New Beginnings fund launched to help local groups support refugees in the UK
Update: Please note that the New Beginnings Fund is now closed.
Round 2 of the New Beginnings Fund is now open for applications. Grants will be awarded to projects which welcome refugees and asylum seekers into the UK.
The New Beginnings Fund was set up in February 2016 to support community groups across the UK to welcome and integrate refugees and asylum seekers in to the local community. The Fund was launched in response to the ongoing refugee crisis and has seen a number of different UK Grantmakers pledge their support to the Fund. The first round of funding, released in June 2016, saw a total of £506,000 awarded to local groups.
Round two of the New Beginnings Fund is now open for applications for funding and is particularly interested in hearing from local community groups and specifically those that are supporting and welcoming refugee and asylum seeking children, including unaccompanied children. The contributors to this second round of the Fund are BBC Children in Need, Oak Foundation and Pears Foundation, and a total of £440,000 has been raised to date for round two. It is not too late to join; UKCF would welcome enquiries from interested trusts and foundations.
The Fund aims to help local community groups build their capacity to respond to increasing numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers needing support, and increasing numbers of local people offering assistance. Projects can range from directing refugees to counselling and advice services, to chances for refugees to share their skills with the local community, to events which enable the wider community and refugees and asylum seekers to spend time together, encouraging community-based volunteering and potentially widening support networks.
Managed by UK Community Foundations, the Fund will be disbursed through community foundations across the UK, in areas where there is a higher demand for supporting refugees and asylum seekers. Round two funding has been directed to communities that didn’t have access to the round one grants, helping to ensure that all areas of the UK have had a chance to apply to the fund.
The Fund is aimed at organisations with an income of less than £500,000. Small, local groups will be prioritised. Applications for up to £10,000 will be considered but, in exceptional circumstances, grants for up to £20,000 will be awarded for collaborative bids involving multiple local partners.
The CEO of UK Community Foundations, Fabian French, commented, ‘The New Beginnings Fund is so important to welcome and support refugees and asylum seekers into the UK. We want people to integrate into local communities and feel they can make a valuable contribution to their new home and New Beginnings does just that.’
The Bike Project was one of the projects which received a grant from Round 1 of the New Beginnings Fund. Based in London, the project repairs donated bikes to give to refugees and asylum seekers, allowing them to travel to vital services such as solicitors and food banks. Refugees and asylum seekers would not have otherwise be able to access these, as the cost of travel in London is expensive, and asylum seekers are not allowed to gain employment. “It’s like I have new wings,” said Maizer Ramadan, an asylum seeker from Sudan.
The deadline for expressions of interest will be 30th October. Application forms are available on the UKCF website here, and the website of each participating Community Foundation.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Kiran Ramchandani – Head of External Affairs, UK Community Foundations
Tel: 02078414375/07957 549 741
Jessica Luong – Communications Officer, UK Community Foundations