Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

New £1.8M grant fund to influence national policy launched by Lloyds Bank Foundation

CHARITABLE organisations seeking to influence and achieve change in national policy and practice in relation to accommodation, social security and refugees and asylum seekers are urged to apply for a new funding programme recently by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.  

Rising living costs and economic, political and policy challenges are making it much harder for many people. But for people already facing complex issues, the systems designed to support them are not fit for purpose and risk pushing them further into hardship and destitution. To address this, The Foundation seeks to partner with charities to advocate for people directly affected by these issues and to work to influence and change national policy in England and Wales.

This programme is even more pertinent given the need to influence changes the Government has announced in the March 2023 Budget, including the removal of the work capability assessment (WCA) and greater use of sanctions, as well as areas the Government failed to address, such as ensuring Local Housing Allowance is better linked to rent levels.

Grants of £30,000 – £150,000, for up to three years, will be available for organisations working towards achieving positive change around: 

  • Making the social security system work better for people facing the most significant challenges. 
  • Improving access to suitable accommodation for people facing complex issues.  
  • Improving support and services for asylum seekers and refugees. 

The Foundation is interested in initiatives or organisations spearheaded by or actively developed with people, charities and communities with first-hand knowledge of the issues through lived or learned experience and that address inequality, whether based on race, disability, or other factors.

This funding will support a range of activities, including research, policy work, campaigns, and communications activity, but not the delivery of services. Applicants must identify how their work will address specific objectives within these three themes using the guidance notes available online.

Paul Streets, Lloyds Bank Foundation CEO, said:

“People, communities, and charities are facing huge challenges, compounded by the cost of living crisis. It’s getting harder for people, who already face disadvantages, to survive, find accommodation, and get the help they need. We need to fix the systems perpetuating those challenges. We can only do this by influencing national policy, particularly at this crucial time in the run-up to the next general election. This funding will equip charities to advocate for change, particularly those developed by people directly affected by these issues, and we encourage them to look at our criteria and apply.”

The Foundation has been funding influencing work since 2015, recognising that however good charities are at providing services, policy, practice, systems, and structures must change to tackle the causes and consequences of key social issues.

A charity previously funded by the Foundation to develop its influencing work is the Latin American Women’s Rights Service.  

Gisela Valle, Director Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) said: 

“Thanks to support and funding from the Foundation, we hired our first policy role. We were able to collect evidence that two-thirds of abuse survivors with insecure immigration status felt the police wouldn’t believe them because of their legal status, and more than half were threatened with deportation by their attackers if they went to the police.

“Our campaigning, evidence and persistence paid off. We improved migrant women’s protections – the National Police Chiefs Council created a policy to protect migrant women reporting to the police. In 2022, the Justice Committee called for a firewall between reporting abuse and immigration control in the Victims’ Bill, and the London Mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2022–25 commits to lobbying for this firewall.

For full application criteria for this funding and to apply, please visit: https://www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/funding/national-influencing-programme. Applications close on 19 May, 5pm.  

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