influence future policy, ensuring those in need can access their entitled support.”

Philippa Iwnicki from the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network is leading a collaboration:

“We are thrilled to have secured this funding, it will significantly improve our ability to influence regional decision-makers across Greater Manchester and to ensure that the voices of people with lived experience of emergency or temporary accommodation can shape decisions that affect them.”

Open Door North East and Justice First, have partnered with Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency and successfully secured funding for a collaboration in the North East.

Anna Lewis, CEO, of Open Door North East, explained:

“We are delighted to have secured this funding. Seeking asylum in the UK is complex, painful, and often fraught with difficulties. Our organisations are working together to influence decision-makers to ensure local service providers understand refugees and asylum seekers’ legal entitlements and have a consistent approach when supporting those with a complex immigration status who need assistance from statutory and commissioned services. This funding will now help us build our network and take our partnership to the next stage. We hope to influence our local councils and others to prioritise equity of service and eradicate policies that increase poverty, putting it at the heart of their work and services.”

This programme builds on funding the Foundation awarded to projects last year to influence national policy and practice in social security, support for refugees and asylum seekers, and accommodation. By bringing together and sharing lessons and practices across these two programmes, Lloyds Bank Foundation will support charities to advocate for people facing the greatest disadvantage, making change happen locally, regionally and nationally.

Paul Streets, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales CEO, said:

“Despite growing poverty, homelessness, and challenges within the asylum system, people can influence others and bring about change when they come together. They possess the knowledge and insight of what needs to change, but they often lack the time and resources to organise and effectively influence others. Through providing funding and support we hope charities can join with others to achieve change through collaboration and partnership, proving that more can be achieved together than alone. We are delighted to support these 16 collaboration projects, which will help to influence policy and practice directly and provide a range of lessons and learning to transform lives more widely in England and Wales.”

As part of its commitment to sharing power and prioritising the voices of those with lived and learned experience, the Foundation enlisted external accessors with lived and learned experience of the issues to form the majority voice on the decision-making panel, as well as external assessors who brought broader perspectives to the assessment process. These individuals were financially reimbursed for their time and participation.

Janet Grauberg was one of the external assessors. She said:

“It was a privilege to be involved in assessing these applications and supporting the diverse decision-making panel. These are very exciting projects that are worthy of the funding and development support offered. It will be great to see what they can achieve in the next two years and beyond.”

To find out more, please click here, or email 


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