Many refugees who come to the UK are qualified doctors, teachers or other professionals. But they are usually unable to practice here until they have gained an equivalent UK qualification, and the cost of re-accreditation can be prohibitively expensive.
Smallwood Trust’s Community Grant Partnerships programme is a strategic initiative to shift power for grant decisions to local community groups, most of which are led by and for women. Smallwood also provides funding, support and an operational toolkit to help the organisations to increase their impact.
Five Talents UK
Five Talents UK works with some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and South America. The charity combines a microfinance model, which helps communities save and borrow money, with longer-term training in financial literacy and business skills. The organisation realised that the communities needed to overcome two key challenges in order to become more self-reliant. Traditional support, through grants and credit lines, had made people more financially dependent, while a lack of financial literacy made loans inaccessible and highly risky.
Lloyd’s Bank Foundation for England & Wales
Through research and conversations with grantees, LBF identified several areas charities wanted assistance on and began developing partnerships with providers and consultancies. However, it first had to overcome a huge barrier. Its charities were used to winning grants in a competitive marketplace by not letting any weaknesses plant doubts in the minds of funders. Yet if LBF wanted to genuinely help charities grow stronger for the long term, they needed those charities to be honest about the areas they needed help with. It therefore structured the programme around a partnership of trust and gave the charities the chance to take the lead on selecting what support they required, totally separate from grant monitoring.
Family Fund, a charity which supports the families of disabled and seriously ill children set up Family Fund Business Services, to provide fulfilment services to local grant-givers. The value of the programme was immediately recognised. Central government involved the charity in a series of roadshows to showcase how essential support can be delivered in local communities, and since that point it has won contracts with the Welsh government and 27 local authorities. Its model has now been extended to housing associations and charities, and it has 12 charity customers.
East End Community Foundation
In 2013 10.6 per cent of people in the East End of London were unemployed, compared with a city-wide average of 8.9 per cent and a nationwide average of 7.9 per cent. Young unemployment and long-term unemployment were particularly high. The East End Community Foundation set about piloting an innovative model to bring together multiple donors over many years, to work together to address the problem. It began by focusing on a single iconic building: 20 Fenchurch Street, known as the Walkie-Talkie.
Winner, the Preston Road Women’s Centre Ltd
In Hull, an estimated 25,000 women and 19,000 children will experience domestic abuse each year. In the past, women fleeing such relationships were forced to choose between hostel accommodation and unsuitable move-on housing. The charity wanted to develop safe houses to meet the demand from its service users, but cuts in funding from its usual sources meant it had to think innovatively about how to develop these houses.
Cumbria Community Foundation
Cumbria Community Foundation’s Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme (NCIP) has delivered £1m in public sector savings and helped almost 30,000 vulnerable adults and older people in Cumbria to maintain their independence.