Mayor of London announces new £1mln fund to help older, disabled and low-income Londoners

  • New fund to support community-led activities and projects for Londoners hit hardest by the pandemic

  • The Community Grants Fund will help Londoners to lead and shape the recovery of their own communities

  • Community and civil society organisations are invited to apply for grants from £1000 to £10,000

A new £1million Community Grants Fund to help support and empower communities across the capital in the wake of the pandemic has been launched by the Mayor of London today.

From today, charities and voluntary organisations can apply for grants ranging from £1000 to £10,000 to support community-led activities and projects that help those most adversely affected by the pandemic.1

These could include projects supporting mental health needs, food growing initiatives, creative projects, intergenerational projects, and initiatives working with children and young people.

Covid-19 has had a devasting impact on disabled Londoners, older people and London’s Black and Asian communities as well as Londoners living on lower incomes – further exacerbating existing inequalities in health, employment, learning, housing and access to green spaces.

This fund has been created to address these issues and will help to ensure that all Londoners have the chance to thrive as the city rebuilds.

This Community Grants Fund will ensure that Londoners are supported to lead and shape the recovery of their communities, thereby increasing feelings of belonging and connection, and reducing loneliness and social exclusion.

The Community Grants Fund is supported by partners including Rocket Science, London Funders, London community members, and four specialist equity organisations - Ubele, Inclusion London, LGBT+ Consortium, and the Women’s Resource Centre.

It builds on the work of the London Community Response Fund – a ground-breaking collaboration of over 67 funders - which awarded grants totalling more than £57million in 2020/21 to support essential community action when the Covid-19 crisis first hit, such as supplying emergency food packages, adapting advice services and ensuring that rough sleepers were kept safe.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Every Londoner has been affected by the pandemic but older and disabled Londoners, our Black and Asian communities and those living on lower incomes have been impacted disproportionately.

“Many experienced lockdown in overcrowded housing, increased social isolation affecting their mental health, or difficulties accessing education and health and care services due to digital exclusion.

“This new £1million Community Grants Fund – which will enable grassroots community organisations and charities to enhance their work - will make a real difference to the lives of many Londoners.”

Natalie Creary, Programme Delivery Director of Black Thrive, an organisation that works with communities to address health inequalities, said: "I am excited that the Community Grants Fund will invest in great ideas from communities to enable them to continue to build strong and thriving communities in London. This fund also presents an opportunity for us to understand how the statutory sector can use their levers to further amplify their impact in the long term."

Michael Hamilton, Programme Director at Ubele said: “The Ubele Initiative welcomes this opportunity for communities to come together and identify their own needs as we emerge out of the confusion, upheaval and challenge of 2020/21. We particularly endorse the focus of this fund on smaller and medium sized projects as we know it was, they who were most challenged by the Covid emergency.”

Briony Williamson, Head of Membership & Engagement at LGBT+ Consortium said: After the additional challenges of the pandemic, which compounded the barriers and inequalities of opportunity and resources already faced by London’s LGBT+ communities, we are so pleased to be able to work with our members and other LGBT+ groups to access this fund to support the enormously important work that they are doing.

Charities and voluntary organisations are invited to apply for grants ranging from £1000 to £10,000 to support their work in strengthening communities through the pandemic.

The funding will be distributed in three separate rounds, with the first round now open to receive applications until Monday 14th February 2022. Rounds two and three will open in Spring and Summer 2022 respectively. City Hall hopes that around 160 organisations will benefit from this investment.

The funding pot for this round is £350,000 and is made up of micro and small grants:

· Microgrants of £1,000

· Microgrants of £1,001 to to £5,000

· Small Grants of £5,001 to £10,000.

Microgrants are available for groups/organisations with an annual turnover of £50k and under and small grants are available for groups/organisations with an annual turnover of £200k and under.

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