On Thursday 4th February 2021, we were excited to welcome members of the Greater Manchester Funders Forum BAME Communities Collaboration group to hear from Vanessa Thomas, Senior portfolio manager at Comic Relief.
Vanessa gave a short presentation on the learning from Comic Relief’s recent funding given to BAME-led VCSE organisations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She shared how the programme was developed and delivered in an inclusive way; it was led primarily by Black and Asian staff at Comic Relief, grass roots organisations were involved in the decision-making process, and the application process was designed to be as accessible as possible. Weekly FAQ sessions meant interested organisations had the opportunity to ask questions directly to the funder.
Learning from delivering the project will feed into future training sessions where Comic Relief will be addressing common shortfalls in applications to help organisations avoid these in future.
Vanessa also highlighted that Comic Relief have moved away from using the term ‘BAME’ due to the homogenising nature of the term, and instead use ‘people who have experienced racial inequality (PERI)’.
Following Vanessa’s presentation, there were questions and discussion within the group where attending funders had a chance to reflect on what they would take away from the meeting back to their own organisations.