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Community Diversity Grants awarded

£5,000 awarded in Community Diversity Grants

21 October 2022
[ Zoom ]
Members of the Residents Equality Forum smile to the camera

Almost £5,000 has been awarded to community organisations working with diverse communities in Wokingham Borough.

Wokingham Borough Council has worked closely with the area’s Residents Equality Forum (REF) to award these Community Diversity Grants.

All awarded grants went to groups which provide innovative and imaginative approaches to promoting inclusion, and to tackling inequality and discrimination locally.

These groups support women and young girls; LGBT+ community organisations; Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities; minority religious or faith groups; older or younger people and disabled people/communities.

Applications were assessed by a three-person panel from the REF.

'Tailored support provided by those who know best'

Emma Cantrell, chair of the Residents Equality Forum and chief executive officer of First Days Children’s Charity, said: “These grants showcase how the REF is already working with our communities to provide a meaningful impact on behalf of smaller parts of the community.

“All the organisations awarded proposed engaging and interesting initiatives. Most importantly they are tailored and meet the needs of the groups they know best. 

This will undoubtedly make a difference to these diverse groups across the borough."

Grant-winning programmes

Grants have been awarded to nine organisations:

  • Project Salama –Challenging hidden domestic abuse within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities
  • Wokingham Windrush Generations – Project empowering young people to create short films, interviewing diverse groups who have migrated to Wokingham since 1948
  • The Black Boy Joy Club – Establishing peer support networks with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and LGBTQI+ communities in Wokingham
  • Ciannasmile – To manage and deliver an eight-week programme to educate, empower and support 20 young people, aged 10 to 16 years of age, in our communities that want to make a positive difference for themselves and promote the inclusion of their peers who face life challenges and exclusion because of Sickle Cell Disease
  • Jeff Hinds - Annual celebration of Black History Month
  • Kaleidoscopic - Family freedom fund (for survivors of domestic abuse); provision of camping equipment that clients can use to take themselves and families away on holiday without the expense of equipment or storage and return when finished
  • Berkshire Against Racism - Awareness raising in schools
  • Lalita Mondkar - Establishing a multi-lingual service to help pregnant and new mothers with perinatal mental health issues
  • Bracknell Islamic Cultural Society - Services delivered in Wokingham including events and recreational activities to young people in their community

The initiative is part of the council’s wider Equality Plan 2021-25, where it has pledged to act on its commitments to equality, diversity and inclusion in the way it plans, delivers and shapes its services. 

'Small investments which will go a long way'

Cllr Rachel Bishop-Firth, executive member for equalities, inclusion and fighting poverty, said: “These grants provide a practical way for Wokingham Borough Council to support equality and inclusion projects across the Borough. 

“The REF has chosen groups with real, grassroots community links, which means that they understand the needs of these communities and know how to best support them.

“This funding will enable them to deliver projects which will make a real difference to the communities which they serve.

“Our finances are under severe pressure and so it is important to support community projects such as these where a small investment can go a long way to improve people’s lives.”

Find out more on the projects soon

In the months ahead the council will work in partnership with the REF to showcase the work these groups have done locally.

Find out more about the Residents’ Equality Forum on the council’s equalities pages

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