Who We’ve Funded
Abolition x Health is a project that will create a convening infrastructure for groups working at the juncture of health and abolition. They wish to collectively understand the current movement ecology; chart how different groups can support each other, and what resources are required. They will reflect on how abolitionist principles can be brought to clinical practice (emphasising that this is not limited to the NHS), and used to influence the public health community when addressing the harms of the prison-industrial complex.
Across Borders trains resettled refugees to prepare people for resettlement from Egypt, to the UK. They support people to access education, find work, access the benefits system, tell them where to find halal food, and suggest what to bring with them before they leave. Many of the people they support have experience of torture, discrimination and extreme poverty, so the project offers emotional support, and also links them to local community organisations.
ADHD Babes is an organisation established due to a lack of services and representation for Black women and non-binary people with ADHD. All members of their team have this background and are coming together to build community healing spaces, to share tools and learning. They want to redefine and understand ADHD, to tackle its difficulties and utilise its strengths. They are predominantly based online and have more recently started to run in-person sessions across Greater London.
Adira is a survivor-led mental health and wellbeing service that provides a judgement-free, survivor-led space for members of the African Caribbean community in Sheffield. They offer culturally appropriate support, co-designed with people across their communities, and proactively share best practice with statutory organisations to improve services more widely. This project operates a self-care hub where people can receive culturally appropriate haircare products, as there is a massive link between black hair and black mental health in the community.
Based in London but operating internationally, Ad’iyah began as a response to the lack of cultural competency for Muslim people in the mainstream NHS abortion space. The project is run for and by people with this lived experience, made out of love for Muslim communities and the desire to have a space to talk about experiences and centre healing in support circles. Ad’iyah uses a reproductive justice, anti-oppression framework which welcomes all ways of being Muslim. They will be producing resources and running creative spaces over the upcoming period.
Adoptee Futures is the first UK organisation to centre adoptees. The founders are Black and LGBTQ+ and share the lived experience of adoption trauma. They began the project because of a severe lack of mental health support for adoptees over the age of 21 and wish to reclaim the adoption narrative, reframe the world’s view on adoption, and help adoptees heal through their trauma. Adoptee Futures will be developing an online centre to provide a wide variety of resources for Black and LGBTQ+ adoptees, giving people access to in-depth information on adoption issues and mental health, platforming the lived experience of adoptees.
Awaken Genius provides alternative education. They address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), particularly in Black children and their families in socially and economically deprived areas of London. They are black-led and target the disproportionate exclusion of Black children, particularly Black Caribbean boys, fuelling the ‘school to prison’ pipeline. They will deliver a Community-Creative Art Family Wellbeing Workshop to develop and maintain pleasurable parent-child relationships; and a School Exclusion Workshop to help parents better understand their legal rights in educational law, and signpost parents to advocacy services.
Babylon Migrants Project was founded by a refugee actor and activist from Iran, who realized there was a real gap in social provision for asylum seekers, especially those living in hotels. Babylon Project holds workshops in theatre, art, storytelling, film-making, photography and social action for young people from refugee, asylum seeking and migrant backgrounds. The project is staffed by a team of volunteers, most of whom have this lived experience.
BARAC stands for black activists rising against cuts, and campaigns on behalf of black communities against racist policies, laws and attacks due to systemic and institutional racism which impacts on mental health, causes trauma and stress related illness. Led by black people, their campaigns are by and for the people. They played a key role campaigning on the Windrush scandal, regularly coordinate Humanitarian aid and solidarity missions, and support individuals and groups by providing tools and advice.
Be Active Recovery Group are a group of (long-term) mental health service users who meet weekly at the Ladywood Leisure Centre (LLC). The group is user-led and has 85% of members from the POC community in Inner City Birmingham, with a high percentage that are refugees. By staying in touch with their members through life crises, they support them using a person-centred/peer-mentor model and help them to access services that can assist recovery.
BMWHC want to make healing more accessible. Black Muslim women face racial prejudice and gendered islamophobia from the non-Muslim community, and they often face real racial prejudices from the wider non-Black Muslim community. This collective provides intimate healing circles and workshops, and will be developing a website, the home of a new directory. The directory will be a unique hub of experienced healers from both conventional and traditional practices, all of who identify as Black Muslim Women. This will provide an opportunity to seek healing in a place that can empathetically hold the cultural and spiritual heritage of Black Muslim Women whilst being familiar with the reality of their lived experience.
Bring British Families Home, hosted by the NGO Reprieve, is a collective of British families who have relatives unlawfully and indefinitely detained in North East Syria. The group was set up to enable its members to advocate for their loved ones, reduce isolation, enable its members to speak openly about their experiences, and create a safe space to support each other and fight for justice for their relatives and communities.
Collective Futurism is a new group in development for black and brown women, femmes and non-binary people in the UK. They will be providing workshops as an act of transformative justice, using art and embodiment practises such as creative conversation, singing, movement, writing and painting/collaging to explore liberation themes and decolonisation. Their way of working will be trauma informed, emphasising an awareness of the balance between self and collective care, nurturing a community who will nourish each other by sharing ideas, resting and dreaming together.
