Covid-19 Grants Programme Winners’ Case Studies

Covid-19 Grants Programme Winners’ Case Studies

In 2020 Voice4Change England (V4CE) opened a Covid-19 grants programme for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community groups and organisations, working to deliver Covid-19 services in England and helping to tackle the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities. There were three possible sections to apply within: delivering Covid-19 services, mental health services and sports activities to tackle BAME inequalities. All grant awards were in the region of £5-10K.

We even constructed a brand-new team of grants officers who worked tirelessly on the 881 applications we received for our Covid-19 grants programme, with an impressive £ 7,442,777.00 in financial assistance requested. At the end of the programme, we managed to approve 111 applications for funding, with a total funding of £1,031,320.65. No BAME-led charitable organisation has handled this level of funding in this short space of time in the UK before and we are proud of the work that has been done to ensure the survival of many small community projects and charities during tough times.

Our team of grants officers have selected some of their favourite successful applications, find out more about them below. Thank you to everyone who applied and for your continued efforts in supporting BAME communities in the Covid-19 recovery process.

Go Woman! Alliance

The Go Woman alliance works predominantly with women from migrant backgrounds, many of whom have faced issues around domestic violence and modern day slavery. Their aim is to help support service users with the increased feelings of fear, anxiety and isolation brought about by the pandemic and the lack of clear accessible information about the pandemic available to them. They host an online support group providing women with a safe communal area to talk and share, to lessen their personal burdens as well as to allow them to provide relevant and tailored information regarding developments on Covid-19, reducing anxieties because there is less uncertainty and more support available to them.

Refugee Radio – supporting refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants

Refugee radio, based in Brighton, runs support groups for refugees and asylum seekers suffering from PTSD. The project will allow them to help service users by providing them with support over the phone and online, as well as support from qualified therapists to help them through their traumas and build a sense of community.

Shadow Youth Alliance : Home

Shadow Youth Alliance: Home is focused on providing insight of the impact of Covid-19 on young people, who aren’t always provided a voice. The pandemic has left service users to deal with high levels of unemployment and limited career options, as well as a rise in ASB and violent incidents. The project will produce a short documentary exploring the impact on Covid-19 from the perspective of young people, as well as upskilling them in producing short documentaries, providing transferable skills and something positive to put their time into.

Soccology

Soccology are an organisation that combines sports with psychology to prevent the escalation of mental health issues. They are developing an online school to deliver the programme to support those dealing with adverse mental health and increasing loneliness as well as other issues during the pandemic and beyond. They will support service users letting them know about the resources available to them to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health, as well as using football to help keep users stimulated and engaged in the project.

Rock I Organisation (Email: leroyjohnson29@hotmail.com)

Rock I Organisation reach out to their local community struggling with mental health issues and provide one-on-one support in a welcoming safe space. In response to the pandemic they now provide service users with meals and connections in this period. Many of the service users are unemployed, homeless, and rough sleepers, and also deal with mental health needs and learning disabilities, dealing with loneliness and being marginalised by their local community. The project will meet their needs by providing them with a hot meal and drink, a chance to build relationships through the organisation, and to be upskilled with IT skills to make them more employable.

DayTop Multicultural Centre

DayTop Multicultural is a newly based organisation which aims to deliver at around 500kg of food items weekly from local supermarket chains to the unemployed, vulnerable and disadvanted in the area of Ayslesbury, where more than 80% of the population is from the BAME community. Their six month project, Feed the Community, addresses the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployement, and financial hardship by delivering over 11000kg of food items – equivalent to 19,000 meals for around 200 beneficiaries – right to their doorsteps.

Black Trans (Email: blacktransfoundation@gmail.com)

Black Trans was set in the pandemic to response to the increasing inequalities faced by LGBTQ community, but particularly Trans (as described by the organisation those who identify as trans and/or non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderfluid, agender or questioning). Gender Identity Clinics have been closed down and many of those who were on the waiting list for gender identity therapy has ended at the square one. The challenges and inequalities Black Trans users face have significantly impact on their mental health and the suicide rate amongst BAME Trans is higher than for other members of LGBTQ community. The project delivers online support group services as well as 16 sessions of gender identity therapy for 10 individuals who will benefit the most from it.

Keeping N Real (Email: info@margaretbankole.com)

Keeping N Real works with young BAME people and their families who have been directly or indirectly involved in gang culture and crime in the area of Essex and East London. Due to the pandemic and the current climate, many young BAME people face issues at home, feel isolated, vulnerable and are easy target for the street gangs to get exploited or to get involved in the street crimes for different reasons. It is exactly in these times when the gang culture is on rising due to the lockdown. The project is designed to provide BAME young people (10-14 years old) with a lifeline of support and access to information quickly and anonymously, but also allow them to request direct help through a child-friendly app. The app acts as a bridge for young people to access mental health and practical support in these vulnerable times. The project will allow also 50+ young BAME people to enrol to Trauma Counselling online where they will be able to express their emotions through music, drama and talking therapy.

Changing Life Directions

Changing Life Directions works with BAME people who live with mental illness such as dementia and others, and many service users are survivors of domestic abuse and violence, disadvantaged and on low income. Their aim is provide relief and support to mental health and wellbeing to BAME community through a provision of therapeutic music, arts and physical activities. 78% of BAME users are South Asian women in Halliwell Ward of Bolton. The project brings to the community the group and counselling 1:1 sessions, continuity of helpline, workshops on healthy eating and nutrition. In addition, the organisation opens Fit4Life Only Women’s Gym which is designed and run by BAME women for BAME women. Through the funding, the organisation will provide their users with exercise equipment and a professional trainer will be there to guide these women on their exercise, health eating habits and wellness. The project is to reduce the isolation, support mental and physical wellbeing through exercise, group support, bilingual counselling sessions, workshops, and other activities which can delivered online.

Sunbeams London (Email: hguedj@sunbeamslondon.org.uk)

Sunbeams London provides early intervention, mental health support for young women in Hackney and Haringey from the Orthodox Jewish community. The grant will allow them to work with 50 service users to provide each with 40 sessions of 1:1 mentoring, for 90 minutes per session. The grant will also provide weekly group sessions for 25 services users led by two expert mentors trained by a qualified psychologist.

RESET MH

RESET MH works with 140 service users from African and Caribbean backgrounds across London who are struggling with PTSD, self-esteem issues and trauma by providing free online counselling sessions via zoom. The funding will help BAME front-line workers struggling during pandemic and service users dealing with issues of racism and trauma as a result of BLM. The grant will contribute to the salary of the qualified counsellors to ensure they provide free online counselling sessions to cohort.

Positive Network Community Project

Positive Network Community Project identifies that the BAME elderly have been isolated and are feeling lonely during pandemic, and indicate that they are finding it difficult to access online platforms and fend for themselves. Therefore, the project is seeking to deliver Meals on Wheels services which will provide a hot cooked meal for cohorts of over-60s to 150 pensioners in London.

P.H.O.E.B.E

P.H.O.E.B.E. works to support women and girls who have suffered domestic violence, providing them with family and immigration law advice. The organization also advises on welfare support and provides ESOL classes. Their aim is to move their services online as most of their face to face drop-in sessions have stopped to due to Covid-19 restrictions. The grant will allow them to provide counselling sessions to their cohort, creating a safe space for women and girls to tackle trauma caused by domestic violence. The project is also seeking to provide separate sessions for children of victims of domestic violence. They would provide mental health activities to 6-19 year olds helping them deal with depression and anxiety of coming from a home with domestic violence. This will increase their self-esteem, encourage self-acceptance and reduce isolation.

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Featured image by Alexander Suhorucov