Last year we worked collaboratively in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT to cascade a £585,000 LGBTQ+ COVID-19 fund from Comic Relief, raised from ‘The Big Night In’, to organisations across the UK nations. With projects coming to an end this June, we reflect on the fantastic work that has taken place across the four nations, delivered by our successful grant recipients, including vital positive outcomes for the LGBTQ+ sector.
You can watch our film about the recovery fund project on our YouTube channel.
• The Comic Relief LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Fund has been used to support 80 LGBTQ+ groups and organisations across the UK
• By June 2021, just under 8,000 LGBTQ+ people had been directly supported through the fund
• 15% of the total funding supported projects working specifically with LGBTQ+ people of colour, including projects working with Sikh LGBTQ+ communities, Muslim LGBTQ+ communities, two supporting African refugees and asylum seekers, and four which provide general support for queer, trans and intersex people of colour (QTIPOC)
• 16% of the total funding is supporting eleven projects specifically for trans and non-binary people
• Projects include: social support groups, wellbeing workshops, community magazines, befriending services, theatre and arts-based projects, sports and physical health-based projects, developing resources and improved access for LGBTQ+ communities as well as those specially for young and older LGBTQ+ people
Outcomes for service users
• Improved mental health: Grantees reported that service users have gained self-care techniques; built resilience; and received motivation which has prompted fun and laughter as well as escapism from the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic
• Increased confidence: Grantees reported an increase in their service users’ confidence in being able to achieve their goals; take ownership, and speak up to have their voices and opinions heard
• Direct resources to LGBTQ+ community members: Funded projects have distributed food, resources, digital tablets, internet access, and hardship funds to nearly two-hundred vulnerable members of LGBTQ+ communities
Outcomes for the LGBTQ+ sector
• Increased resourcing: The funding has allowed LGBTQ+ groups and organisations to be more flexible, innovative, consistent, responsive, and creative; and to support their staff and volunteers’ wellbeing more effectively
• Better accessibility and inclusivity: The funding has increased resources and capacity, allowing LGBTQ+ groups and organisations to complete activities like consult with their members, pay for BSL interpreting for events, make their services free at point of access, and add specific, targeted services
• Planning for the future: Where many of the grantees had been looking at having to either scale back or end their activities altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding has meant that many were able to deliver during this time but also plan for the future
Find out more about each of our individual grant recipients on our LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Fund hub.