DiaspoRainbow is a collective of QTIBPOC (Queer Trans and Intersex Black and People of Colour) leaders of community support groups across the UK. Group spaces give a unique safety from both homophobia/transphobia and racism. Leading QTIBPOC groups and supporting individuals with complex experiences and needs often takes a huge emotional and mental toll on those who are in leadership or supportive roles. They will run a 2 day event to focus on supporting people around their mental health, whilst also allowing for strategic focus on ways the groups and leaders can help each other with community growth and capacity building.
The Eritrean Community Teesside was founded by Eritrean refugees who wanted to make sure the people who arrived after them had better support and access to services. They know what it is like to flee conflict and trauma, arriving after difficult journeys without knowing the language or customs, where the food is very different, and sadly where there are some experiences of racial harassment. The project advocates for people when needed, making sure there are safe places for refugees and people seeking asylum to meet and help each other through the difficult first years.
Families in Harmony advocate for Black families to unite Black kinship carers* and present the evidence as to where racial bias is present in assessment and care planning procedures. They embed and centre lived experience and trauma informed practice into all aspects of their work in their campaign to reduce the racial biases prejudicing Black kinship care families success outcomes. *kinship care is where children are unable to live with their birth parents so live permanently with relatives or family friends.
Foundation for Renewal and Fora (FFRAF), aims to address welfare needs of East African migrant communities and refugees to access better and timely services as they re-establish themselves in the new host community. FFRAF LGBT Users’ Forum programme is a collaborative enterprise mainly operating in North East London. It enables peer support volunteers to share their skills, talents and abilities with others who have a need and an appetite to gain richly from such sharing. LGBT clients from the East African communities will be empowered to self-advocate on minor issues and know their rights to legal entitlements commensurate with their status in the UK.
Golden Careers Champions (GCC), is a non-profit community group led by and for Black people and people of colour in Leicester. They established during the pandemic to provide African and Caribbean food provisions, PPE and other hygiene materials for the community. Most of their beneficiaries are refugees who have fled conflict and repressive regimes only to come here and experience more discrimination and prejudice. As well as providing food, they now provide support around mental health, do welfare checks, provide companionship, advice, signposting and befriending.
Holding hands North East C.I.C is a newly started organisation, based in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear. They provide peer support to the Black community who have experienced different kinds of mental health challenges – anxiety, depression, trauma, abuse, neglect, bereavement, ill health, gender based violence, relationship breakdown etc. Members have had tough times coping and recovering from mental health challenges. The group provides a safe space, shares their time and experiences with peers, leading to strength and thriving again.
Holding Her Space are a Black led, community based, non-profit Doula organisation providing emotional, mental, spiritual and educational support to Black women and families through conception, pregnancy, birth and parenthood. They bridge the gap in maternity care for Black women and families, providing culturally safe care and support as well as tackling isolation in their community. They will use the funding to offer a peer support group to Black pregnant and new mamas in Manchester called ‘Mamas Walk and Talk’.
Hummingbird Senior Citizens Club, based in London, is a project providing singing sessions to older adults from African Caribbean communities, many at various stages of dementia, and who have experienced loss or trauma, in particular as a result of the COVID Pandemic. The songs selected are familiar to the black community, giving a sense of identity and rapport, and invoking a joyful and uplifting experience. Hummingbird Senior Citizens Club will be expanding to incorporate storytelling through drama, poetry, and spoken word. They plan to give celebratory performances to honor the 75th anniversary of the Windrush arriving in Britain and Black History Month.
Lambeth Copwatch is an abolitionist, community police monitoring group based in South London. They operate within the wider Copwatch network working across London.
This project provides cultural cooking classes for people seeking asylum and with refugee status in Liverpool. Members are isolated, have experienced trauma, they miss food from home but don’t have the skills to cook. Classes progress from using recipes from course leaders’ country of origin Iran, to encouraging people to bring recipes from their countries for the group to learn. Meals are eaten together then food is taken home to share with family and friends. Group members will be supported to get a food hygiene certificate, and discussions are had around human rights. The project aims to build a community that can get bigger and stronger, supporting each other to celebrate who they are.
The Nejma Collective are a group of Muslim women volunteers working within an abolitionist, Islamic framework to tackle the systemic inequality and injustice of the prison system. They are motivated by Islam’s holistic approach to justice that contextualises harm, seeking accountability and reparation rather than simply caging people. Organisers have experience of working within the criminal justice system (CJS), supporting detained family members, and campaigning against counterterrorism laws. They support people in prison of all faiths and none, providing financial support, resources and a listening ear. Recently, they began trialling a penpal service.
Nergiz Kurdish Women’s Group are based in Nottingham. They are a non-profit Kurdish community organisation led by the community they support. The group provides multiple services for Kurdish women of different faiths, but the majority of them are Muslim. They runs wellbeing workshops, coffee mornings, drop-in sessions, physical activities, and Kurdish cultural events for refugees/asylum seekers and immigrant women and children. They also run events through Zoom and have worked with other Kurdish women from other areas of the UK who don’t have support and access to Kurdish communities of their own.
oestrogeneration are a London based collective magazine platform highlighting the voices of trans women and transfeminine people in the UK, formed in reaction to a transphobic media climate, with the hopes of empowering their point of view and shifting the narrative surrounding their identity. They will be running a dinner for trans women and transfeminine people of colour to come together, breathe, unwind and build community. This will be a space which prioritises them without centring the oppression that comes with their identities.
