Two East Lancashire charities are among a group of 14 in the North West to have received grants of up to £75,000 from Lloyd Banks Foundation of England and Wales.

The grants are part of the foundation’s Racial Equity Programme and has awarded 39 small charities and Community Interest Companies (CIC) across England and Wales grants totalling £3m over three years.

Communities experiencing racial inequality have been significantly affected by the pandemic and cost of living crisis, and the funds will be used to support those who experience this inequality to overcome poverty and reach their potential.

Lancashire Telegraph: Scaitcliffe Community Centre in Accrington, where PEP Enterprise is basedScaitcliffe Community Centre in Accrington, where PEP Enterprise is based (Image: Google Maps)

One East Lancashire CIC to benefit is PEP Enterprise, based in Accrington and working across the rest of Hyndburn as well as Rossendale.

PEP Enterprise supports marginalised communities, including BAME, refugees, and asylum seekers.

They offer tailored programmes for education, employment, and empowerment, collaborating with local organisations.

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The other beneficiary in East Lancashire is Pendle Women’s Forum (PWF).

PWF works for the benefit of women and young people from disadvantaged people in the borough, aiming to improve life chances through education and training and promotion of equality and social inclusion.

Lancashire Telegraph: Women from Pendle Womens Forum, based in NelsonWomen from Pendle Womens Forum, based in Nelson (Image: Pendle Womens Forum website)

Preston Muslim Forum, which looks to improve the lives and wellbeing of BAME communities in Preston, also received a grant.

Alongside unrestricted funding, the foundation will work with charities and CICs to provide development support, helping to build and strengthen skills to help the charity meet and adapt to challenges, and secure funding elsewhere.

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André Clarke, director of charity development at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said: "Many small and local charities, run by people and communities experiencing racial injustices, see first-hand how systemic and institutional racism continues to damage lives.

“These charities play a vital role in reaching people confronting racial prejudices, yet they are underfunded and stretched thin as more and more people turn to them for food, shelter, warmth, and support to lead more fulfilling lives.

“To help the communities most deeply affected by crisis after crisis we need to invest in small frontline charities.”