Watch the webinar
- Veda Harrison, Director of A Fairer Future and Creative, Confident Communities
- Laura Lines, Funding Manager and Social Change Lead
- Annabel Durling, Funding Manager
- Luna Dizon, Communications Manager
Welcome and introduction to Esmée's new A Fairer Future strategy
Good morning, everyone. And welcome to what is our final webinar on Esmée's A Fairer Future priorities. And today we're going to be looking at Racial justice, Gender justice, and Migrant Justice. We're really pleased to have you here with us today. As I say, this is the final one that we've done. And I'd like to specifically welcome those that have not attended the previous ones and say hello again to those that have attended the previous webinars over the past two to three weeks.
So I'm Veda Harrison, and I'm the Director of A Fairer Future, and Creative, Confident Communities at Esmée. I'm here with my colleagues, Annabel and Laura, who are here to share more detail behind our priorities. My colleagues, Luna, Charlotte, Heather and Catherine are also on hand in the background to help with the Q&A, which will be coming up later on in the session.
For accessibility, we have Sammi and Gemma who will be providing BSL interpretation and interpreting what is spoken live. We're also asking all speakers to describe themselves and where they are. So for me, I'm a Black woman with cropped Afro hair, with glasses on, I've got a stripy top on. And I'm sitting in my loft and what is potentially for you incredibly grey day. But sunshine is coming tomorrow, which is great.
Just a few other practicalities. Before we start, you're going to hear a lot from me at the beginning to set the context as to why the changes have been made. I will promise I'll get you to Annabel and Laura very, very soon. Live captioning is available for this session. Luna has shared a link in the chat. If you'd like to see the captions in a separate window. You can also click the live transcript button at the bottom of this window so you can see them within zoom.
You can post any questions at any point in the Q&A facility, which you'll find at the bottom of your screen. And I'd encourage you to vote for questions submitted by another participant if you'd really like to see that one answered. You can do this by clicking on the thumbs up icon next to the question. As mentioned, we've also got Charlotte, Heather and Catherine typing responses to questions in the Q&A. We are expecting a lot of questions today. So we'll be prioritising ones that are upvoted. Please note, if you have a specific question that's related to your specific work, it might be better to email us. So or if you add it in the Q&A, we'll always get back to you afterwards.
Finally, we're recording the webinar today as we've done with the other two. And we'll share it along with the transcript on our website in due course.
Let's have a discussion about A Fairer Future. And firstly, I just wanted to say thank you for your patience in bearing with us. Over the past year, it was a difficult decision for us to close to applications. But we did feel it was necessary in order to make the strategy much clearer and more focused. As you'll be aware, in late 2020, we launched a five-year strategy focused on three strategic aims, one of which is A Fairer Future that we're talking about today. Creative, Confident Communities and Our Natural World. Before I move on, and go on to the rest of the introduction, I just wanted to explain a difference between what is a Creative, Confident Communities and A Fairer Future as we do sometimes get questions about this. And it's a good opportunity to explain the difference.
We know that all of you are located in a place as you develop and deliver your work. But the work that we're wanting to support under A Fairer Future is about empowering those, that has an impact beyond any given geographic community, even though the evidence of what your your work is related to maybe happening in the place that you are located in. But within Creative, Confident Communities, we want to support the work that is placed-based, and the community of that place that is developing and leading the work and driving the change that they want to see. So if you want to know more about Creative, Confident Communities, please take a look on our website.
Okay, so let's get back to A Fairer Future. As I say the three aims launched in 2020 build on the work Esmée has already been supporting in a number of sectors for many, many years, with the purpose of moving towards a more proactive approach to funding across the whole strategy. Ultimately, what we're looking to support is work that achieves long-term sustainable change and enabling organisations to work towards that change. However, given the scale of challenges we face, particularly in light of the ongoing impact of economic uncertainty, cost of living crisis that we're seeing at the moment, ongoing recovery from the pandemic, and importantly, the work that we are doing as an organisation and our journey on anti-racism, it became clear that A Fairer Future needed more work to clarify the outcomes that we are seeking, and understand the best ways that we can fund you to support and serve organisations that are working towards these outcomes.
