Consortium and Wise Thoughts receive £41,850 in National Lottery funding to support LGBT+ communities re-imagine a future against backdrop of COVID-19

The partnership between Consortium and Wise Thoughts has received £41,850 in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for the project ‘Emerging with Pride’. The NLCF’s Emerging Futures Fund aims to build on and amplify the creativity and compassion seen in communities and across civil society during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, will enable Consortium of LGBT Voluntary and Community Organisations to work with Wise Thoughts and listen and share different experiences, narrate and tell their stories and to imagine, together, what is possible in the future, ‘Emerging with Pride’. The partnership will use ‘enquiries’ to invite new thinking and imagination, and support a place to experiment with community and people-led ideas.

‘Emerging with Pride’ will creatively gather and centre marginalised/intersectional LGBT+ narratives to shape community priorities as we emerge from the pandemic. Using video, audio and online conversations, the project will capture BAME LGBT+ people’s voices, concerns and calls for change. The re-telling of these stories will happen through 5 themes – Improved Well-being; Social Connectedness; Safe, Equal Communities; Improved Service Provision; Improved Policy-Making and Delivery. The films and other materials will bring the impact of the five outcome areas to life and help embed intersecting voices into LGBT+ service development and delivery. Findings will help create meaningful change, ensuring no one is left behind in the recovery and rebuild.

Paul Roberts, Consortium CEO, said: “We are extremely grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund for the generous grant. As a national specialist infrastructure and Membership organisation that is passionate about building a stronger LGBT+ third sector, Consortium is delighted to be working in partnership with Wise Thoughts, bringing creative expertise, experience of involving marginalised communities. ‘Emerging with Pride’ is a timely and important project that Consortium will proactively use to help shape Members’ collective response as we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic and re-imagine our sector.“

Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of Wise Thoughts and Creative lead on the project, added: “We are indeed so excited about the greater interest in the project that rightfully brings focus on diverse LGBT+ identities and stories from across the nation. It is a ‘double pride’ for me that these filmed stories will be published first as part of our online GFEST 2020 edition (running from 9 to 21 November) under #FuturePride #LGBTFutures #BLGBTLM hashtags, post movements like Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter.”

The partnership between Wise Thoughts and Consortium is one of 51 organisations across the UK to receive a grant of up to £50,000 through the Emerging Futures Fund. The funding, from the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will help harness the creativity of civil society and amplify the voices of communities through stories, narratives and public imagination projects.

Cassie Robinson, Senior Head of UK Funding at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to communities across the UK and The National Lottery Community Fund has focused on getting much-needed emergency support out to communities and the sector. But it has also demonstrated the very best of civil society, which has met this huge challenge with creativity, commitment and a desire for change. We are now seeing new ways of doing things that we might not have thought of before.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, these new grants will support communities to consider how they can face the immediate impact of COVID-19 but also look to the future. The activity conducted by these community groups and organisations will generate learning and insights, and create space and capacity in communities so that they are able to anticipate, imagine and shape the future.”

The Emerging Futures Fund is a key part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to enabling civil society to be fit for the future – supporting organisations and the voluntary sector to create opportunities to help local communities thrive.

Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times. By playing The National Lottery, you are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combating the impact of Covid-19 on local communities across the UK.

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