Lloyds Bank Foundation awards £2.4m to charities influencing and improving national policy and practice.

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has announced funding of £2.4 million to support 18 projects focused on influencing and improving national policy and practice in social security, support for refugees and asylum seekers and housing.

At a time of immense pressure on the charity sector, Lloyds Bank Foundation has awarded grants of up to £150,000 over three years to charities and partnerships seeking to drive change and improve systems and services for those facing disadvantage by influencing government policy and practice.

The funded projects will be working to influence change in areas including making the social security system work better for those facing the greatest challenges, ensuring those facing complex issues have access to suitable accommodation, and improving support and services for asylum seekers and refugees.

From leading national charities to small charities new to influencing and groups led by and for the communities they serve, the projects represent a range of inequalities and issues across England and Wales, including advocating for black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ population.

Lloyds Bank Foundation believes small charities’ deep knowledge and experience make them particularly well suited to understand the needs of those they serve, to advocate for them, and seek to influence and improve the policies, practice, institutions, and legislation that are failing them. Those funded include Justlife, Expert Link and the Good Faith Foundation.

 

Paul Streets, CEO of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said:

“Alongside funding charities providing vital services for those facing complex issues and barriers in local communities, we are passionate about seeking to influence and change the issues driving disadvantage in the first place and to advocate for solutions. We are therefore delighted to support these 18 projects seeking to make a real difference on key issues of policy and practise to improve the social security system, access to accommodation, and support for refugees and asylum seekers in England and Wales for those who need them most. With a General Election on the horizon, it is even more important that the voice and expertise of charities are heard in the corridors of power and are supported to do so.”

 

The Foundation received 184 applications for the programme requesting resources totalling £22.5m, showing the need and appetite for policy change and energy amongst charities to change the world around them. Some tough decisions were made to get down to these final 18. To support the selection process, the Foundation involved external experts with lived and learned experience, with the final decision-making panel formed of a majority of external advisors as part of its commitment to share power.

One of those funded is Z2K who works with Londoners experiencing complex benefits issues that cause financial hardship and campaigns for change nationally. They have been awarded almost £150,000. Ayla Ozmen, Director of Policy and Campaigns, said: “With this funding, we aim to increase incomes through improved access to health and disability benefits. With both the Government and the main opposition acknowledging the need for reform and Government planning legislation in this area, including new announcements in the Autumn Statement, now is the time to act.”

 

The Bevan Foundation, based in Wales, has been awarded £139,000 over three years to increase access to appropriate long-term accommodation for those facing homelessness. Steffan Evans, head of policy said: “Living in temporary accommodation is unacceptable. We want to reduce the number of children and adults living in temporary accommodation in Wales and the length of time they live in it. With this funding, we will develop innovative, deliverable solutions that will boost access to and the supply of appropriate and genuinely affordable homes for people to move into, and influence the Welsh Government, local authorities and social landlords to adopt recommendations that will create meaningful change.”

 

Expert Link, a peer led organisation championing the voice of people with experience of multiple disadvantage, including homelessness, has been awarded £120,000. Chris Brill, policy and operations director, said: “We are very pleased to have received this grant which will empower people with lived experience to influence change so that those experiencing multiple disadvantages have access to support when facing crisis or destitution, that any benefits are not unfairly taken away, and that supported accommodation is appropriate for those accessing it. This includes seeking positive change so that more people have access to local discretionary support, and that Work Capability Assessments and PIP assessments are appropriate for those experiencing multiple disadvantages.”

 

Medical Justice is a national charity that plans to use its grant of £150,000 to improve accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees.  Emma Ginn, Director, said: “Using medical evidence from our clinical casework with asylum seekers and refugees held in indefinite immigration detention, we hope to influence policy and practice to reduce the harm caused, eradicate medical mistreatment in immigration detention and advocate for appropriate accommodation and support in the community.”

 

For a full list of the charities funded, visit https://www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/media/tlulgyjs/national-influencing-programme-2023-list-of-charities.pdf 

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Lisa Baker is the Editor of Always Finance, and writes about Business, Finance Technology and Healthcare. Lisa is also the owner of Need to See IT Publishing.