So over the past year, we've been reviewing the A Fairer Future strategic aim, as you know, which identifies where we want to target our support. Our five priority areas for the next five years will be Children and young people's rights, Arts and creativity making change, and we already had the two webinars on those. And then today, we're going to be looking at our justice areas: race, gender, and migration. And these are the areas that, as a funder, we want to support organisations to develop new ideas, build solutions, work in partnership and identify and seek unusual collaborations, and help you build your expertise and practice, which collectively together enables long-term change.
While many of you will be focused on our priority areas, which you can see on the right of the slide on the screen, it's also worth noting the change in how we're articulating our impact goals. And there they are on the left-hand side of this slide on the screen, because these clearly signal what is important to us, and how we want to work with you to achieve the priorities and the outcomes. They're more focused around improving firstly: systems policy and practice; strengthening you and your organisation's capacity as you place the people that you serve at the forefront of advocating and delivering the change that they want and need in order to use your power to tackle systemic justice and inequity. And then finally: supporting you to work together and build movements to tackle systemic injustice and inequity. And in all of this, we're really keen to support organisations led by and for the people that they serve.
Another key aspect that I want to draw out is that A Fairer Future is designed to work across the intersections of these priorities. The strategy aims to take into account the different ways in which multiple systems of discrimination are embedded in individuals, communities and cultures and institutions, and how they will impact differently depending on each lived experience. We recognise that much of your work does not just sit within a single priority. Because we know that injustice and inequity doesn't work like that, it isn't siloed and it isn't compartmentalised.
Which makes our continued focus on diversity, equity and inclusion even more critical. We've been bringing more of a focus to this on how we identify, assess and fund. But we recognise that we and the organisations that we seek to support need to prioritise this within all of our practices.
As I finish, I want to highlight something else that is important to us as a funder. And that we know that you all on this webinar are too all too well aware of the sectors in which you're working and the issues that you're tackling. And challenging can take an emotional and spiritual toll on you. Because as a funder, we are aware, we're not just funding the organisation were finding the people within organisations and many of you, especially with the areas that we're talking about today, have been working hard over a long period of time to see the change in the sectors that you were working in. And we know that at the moment, there are lots of, you know, headwinds in terms of the sectors in which they're in, the conversations that are happening across society in some areas. We want to know how we can better support you and help you as you lead this work in the places and spaces. We want to continue to be a listening and learning funder.
We're developing our plans and we're excited about working with you and in service to you as we tackle structural injustice and inequity in our society. We also know, as I've mentioned, that the work we are seeking to support can often be positioned as being highly contentious. It can make conversations and use in terms of definition really challenging. By supporting this work, we're wanting to provide an open and compassionate space for call conversations, which we might not always get right and we don't necessarily have a solution for right now.
We are aware that there are many of you that have great work that you're seeking funding support for. And as in previous years, it's likely that we'll be oversubscribed and won't be able to meet all requests that we see. Our team are going to have to make some really tough decisions. But using the new strategy, and the funding guidance will help guide those decisions. Okay, so I'm now going to hand over to my colleague, Laura. Laura, can you begin with an audience with description for the audience, please?
How we make decisions
Sure morning, everyone. Hi, there. I'm a Laura Lines, Funding Manager and Lead for Social Change. I'm a short white woman with brown eyes, dark, wavy hair with a fringe, and I'm talking to you from my lounge, but I've blurred out the background so you can't actually see it.
So Esmée has, for a long time, dedicated funding towards tackling injustice. And under this strategy, we are focusing on three specific areas: racial, gender, and migrant. We have chosen these three based on input from the sector, our understanding of the current needs and opportunities, the existing connections we hold, and where we think we can make a difference. We recognise that these are complex and embedded societal issues that require long-term and thoughtful investment in order to make a sustained change. There's a lot to cover under these areas. So my colleagues Veda and Annabel will be stepping in to help me with the presentations.