Organising Our Earth Selves are a group of practitioners working across nature, community-health and art & culture organising. They want to self-organise and will host a 3-5 day retreat to dream, research and produce an intentional space, where healing, nature-connection & ancestral medicine practices can be explored. They will centre their lived experiences as community-organisers, expanding their collective once they have more resources and capacity which they hope this retreat will be able to facilitate. They are called to create this space in response to the needs of their communities and the collective.
Oxford Community Action (OCA) is a grass-roots Black African/Caribbean and Global Majority led community organisation working in solidarity with a network of 16 local community organisations and associations. Collectively they organise a weekly Women’s Wellbeing Group; an Annual School Holiday Activities Programme; a weekly children’s cub Scouts Group; monthly Community Hikes in the countryside; and community participatory research projects. Their community-led activities are an effort of self-provision, self-determination and collective organising, the only route to address trauma and ill health brought about by a lifetime of racial oppression.
Peaks of Colour is a Peak District-based, nature-for-healing club. Founded on the Black/abolitionist feminist ethos’ of radical self-care and rest as resistance, they host monthly walks across classic Peak District locations, for Black + POC of all genders, abilities and needs. Their walks vary in difficulty and length, including regular wheelchair/pushchair accessible routes. They also host seasonal walkshops (creative and holistic workshops in nature) for self-identifying women and gender diverse POC.
Based in Tower Hamlets, working alongside BPOC young people between 15-25 years, RIOMT’s innovative methodology centres collective care, lived experience, agency and remedial action. Encompassing generative community care practices and responding to challenges in terms of mental health and wellbeing, they engage and connect with young people facing systemic inequality who are seeking out alternative spaces to process and reimagine the world around them within the backdrop of inadequate youth service and a distrust of institutions. Sessions are approached with an intersectional lens, the aim of which is to dismantle white supremacy and uplift the BPOC experience, collectively exploring the worlds they want to live in and how they take steps towards these visions.
The Rights Collective is a radical South Asian collective creating space for resistance, solidarity and harm reduction. Guided by abolitionist, anti-caste and Black feminist values, their work is motivated by the need for collective liberation from capitalist, white-supremacist, carceral norms to a world transformed by love and mutuality. The collective will be hosting a community support programme using Salaam Canada’s ‘Crescent Moon’ facilitator guide, intended to extend intra-community support to the families of LGBTQ+ Muslims.
The Windrush scandal impacted upon people of colour from the commonwealth, the majority of those from black African/Caribbean backgrounds. Many people that were effected lost everything, their jobs, their homes and some developed mental health issues. The Windrush Movement UK support families with battling for their status, both with the emotional impact, and with the admin involved when inputting compensation claims. They have also held engagement meetings with the Home Office, help with budgeting large payouts and supporting bereaved families. Locally they have assisted over 1000 people.
The Youth Excellence Academy provides a self defence programme for Black female Muslims who are survivors of violence in Kennington, South East London. The self-defence sessions are run by proud black, Muslim women who share the lived experience of violent crime. They will deliver self-defence sessions in a safe private space, joined by a qualified black therapist to hold a group and 1-2-1 sessions to process the past trauma. The programme will increase confidence to protect themselves in the future, whilst creating a community of women with shared lived experience.
Therapeutic Productions CIC is a community group formed by award winning artists who spent time in the forensic mental health system. They provide therapeutic arts based interventions for forensic mental health service users, one of the most stigmatised, misrepresented groups in our society. ‘Do you have what it takes’, is an artistic project based around real experiences of institutional racism, the trauma of institutionalisation, recovery from mental illness, recidivism from a criminal perspective, aspiration and self-determination. They will recruit former and current mental health patients from BAME communities to create their own performance.
Women’s Lounge is a BME user-led project set up to provide a networking platform for local women, mostly from migrant communities in the Thamesmead Bexley area of South-East London. They focus on issues concerning the rights and welfare of vulnerable women and their families in a culturally, socially and linguistically appropriate manner, breaking barriers through integrating women into the mainstream community. They facilitate and provide through partnership working various programmes including social and educational activities.
York Anti Racist Collective (YARC) began their journey providing safe space during the resurgence of BLM. Three years later and YARCs fierly grassroots community has co-created two work streams: Art Liberation events that elevate and showcase creatives of colour, as well as York’s first of it’s kind Mums of Colour group that encourages connection and battles isolation. YARC practices a trauma informed, decolonised approach to healing for communities in The North.
Yuvanis Foundation is grassroots organisation started in response to social and leisure needs of young people within the Asian community of Oldham, Greater Manchester. The Foundation has evolved to become a leading BAME led organisation that provides activities and services for the physical, mental and personal developmental needs of the community. It is led by local BAME people, who have either been volunteers or beneficiaries of its projects in the past. They will be running a bereavement peer support service for Asian, Muslim women.