The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded more than £2million in grants to diverse community organisations across the UK.
The Emerging Futures Fund grants will support organisations to collaborate with local community groups to help imagine what is possible in the future through a variety of storytelling and sharing of experiences.
It is hoped the fund will help develop the creativity and compassion seen in communities and across civil society during the Covid-19 pandemic, and support people-led ideas.
National Lottery players have helped make The Emerging Futures Fund possible and the grants (up to £50,000) have been awarded to 51 organisations that will use ‘enquiries’ to invite new thinking and imagination.
Those awarded the grant include BAME-led projects ‘Voices from the Lockdown: the pandemic experiences of BME migrants in West London’, delivered by the Midaye Somali Development Network and ‘Days Ahead’, delivered by the Sub-Saharan Advisory Panel.
Others to receive the financial support are UnlockedLives, a disabled person-led project delivered by Disability Wales (Anabledd Cymru), LGBTQ+-led project ‘Emerging with Pride’ delivered by the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations, and neighbourhood project ‘Doorstep Revolution’ by Gentle Radical in Cardiff.
Projects such as these will raise key questions and offer space for community-led experiments that will focus on the kinds of future communities want to see. The projects will create ways of exploring what needs to be done differently through videos, podcasts, toolkits, and online workshops. It will study the new kinds of relationships that have formed through the crisis response, what is now deemed essential, how to sustain community togetherness beyond the crisis and where new kinds of infrastructure are being created.
Cassie Robinson, senior head of UK Funding at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to communities across the UK and The National Lottery Community Fund has focused on getting much-needed emergency support out to communities and the sector.
“But it has also demonstrated the very best of civil society, which has met this huge challenge with creativity, commitment and a desire for change. We are now seeing new ways of doing things that we might not have thought of before.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, these new grants will support communities to consider how they can face the immediate impact of Covid-19 but also look to the future. The activity conducted by these community groups and organisations will generate learning and insights and create space and capacity in communities so that they are able to anticipate, imagine and shape the future.”
Up to £600m has been made available to support UK communities during the Coronavirus crisis as a result of people playing the National Lottery. The Emerging Futures Fund plays a key role in The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to supporting organisations and the voluntary sector to create opportunities to help local communities thrive.