Before we go into the specific outcomes, and each of the areas, I want to talk about how we make decisions in general. On the screen, you should see the across all the aims are three things we're looking for. I won't read those out in detail, you can kind of note them and they're in the guidance. And as Veda has already said, Esmée receives many more applications than we are able to support. So maybe your application is a really good fit to our strategy in terms of area of interest, and maybe hits all three of those points about creating change. But due to the volume of applications we receive, we have to make tough decisions between applications. We want to be clear about how we were making these, especially at a time when organisations are under pressure, and uncertainty with the ongoing with impact of COVID and the cost of living crisis.
When we're making decisions, we'll be looking at a number of things. The first is track record in creating change. What have been your successes in terms of impact on policy and practice? And what have you learned when things haven't worked? We know that being able to demonstrate this impact is hard. And at some organisations, particularly those led by racialised communities, and people with a disability, don't always have a seat at the table. So we want to talk to you about what your plans are to influence.
And if it's a new organisation, then we would want to understand the track record of the individuals involved.
Second thing we're looking at is connections. How are you connected across the sector to make this change? And how your work connects and complements the work of others, some of whom we may be funding. You can see a list of all the grants we make on our website or 360 Giving.
The third aspect is what's the broader context. Where are the opportunities and how can we capitalise on them? Who are your allies and collaborators? And what are the levers to influence change? We also want to understand what the barriers are, what do you foresee as being the problems and how you will mitigate or overcome them?
And lastly, we will consider what difference our support could make, what value could our funding and extra support add to this work?
Okay, so let's get into the actual areas now. So we're going to start with Racial justice. While we have previously funded work related to Racial justice, it has tended to be through other lenses and taking an issue-based approach predominantly related to disproportionality. You will see we've kept an outcome linked to this. However, we felt it was important to deepen and broaden our approach to Racial justice. To find more 'led by' organisations, focus on capacity-building the sector and leadership.
We expect the majority of grants we make under this priority to be to 'led by' organisations including Gypsy, Roma and Traveler. We will, by exception, support white-led organisations tackling racial injustice, but only when they can demonstrate that they are well-placed to do so and can have a significant impact.
Of white-led organisations, we will be asking how you're working with racialised communities, how you listen to their voices within the work and decision-making, and if and how you're building bigger alternative tables and using your profile and connections for others, rather than gatekeeping or being extractive. And also what your own organisation's approaches to diversity, equity inclusion.
I should also add here that we intend to support organisations led by racialised communities with grants and social investments across our entire portfolio, including Our Natural World and Creative, Confident Communities, Communities. It will not solely lie under the Racial justice priority. I'm going to pass back now to Veda to talk through the first few outcomes.
Brilliant. Thank you, Laura. And as Laura said, we recognise that in this particular priority, there's a lot for Esmée to learn and understand in how you fund racial justice well. So we're exploring where our contribution can have the biggest impact as we continue to build our understanding of some of the myriad of issues facing racialised communities. This particular outcome builds on existing work or will actually be new to Esmée. And that's what makes it really exciting for us.
To help us do this, we will be prioritising work, as we said, that is led by communities experiencing racial inequity. And what we mean by this is that 75% of the board or management committee, and 50% of senior staff are people with experience of racial inequity.
So let's get into this first outcome, you can see on the screen, the detail that sits behind this, I'm not going to go through this bullet by bullet. But just to say that initially, as it says, here, we'll be seeking to work with a number of partner organisations who can lead this work. And you can see from the slide, the type of work that we're looking for, but I think it's really important at this stage to explain some of the key phrases that we use in relation to this particular outcome that you can see on the left.
And those two terms are financially resilient, and socially transformative. So what do we mean by those? What we mean by financially resilient is, for an organisation, that there is an increase in organisational capacity and bandwidth, both for the organisation and the individuals working in the organisation, which then enables them to develop long-term sustainability. That will include access to sustainable finance options, including social investment, and what that will then, in turn, mean becoming less reliant on short-term grant funding. And also depending on the kind of work that you're doing in this space, able to generate sources of income. And if you take those two together, what we are aiming to see is that it leads to organisational strength and the ability to withstand shocks in disruptions. And that includes external shocks within the external environment, but also changes in shocks within the internal environment of an organisation. So that's financially resilient.
