LGBTQ+ organisations and groups across the UK will soon be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 to support their vital role in supporting LGBTQ+ communities through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
METRO Charity in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT, will be cascading the £585,000 fund from Comic Relief, raised from ‘The Big Night In’.
The partners will be convening grants panels in each nation - Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to ensure the maximum reach to grassroots community-led LGBTQ+ organisations across the UK. Organisations and groups with income under £100,000 will be able to apply for over 100 grants ranging from £500 to £15,000.
Jacqueline Onalo, Comic Relief Trustee, said:
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on many grassroot projects, especially those supporting diverse LGBTQ+ communities, has been truly devastating. Our ring-fenced funding aims to directly address these inequalities and empower LGBTQ+ led organisations, with specialist expertise, to support grassroot local projects that are a lifeline to the people they help. Comic Relief has a long and proud history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and I hope this funding will make a real difference throughout the pandemic and its recovery.”
Dr Greg Ussher, CEO at METRO Charity, said:
"We couldn't agree more with Comic Relief's identification that LGBTQ+ grassroots community-led organisations need support right now to ensure that they can in turn support LGBTQ+ communities across the UK through this pandemic and beyond. We are very pleased to be working with partners in each of the UK nations to maximise the reach of the fund and the diversity of organisations and groups we will collectively be encouraging to apply.
"As delivery organisations ourselves, we already have first-hand experience of the needs of LGBTQ+ communities and the new and increased demands placed on services – especially around mental health and isolation – and the challenges these bring.
"We are delighted to be continuing our long-term relationship with Comic Relief and of course with our delivery partners."
Parminder Sekhon, Interim CEO at NAZ, said:
“Small community BAME led and BAME LGBTQ+ led organisations are the backbone of the voluntary sector and are built on the principle of self-organisation and self-mobilisation. We need to protect small organisations delivering vital frontline services, plugging the gap of unmet need during this health and economic crisis, because we are going to need them even more as we move into recovery.
“BAME LGBTQ+ people have been and continue to be, at significant risk of poor health and wellbeing outcomes, often on the margins of an already underserved population group. COVID-19 has exacerbated and magnified that risk. NAZ is so pleased to be part of this partnership, distributing grants to amazing LGBTQ+ and Black LGBTQ+ organisations delivering lifeline health and wellbeing services up and down the country, keeping LGBTQ+ people safe, connected and supported. Thank you Comic Relief.”
Register your interest in applying for a grant.