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Black History Month: Black care leavers find their poetic voice thanks to National Lottery funding

A Leicester-based organisation using poetry to highlight Black experiences in the care system is celebrating after receiving almost £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK.

Ty'rone Haughton (right)

Literati Arts CIC gives a platform to people whose voices may normally not be heard, and brings them together to share their experiences. Through poetry and the spoken word, Literati Arts provides a safe space for self-expression and connection.

This announcement comes during Black History Month and highlights one of the 140 projects to receive over £1.2 million of National Lottery funding across the UK to commemorate Windrush 75 this year. This funding will allow Literati Arts to host a programme of events for the first time, which they hope to run every year.

Literati Arts, in partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, will run its Black Care 23 programme to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Windrush alongside Black History Month this October, and Care Leavers Week, from Wednesday 25 October to Wednesday 1 November.

Black Care 23 aims to celebrate the voices and stories of Britain’s Black care leavers and commemorate the legacy of Windrush pioneers.

Renowned poet and Black care leaver, Lemn Sissay, will headline the Black Care Poetry Club at De Montfort University, with support from the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, for an evening of poetry and celebration. Also performing will be well-known artists John Bernard, Carol Leeming MBE and Ty'rone Haughton.

Other events include free poetry workshops where Black care leavers can creatively share their experiences in a safe space. Educational talks will be provided by experts in social care, including Dr Arlene Weekes on how to improve the experience of Black children in care today.

Ty'rone Haughton, Founder and Artistic Director of Literati Arts CIC said:

“As an immigrant myself, Jamaican born and England raised, Windrush 75 is a representation of how tenuous the idea of belonging has been for people like me. Windrush is far greater than 1948, it is the throughline of generations of immigrant stories. It is something that absolutely needs to be marked and recognised with honesty and objectivity.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we at Literati Arts are very excited to commemorate this occasion in October and to be connecting with people from the Windrush generation, those who followed after and the families they have created.”

Literati arts is one of 209 charities and community groups across the East Midlands to have been awarded more than £5.5 million of National Lottery funding over the last three months*.

The East Midlands isn’t alone in benefiting from National Lottery funding. Today it was announced that more than £122 million has been distributed to over 2,500 community organisations across England in the past three months*.

Nicola Thurbon, Senior Head of Funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to the ongoing support of National Lottery players, we’re delighted that local groups, like Literati Arts, are using our funding to strengthen communities and improve lives in our region. Their passion, creativity and commitment are making a real difference to local people’s lives, and this deserves recognition.”

The National Lottery Community Fund is focusing funding on four key missions where it wants to make the biggest impact. These are to support communities to come together; to be environmentally sustainable; help children and young people thrive; and enable people to live healthier lives.

They will distribute at least £4 billion by 2030, supporting activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable. See its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’ to find out more.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.

To find out more visit

Notes to Editors

* These figures are for funding awarded from 1st July – 29th September 2023.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest non-statutory community funder in the UK – community is at the heart of our purpose, vision and name.

We support activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable and that will strengthen society and improve lives across the UK.

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.

As well as responding to what communities tell us is important to them, our funding is focused on four key missions, supporting communities to:

  1. Come together
  2. Be environmentally sustainable
  3. Help children and young people thrive
  4. Enable people to live healthier lives.

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we distribute around £500 million a year through 10,000+ grants and plan to invest over £4bn of funding into communities by 2030. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £47 billion has been raised and more than 670,000 individual grants have been made across the UK - the equivalent of around 240 National Lottery grants in every UK postcode district.

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