BBC Children in Need has announced that the charity will match the £10m funding pledge recently made by Stormzy to tackle racial inequality in the UK.
Inspired by Stormzy’s commitment, BBC Children in Need will be matching his pledge of £10m over 10 years, and developing a dedicated new funding programme to support young Black talent to achieve their full potential, working in partnership with BBC Radio 1Xtra.
The charity will work with young people and BBC 1Xtra to develop a plan of action that will support individuals, organisations and groups in all areas of the UK and fund a range of activities that will enhance young Black lives. The programme will be developed in partnership with young people themselves who will be involved throughout the design and delivery process, from naming the new programme to reviewing grant applications and advising on the allocation of funding.
Funding will be available to support young social entrepreneurs in making a difference in their local communities, to develop young leaders and youth leadership, to enable access to education and learning, and to develop young people’s skills and confidence for work. Funding applications will be considered by a grant-making committee facilitated by BBC Children in Need, which will include young people and volunteers with direct experience of the Black British experience.
BBC Children in Need currently funds over 3,000 charities and projects across the UK supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK from a wide range of backgrounds, including a number of projects which focus on addressing the specific challenges faced by young Black people. This programme represents a significant further commitment from the charity to tackle these issues, remove barriers and create opportunities.
BBC Radio 1Xtra will be supporting the project throughout, working in partnership with BBC Children in Need to develop opportunities to tell the stories of the communities and individuals involved. BBC Pop music stations will also be looking for opportunities to celebrate the huge amount of talent coming through.
Stormzy comments: “Further to making my pledge last month, I’m happy to hear that the BBC have also taken up my plea for others to pledge. I’m also pleased to know of their commitment to allow young black people to decide where the money will be spent and I believe this decision is an imperative factor in supporting and strengthening the young black community. We continue to urge others to join us in pledging.”
Kenny Imafidon, Trustee of BBC Children in Need, says: “Over the past few weeks, some of the systematic and institutional racism that exists in the UK has been laid bare open for all to see. This racism is not new and many people from the black community, like myself, have had to endure the negative effects of it all.
“The anti-racism movement in the UK has truly gathered momentum to bring about sustainable and long-lasting change. Many people, groups, businesses, and brands have had to reflect, look inwards and ask themselves “what can I, or we do to change things and make a difference?”
“I can speak for the entire Board of Trustees and all the staff at BBC Children in Need when I say, we were really inspired by Stormzy’s pledge. I am excited about this new fund and I truly believe that this is the beginning of greater things to come, as we continue on our mission to support children and young people most in need.”
Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need, says: “As a charity, we exist to unlock and celebrate the talent in every child and young person; in order to do this, we need to support them to overcome any barriers that stand in their way, including racial injustice. Recent events have been a stark reminder that we all have a responsibility to act: BBC Children in Need is committed to playing our part in addressing these issues and creating a fairer society in which young people can thrive. I’m delighted that we will be working alongside Stormzy to make a real difference to young Black lives right across the UK.”
Lorna Clarke, Controller of BBC Popular Music, said: “We are fully behind this new venture and it really demonstrates the power of collaboration to provide a positive force within our communities. We are committed to telling authentic stories of young ‘hard to ignore’ lives across the country, on 1Xtra, and across the BBC’s Pop music stations.”
Further details about the new programme, including how to apply for funding, will be announced soon.