We are pleased to launch the Mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Grassroots Fund, in partnership with The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP).
This £3m Fund will help support existing VAWG-specialist grassroots organisations operating across London’s diverse communities so they can better meet the needs of their users experiencing VAWG.
For individual organisations, two-year grants of between £30,000 (£15,000 per year) and £100,000 (£50,000 per year) are available. Partnerships of up to three organisations can apply for two-year grants of up to £120,000 (£60,000 per year) for partnerships. The Fund also includes a programme of capacity building and peer support, supported by networking events which will be announced in due course.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a damaging impact on community organisations and has changed the way we work for the foreseeable future. We are now operating in a context where violence against women and girls (VAWG) is occurring alongside a global health crisis and are aware that this has further facilitated opportunities for violence and abuse. In May 2020, we surveyed VAWG community organisations and found that the pandemic had led to:
- an increase in the complexity of cases
- an increase in demand for specialist VAWG services
- a need for grassroots service expansion to meet emerging needs
- a reinforcement of the need for funding programmes, wider than this fund alone, which contribute to core costs
- concerns about the survival of grassroots organisations
This demonstrates that this Fund is needed now more than ever.
We recognise that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and that existing structural inequalities have contributed to this outcome. We also recognise that grassroots organisations serving BME communities continue to deliver vital support to the worst affected communities in London. We appreciate that now - more than ever - ring-fenced funding for BME VAWG organisations is needed.