New grants help organisations in the capital working with those most affected by COVID-19

Funding of £75k has been awarded to Ubele, Council of Somali Organisations, London Gypsy and Travellers, Inclusion London, Women’s Resource Centre and Consortium to ensure BAME, Deaf and Disabled, Women’s and LGBTQ+ led organisations are reached and supported by the London Community Response.
The London Community Response was launched with support of the Mayor of London and the City of London Corporation’s Charitable Funder the City Bridge Trust, to help the capital’s community and voluntary organisations after lockdown.  The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on certain communities in London – with health data showing BAME communities are more at risk of the virus, community surveys showing the mental health impact on LGBTQ+ communities, data showing increase demand for services supporting women experiencing violence and abuse, and Deaf and Disabled People facing threats to their rights and the services they need.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“It’s clear that some communities are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and it’s vital that we do what we can to support them. London’s community and voluntary organisations are showing the very best of our city by helping to support these groups, but these already-stretched organisations are under real pressure following a decade of austerity.
“Through these grants we will help BAME, Deaf and Disabled, Women’s and LGBTQ+ led organisations access more of the support that is available and enable them to continue helping these affected communities, but I urge the Government to ensure they provide the necessary levels of support to these essential services now and in the future.”
London Funders and the Greater London Authority are working with equity partners to ensure the needs of BAME, Deaf and Disabled, Women’s and LGBTQ+ led organisations are being met. This is in recognition of the vital role that grassroots equalities groups play in supporting Londoners facing structural barriers and discrimination, and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 is having on some groups. Partners will also provide additional outreach and support to user led groups to assist them to access the fund through one-to-one guidance, workshops and information sessions.
Yvonne Field, Ubele’s Chief Executive Officer said:
“It is rare yet really refreshing to be part of a process where equity principles have been centered. It will allow Ubele to identify the emergency funding needs of BAME communities and to create a pipeline of applications which seek to provide support to individuals, families and groups during this pandemic.”
Funders across the London Community Response are putting equity at the heart.  In the first wave of funding from London Community Response approximately 30% of grants were awarded to BAME-led groups, and the fund is now collecting equalities data through the application process.  Specialist funders in the partnership are bringing additional expertise to strengthen this approach. 
Judith Brodie, the Vision Foundation’s Interim Chief Executive said: 
“With London in lockdown blind and partially sighted people are experiencing the isolation and anxiety of this even more acutely. Their ability to buy food and supplies, work from home, stay connected with friends and family, take exercise and maintain independence has been hugely hindered by the COVID-19 restrictions. Being part of the wider London Community Response means we can reach vulnerable people who need help during this period by directing our funds to the dedicated community groups working at a neighbourhood level.”
The partnership builds on the Civil Society Roots project, a collaboration between the Greater London Authority, National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust, to strengthen support for equalities led organisations in London.
Tracey Lazard, Inclusion London’s Chief Executive Officer said:
“Inclusion London welcomes this exciting opportunity for collaborative working with other equalities infrastructure organisations and London Community response funders to ensure the needs of our marginalised communities must affected by the covid-19 crisis are met and structural inequalities tackled”
Vicky Worthington, Consortium’s Membership and Engagement Manager said:
“Consortium is proud to be working alongside other equality infrastructure bodies to ensure that the needs of user-led LGBT+ Organisations are taken into account when shaping and awarding future funding.”
Vivienne Hayes, Women’s Resource Centre’s Chief Executive said: 
“WRC are excited to be working with colleagues from equalities organisations and London funders to ensure women’s specialist organisations can access funds so desperately needed”