Charities encouraged to apply for Longleigh funding to help tackle hate crime in the Black Country

A new fund has been launched in response to the growing numbers of people affected by hate crime across the Black Country.

Charities, community and voluntary organisations across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton are being encouraged to apply for funding through the Longleigh Foundation Community Fund, which aims to support the delivery of projects and activities focussed on understanding, preventing and addressing discriminatory and hate-related behaviour and crime. 

Recent statistics released by the Home Office show an increase in hate crimes across the UK, with the number of crimes recorded by the police having more than doubled since 2012/13 (from 42,255 to 103,379 offences).

With this in mind, social housing provider Stonewater recently conducted an analysis using statistics from the Police Force and the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which identified a number of areas of the UK where hate crime is prevalent, including the West Midlands.

The Longleigh Foundation Community Fund has been established in response to these findings, and is being run in partnership between Stonewater and national grant making charity Longleigh Foundation. It will be delivered through The Heart of England Community Foundation, a grant giving charity which awards money to local voluntary and community groups across the West Midlands. 

The fund aims to support projects that better understand the causes, and propose recommended solutions to address these discriminatory and hate-related behaviours and crimes, on the grounds of age, gender reassignment, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political preference, sex or sexual orientation.

Available grants are for up to £5,000 per application, and can help towards a wide range of costs such as salaries, equipment or volunteer costs. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate that the funded activities will bring together a mix of people from local communities, with activities such as sports, education and learning events to help build cultural awareness and understanding.

Andy Peers, Chief Executive, Longleigh Foundation, said: “Discriminatory and hate-related behaviours and crimes have a hugely negative impact on communities, creating a climate of fear and leaving many individuals feeling marginalised, or even intimidated to go about their daily lives.

“Through this fund, we want to support activities that will help to understand and address the root causes and motivations of these crimes, to enable long-term transformational change in our local communities.”

Tina Costello, Chief Executive,Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “We’re really excited to launch this fund and work with the Longleigh Foundation. Responding to the needs of our communities is something we care deeply about so tackling the rise in hate crime felt like a great way to support the Black Country.”

Joanna Gooch, Director of Housing Strategy & Quality Assurance, Stonewater, adds:“Targeted geographical grants from the Longleigh Foundation is part of Stonewater’s long term strategy in identifying and tackling the root cause of localised hate crime incidents; exploring the potential synergies between hate crime, geographical population mix and income deprivation in the communities we serve.

“With the support of the Longleigh Foundation we look forward to proactively working with partner agencies to support hate crime victims and re-educate offenders and the wider community to prevent future incidents of hate crime in areas with the highest levels of reported hate crime.” To apply and for eligibility criteria please head to the project grants and research grants page.

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