Big Lottery Fund
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Our approach to equity, diversity and inclusion

2020 has been a year we will all remember as one of upheaval and challenge. We have seen people come together to cope with the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 as it has changed the way we live and kept us from those we love. But this has also been a time that has seen people unite to address a more ingrained injustice: the racism and inequality that is still faced by so many across the world.

The Black Lives Matter movement has made me, like many of us, take a hard look at the issue of racism here in the UK and the inequalities that persist. It has made me reflect on the things that all of us as individuals, and that we as an organisation, could have done differently and still must do if we want to be part of the solutions needed to create a more equitable world.

At the National Lottery Community Fund, our first principle is: for everyone. As the largest funder of community activity, it has been disappointing to hear that some BAME-led organisations do not feel that the Fund is ‘for them’ and that our funding is not reaching everyone that it should. We have begun work to address this, both as a grant-maker and as an employer. Inequity of all forms can often remain unchallenged, difficult to root out and address; it harms people and society at large. We want equity, diversity and inclusion to be front and centre in all our decisions at the National Lottery Community Fund.

To achieve meaningful change we must continue to invest in a sustained long term way – not only through our funding, but also in resources and people, including, for example, our networks for BAME, disabled, and LGBTQ+ colleagues so that we listen and learn from their knowledge and experiences. As a funder, one of our strengths is in acting as a catalyst, using our funding and learning to help others do the same, but also learning from the great practice that we see elsewhere and listening to the many diverse voices in communities across the UK. I am proud of the work the Fund does on a daily basis, but we, like many, need to ask continuously “what more we can do?” We will make mistakes on this journey, but we can be bold and ambitious and take meaningful action to create the change we want to see.

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