Fund launched to help welcome refugees

New Beginnings Fund launched to help local groups support refugees in Leeds and across the UK

A new funding programme, supported by Leeds Community Foundation, is now open for applications to support community projects which welcome refugees and asylum seekers into the UK.

A Syrian family on the beach in Kos. Photo: Freedom House (Public Domain)
A Syrian family on the beach in Kos. Photo: Freedom House (Public Domain)

The New Beginnings Fund was launched in response to the ongoing refugee crisis and has seen a number of different UK Funders have pledged their support to the Fund. The Fund has already run a successful ‘pilot’ grants programme which saw a total 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.

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, including Leeds Community Foundation which will welcome applications from projects based in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.

The Fund is aimed at organisations with an income of less than £500,000, with small and local groups being 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.

Sally-Anne Greenfield, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Foundation, said, “We are delighted to be working with UK Community Foundations on the New Beginnings Fund. We want to ensure this vital funding is distributed to local projects working with refugees and asylum seekers to help people integrate into local communities and their new home.”

The deadline for expressions of interest will be 30th October. Local projects can apply through Leeds Community Foundation. Full details information on funding criteria and applications forms can be downloaded from: beginnings