The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded a total of £800,000 to 19 projects that will support people with lived experience to take on leadership roles in third sector organisations.
The grants have been awarded as part of NLCF’s Lived Experience Leaders Pilot Programme, set up to help those with lived experience to understand all aspects of an organisation’s operations and help them to take on leadership roles.
The pilot programme has been developed through workshops across the UK involving more than 70 lived-experience leaders and forms part of the NLCF’s People in the Lead strategy.
The projects have each received between £30,000 and £50,000 to deliver programmes. Grant recipients include The Care Leavers in Chester, which will use its £50,000 grant to create a national support network for care-experienced young leaders, and Liverpool-based Comics Youth CIC, which has received £39,000 to develop, through the creation of a publishing house, the leadership skills of young people who have experienced trauma and other challenges.
The Muslim Women’s Council is among the other projects to be awarded funding. It has received £30,000 to deliver leadership training to Muslim women with lived experience of domestic violence, hate crime, Islamophobia and sexual exploitation and polygamy, and plans to establish a mini think tank to empower participants to influence policy and debates around these issues.
Bana Gora, chief executive of the Muslim Women’s Council, said in a statement: "There was always a sense that people parachute into cities like Bradford, then back out again. There are very few credible, trained people ‘on the ground’, especially in the Muslim community. So why not use the experience we have between us, as Muslim women in Bradford, to identify gaps in services that we’ve experienced?"
Joe Ferns, UK knowledge and portfolio director at the NLCF, said: "We know that supporting those with first-hand experience to become leaders is a key enabler for civil society to do more and help more people, and for our sector to have a greater impact."