New £50m fund will help black and minoritised groups access support

A new £50m fund will support black and minoritised community charities and grassroots groups in England to receive funding and support that has previously been difficult for them to access. 

The Phoenix Way is being run by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Ubele Initiative, which is an African diaspora-led social enterprise that aims to build more sustainable communities. 

A national steering group led by Ubele will work with the NLCF to identify priorities and make funding decisions through a series of national and regional panels of leaders from target groups. 

The fund aims to build on an earlier £2.4m Phoenix Fund, which attracted funding applications mostly from organisations that had never previously applied to the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Phoenix Way Steering Group will consist of leaders from black and minoritised communities from across England, including Global Fund for Children, Black South West Network, the Centre for Knowledge Equity, Lancashire BME Network and Voluntary Action Leeds. 

Yvonne Field, founder and chief executive of the Ubele Initiative, said: “This £50m investment in The Phoenix Way allows partners to connect directly with those with lived experience of racism and racial disparities, and work together to offer innovative and creative funding opportunities in response to identified challenges.

“The Phoenix Way will also facilitate the deepening of a unique collaborative approach, which emerged during Covid-19, and to work together to transform systems of funding, decision-making and support to Black and minoritised communities and organisations over the next five years.

Abdou Sidibe, deputy director of partnerships at the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “By shifting out of our comfort zone, admitting we don’t always have all the answers, and by instilling collaboration into everything we do, we can reap rewards of working alongside expert organisations to ensure that National Lottery funding is genuinely for everyone.”

Details of how the Phoenix Way programme will operate are expected to be drawn up over the summer with the aim of awarding funding from the autumn. 

Organisations that wish to register an interest in the programme should email thephoenixway@ubele.org

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