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£585,000 of emergency funding for LGBTQ+ organisations and groups

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.

Scott Cuthbertson at Equality Network said, “LGBTI groups and organisations across Scotland have been hit hard by COVID-19, having to adapt to a whole new challenging environment, while continuing to provide vital social support and services. We’re pleased to be the Scottish organisation, working with partner organisations across the UK, on disseminating this much needed Comic Relief funding. With COVID-19 there will undoubtedly be challenges to come, and I’m glad that we are addressing them together.”

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.”

**Applications to this fund have now closed**

Funding Notes:

  • The LGBTQ+ Sector COVID-19 Fund will be opening for applications this summer.
  • The programme is funded by Comic Relief.
  • The funding cascade partnership is led by METRO Charity and delivered in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT.
  • Grants will be available in a number of sizes up to the following: £500, £1,000, £5,000, £10,000 and £15,000, with a total grant fund of £585,000.
  • Applications will be accepted from LGBTQ+ community-led organisations and groups with an income under £100,000.
  • Grants panels will be convened across the UK: in Scotland led by the Equality Network, in Northern Ireland led by The Rainbow Project, in Wales led by Umbrella Cymru, by Yorkshire MESMAC for the north of England and the midlands, by METRO Charity for London and the south of England. Supported by NAZ and Birmingham LGBT.

About the partners:

  • METRO is a leading equality and diversity charity delivering services across London and the South East, with national and international projects. They support anyone experiencing issues around sexuality, gender, equality, diversity and identity across their five domains: Sexual & Reproductive Health, Community, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Youth and HIV. To find out more visit metrocharity.org.uk.
  • NAZ is a BAME-led sexual health agency working to address sexual health inequalities in BAME communities. They have 29 years of experience working across London to provide culturally specific interventions to BAME communities disproportionately impacted by poor sexual, reproductive and HIV health compared to their white counterparts. They have national reach through their events and some programmes. NAZ was born out of the necessity to make a response to the health inequalities faced by BAME & BAME LGBTQ+ people across London during the HIV pandemic. 30 years later we are facing similar inequalities under the COVID-19 pandemic. NAZ work across four key areas: Care and Support Services to people impacted and living with HIV, Sexual health prevention and promotions services, Clinical Services: HIV/ Selected STI pop up services and Psychotherapeutic counselling, Research, Influencing and Policy. To find our more visit naz.org.uk.
  • The Equality Network is a leading charity working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights in Scotland. To find out more visit equality-network.org.
  • The Rainbow Project works to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBT+ people in Northern Ireland through research and campaigning and through the provisions of health and wellbeing services including counselling, sexual health testing, hate crime advocacy in addition to peer and social support. To find out more visit rainbow-project.org.
  • Umbrella Cymru is a gender and sexual diversity support specialist organisation that provides a range of services to people across Wales. Their teams, managed by qualified registered social workers, work with LGBTQ+ people of all ages individually, in groups or with family and partners, to develop and deliver free tailored support to help them achieve their goals. The organisation provides a range of services from information and signposting to emotional and practical support. Umbrella Cymru has recently partnered with a Health Board to jointly provide the Welsh Gender Service (the only GIC in Wales) working alongside all Health Boards in Wales to deliver local care and support to trans and non-binary people including, medical and psychosocial support and interventions. To find out more visit umbrellacymru.co.uk.
  • Yorkshire MESMAC is one of the oldest and largest sexual health charities in the country. They offer services to most at risk communities across Yorkshire, including men who have sex with men, African and other BAME people, people using drugs, sex workers and LGBT+ young people and adults. To find out more visit mesmac.co.uk.
  • Birmingham LGBT is the city’s leading charity advocating for and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities in Birmingham and beyond. They offer a range of services focused on improving the health & wellbeing of individuals. They also believe passionately that Birmingham should be one of the best places in the UK for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people to live, work and socialise, and work to enable a thriving, visible and PROUD LGBT community in the city. To find out more visit blgbt.org.
  • Comic Relief raises money to support people living incredibly tough lives. Through humour and stories of hope, we’ve shown that people can make a massive difference. We fund hundreds of amazing organisations who are working on the ground to support the most vulnerable people and communities in society including many of those hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. This includes vulnerable children and young people, people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty, women and families at risk of domestic abuse and those struggling with mental health issues.

 

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