And what do we mean by socially transformative? Here, we are looking at organisations that are then able to lead and shape the policy agenda within their respective sector, for the benefit of others - for the benefit of all essentially. Their role as agitators enables the system within which they operate to be reshaped, leading to improved outcomes, again, for the broadest number of people. But also importantly, that their profile, voice and position to challenge the status quo enables them to establish a legacy that goes beyond how the organisation is defined by race and ethnicity.
Taken together, this, we feel, is some really exciting work that we're really wanting to get behind. And you can see on the right-hand side of the screen, a number of case studies that kind of explain in detail and set out in detail what we're looking for in this area.
I'm going to talk about the first one, and this particular case study is also on our website. So this one is Comic Relief's Global Majority Fund, which Esmée has been a part. So a key feature of this fund has been the collaborative effort which is aligned to what we mean by financial resilience, and socially transformative, which is about infrastructure support, supporting grassroots organisations and led by and for communities experiencing racial inequity, to address the specific needs of those communities that they in turn support.
A feature of this Fund is the work with what Comic Relief identified as intermediary technical partners, a bit of a mouthful there, but great system of working. And these are respected organisations, again, led by and for communities that were able to distribute funding to smaller specialist grassroots organisations. And in the initial case, it was about leading the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts within those communities.
What's interesting is because of this Fund, many of the organisations who receive grants would not be able to come to us directly because of our governance guidelines in terms of how Esmée is actually set up. And the Fund is actually going to have been through a number of phases and it's now entering a new phase. And that's aimed at strengthening the initial cohort of intermediary technical partners, and supporting them for long-term organisational development aspirations, and strengthening their grant-making and management practice.
What's really interesting is they set up a paid external fund reference group, and this is comprised of people with lived experience of racial injustice, and where they're able to shape the design of the Fund. As I say, you can read more about this particular case study on our website. So that's just one example that is working across the UK and working at scale and keen to operate at a regional level, there'll be more opportunities to explore.
Okay, so let's get to our second outcome under racial justice. And the second one is racial inequity in leadership is challenged and changed. Again here, as part of that review of A Fairer Future, we wanted to be more clear and more specific. Again, you can see the areas that we're keen to support, and I'll be speaking about a specific case study to explain this as well. Here we're keen to explore and support changes in leadership structures and identities, and tackle barriers to leadership within organisations and access to other organisations as well, for people experiencing racial inequity.
Now, it's really important to state here that we're not just talking about access to CEO level what's known as the C-Suite, because we recognise in the work that a lot of you do, is leadership exists at every different level, within an organisation and within a sector, also within a community. And it's also important to point out that we're not just talking about leadership programmes, either. It's how new and diverse leaders are being equipped to shape and change the world around them.
And here, we're also interested in how white-led organisations and leaders are advocating for change in leadership equity, actively supporting people and organisations from racialised communities, who, for very, very long had done the heavy lifting in this space. Because when everybody leads in this space, everybody benefits.
And so an example of this work really exciting work and organisation that I had the pleasure of actually visiting this year, where they were new to Esmée. And that organisation is GirlDreamer. They're based in the West Midlands, and they're led by two really impressive young women of colour. The work of GirlDreamer is to develop the social, personal and professional skills of young women of colour, who become leaders of social change. Amna and Kiran, who lead the organisation have come up with a really exciting way of developing this. You can find more about their work on their own website. What really impressed us is these two young women who fully embodied their mission and values to raise up ambitious future leaders that reflected the community that shaped them. And they had the ambition to reshape the spaces in which they inhabit and they will continue to inhabit.
So that's the first two outcomes under Racial justice. I'm going to hand back to Laura, who's going to talk about our third outcome under this particular priority. Thanks very much.
Thanks, Veda. So yes, the final outcome: disproportionate harm caused by racial injustice in systems, policy and practice is reduced. This builds on work we've funded for some time as previously mentioned, and the emphasis is really on system change and can include work to change culture, challenging and shaping attitudes and norms that allow harmful systems to remain in place. It might be related to identifying hidden issues or driving for change or known and ignored issues within our systems. Under this outcome, we're really looking for organisations who are connected to the communities they serve and understand the issues they face. We will want to know what your routes to power and influence are, and that you have the expertise and connections to take others on the journey with you.
