The target group for this project are Black people of working age (up to 65), living in Lambeth, with one or more of the 32 LTCs identified by GSTC.

Systems change is about reforming or removing barriers that make it difficult for Black people to thrive. The majority of decision-makers in Lambeth do not come from Black backgrounds. They therefore often lack in-depth knowledge or lived experience of our communities to create policies and fund services that will help us to thrive. The problem we are trying to solve is complex. There are several factors that over time have created a system which continues to deliver poor employment outcomes for Black people with LTCs. Furthermore, Black communities are excluded from conversations about the types of services best suited to their specific needs. Therefore, when developing a solution that delivers long-term change for this group, we must consider how a project fits within this wider system and be clear about the barriers it seeks to remove or reduce in order to deliver better outcomes.

Systems change can be small or large-scale and Interventions can take place in various forms, including:

  • Influencing policy and practices to change the rules and ways of working that disadvantage Black people.
  • Building new relationships to ensure knowledge, expertise and resources are shared to avoid organisations working in silos.
  • Changing the way power and resources are shared between decision-makers and their staff, volunteers, and service users.
  • Shifting narratives and societal attitudes around how race and disability affect employment, as well as how our expectations of what people can, and
      cannot do, influences the outcomes we seek.

We thought it would be helpful to provide some examples of systems change that we have achieved in our work.

Influencing/changing practice: Many of our statutory partners previously did not collect equalities data, and when they did, staff did not always complete the fields correctly. This made it difficult for us to understand who they were reaching and whether there were differences in outcomes for different groups. We have encouraged services to improve the quality of the data they already collect so that they can make better decisions about where to focus their energy and resources to tackle the greatest need.

Influencing/changing policy: We are working with Lambeth Council to support their engagement with Black communities in the development of their Lambeth Made Safer strategy, which seeks to reduce the levels of violence that affect young people. We have influenced them to use an antiracist lens in developing and designing their interventions. This principle has been included in their policy and we will be working with them to design interventions that pay greater attention to structural racism.

Influencing service design and sharing power: Black communities told us that mental health services were not able to meet their needs. This makes it more difficult for people to access much-needed care services and discourages them from challenging the system when they receive poor treatment. Through working with the Living Well Network Alliance (LWNA) we are working with Black communities to co-design culturally appropriate peer support and advocacy services. The LWNA are changing the way they resource peer support and advocacy, putting power in the hands of Black communities to design and test a service tailored to their needs.

As you can see from the examples provided, there are many ways to create systems change. Interventions do not have to be complex, for them to be impactful. We seek to fund projects that contribute to changing the system to improve employment outcomes for Black people with LTCs. For a more detailed understanding of systems change, please refer to the FSG report the Water of Systems Change, which Black Thrive uses to inform our work.

We will fund projects up to £50,000 that run for up to 18 months. However, we recognise that some projects may require more, if you would like to apply for more money over a longer period, please contact us directly on For information on how much you can apply for as an individual or organisation, please see Table 1.  

Yes. We accept applications from individuals over the age of 18. We will not accept applications from individual applicants working with adults who are vulnerable or at risk.

Yes. We accept and strongly encourage applications for projects which include the lived experience of Black people with long-term conditions in their design. 

Yes. You can apply for the fund if you are currently receiving benefits. However, if your application is successful, you must inform your jobcentre plus advisor, as this is likely to affect your benefits payments. If you need advice about the impact that receiving grant funding could have on your benefits payments, please contact jobcentre plus.  

We will not reconsider applications for projects which we have previously considered and turned down unless we’ve explicitly invited you to re-submit your proposal. You may re-apply with a new project at any time. 

We can only accept one application from an individual, group or organisation at any one time – and you can only hold one grant under the fund at any one time. If you have submitted a successful application, received the funding and delivered the project, you can apply again with a new idea. However, we will prioritise projects from applicants whom we have not yet funded. 

We will be distributing project-based grants on a full-cost recovery basis. This means that funding is restricted to the aims and delivery of a specific and distinct piece of work. Full-cost recovery means securing funding for all of the costs involved in running the project.

The deadline to submit your application for round 1 is 11:59 pm on Wednesday 14th October 2020.

The Black Thrive Employment Project wants to understand what works and we need you to collect data that will help us to build the evidence base for the types of initiatives that enable Black people with long-term conditions to access employment and thrive in their roles. The type of data you collect will be tailored to your project and agreed with the Black Thrive team. We might ask you to keep a record of attendance, the number of people who find employment, stories from people who have accessed your project or initiative, responses to wellbeing questionnaires etc.  

In addition, grantees will typically produce reports at 6 months, 12 months and at the end of the project. Small grants under £10,000 may only require one final report. We also require all successful grantees to attend at least one Black Thrive Employment Working Group meeting to feedback their progress to the community. We will provide guidelines on the information we would like you to include in any reports. 

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be contacted via email. We aim to provide feedback to all applicants, however, depending on how many applications we receive this may not be possible. You may be explicitly invited to re-submit your proposal for a later funding round. For particularly strong, but unsuccessful applications, we may seek to connect you with individuals and other organisations who may be able to help you to develop your idea so that it has a higher chance of being successful in future funding rounds. 

Get in touch with and we can provide guidance on specific elements of the application

We will work hard to assess all applications as quickly as possible, in consultation with our Employment Working Group. We will contact everyone who applies to round 1 by 30th November with a decision. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a short interview with the Black Thrive team for us to find out more information about your idea and to help us to decide if your idea will be funded. 

The Black Thrive facilitation team will assess all applications for grant funding and draw up a long-list for the Employment Working Group. The working group will make the ultimate decision about which projects get funding based on their assessment of how well the application meets the essential and desirable criteria set out in essential and desirable criteria they have agreed. As a partner in this programme, Walcot Foundation is providing grantmaking administrative support but is not involved in the decision-making process.

Yes, but you will need to make clear how your project will specifically benefit Black people with long-term conditions in Lambeth and how you will be able to make or use local networks.

If you are an unincorporated organisation or group, you can consider applying for money as an individual. However, this is capped at £2,000. If you wish to apply for more than this, you will need to find a sponsor organisation that is willing to host you and the grant. Your host organisation must meet the Minimum Requirements (see Table 1) needed to access the amount of funding you require. 

Yes. We welcome applications from coalitions or partnerships of organisations. You will need to nominate a lead contact for the project and give their details on the application form. You must also provide information on all the partners involved in the ‘Organisation Background and Aims’  section of the application form.


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