To give you a couple of examples of work we're funding in this area - the first is Runnymede Trust, a leading UK race equality think tank providing research and evidence in order to influence policymakers and the wider public. Now, unlike some think tanks Runnymede has strong connections with grassroots organisations and communities which allow them credibility with policymakers and communities alike. They played a prominent role in exposing the Windrush scandal and highlighting the disproportionate impact of COVID on people experiencing racial inequity.
The second example is the Anthony Walker Foundation based in Liverpool, founded in response to the racially motivated murder of Anthony Walker in 2005. It works mainly with Black and ethnic minority communities, but also serves Jewish and Christian and Irish Gypsy Traveler communities. It supports victims of racism and faith-based hate crimes and delivers progress with young people in school and communities which promote anti-racism, anti-hate and respect for all. Their influencing work includes partnerships at local, regional and national levels across the public, private and third sectors. And what's interesting about this work, is it takes a really long-term structural institutional, behavioural and cultural change approach. That's the end of the Racial justice part of the presentation.
We're going to move on to Gender justice now and I'd like to introduce Annabel and hand over to her to cover the first three outcomes under Gender.
Thanks, Laura. Thank you. So I am a white woman in my 40s with long brown hair, a dark blue jumper today and I'm sitting in a room at home with lots of clutter in the background. So hence the blurring that I've put on. So I'm going to be talking to the Gender justice priority.
As I go through, you may feel that your work fits into more than one of these long-term outcomes within Gender justice. Again, don't worry too much about picking the wrong one, if you go through and apply. We do expect there to be read across for some applicants. So although we haven't had a funding priority, explicitly named as Gender justice before, we do have a long history of funding work which work which seeks to tackle injustice on the basis of gender. And a lot of this has been around tackling violence against women and girls. But we are equally proud of work we have supported around the wider inequalities that women and girls face, around trans and non-binary rights, and around women with complex needs and women in the criminal justice system. So I'll go through the first of the three long-term outcomes on gender justice, and share an example of the work we have funded in this area, and key characteristics that make it a good fit with our strategy. And Laura will then speak about the last one on criminal justice.
Some points to mention before I start. So with all of this work, we want you to tell us about the needs of the people you are working with. We want to see how you see the issues you're tackling, and how the people you are working with experienced them. You are the experts. And we really want to understand your perspective. Again, in all of this work, we expect to see a strong element of community-led or co-produced work, or work to build the leadership of people with lived experience. We need to understand how lived experience is driving and shaping your work. I think it is helpful to be really clear from the outset that, across all of our funding, it's really difficult for us to fund a lot of service delivery on the ground. This does not mean that we don't see it as valuable and indeed, know it's underfunded. The need is so huge, in fact that we could not hope to get anywhere near meeting all of it even with the whole of Esmée's budget.
We are focusing instead on supporting work, which is pushing for systemic change, which can have an impact for a really wide range of people for the longer-term and indeed, push for better statutory resourcing of services through influencing work. Having said that we have previously funded and we'll continue to consider work from service providers which are using their work on the ground, and the deep connections to their users, to inform what needs to change. And to use this in their influencing advocacy and campaigning work. We just really need to understand what you think the levers of change will be, what you think will unlock the change and how you're going to get there.
If you're testing out new approaches, or indeed testing how interventions work for underserved groups, we need to understand how it builds on other work in the field. Why you are best place to do it and what your ambition is for the work and how you or others could take it to scale. We're also really keen to understand how you're placed in the sector, who you work with, how this moves the work forward and what makes you well placed to share the learning from your work to create that wider impact that we're looking for.
Last but definitely not least, we are hearing more and more from partners in the sector about the importance of equitable power in partnerships. This is really important. If you're working in partnerships, particularly if there's large disparities in the size profile or connections of partners. Please do tell us how you have worked to ensure equity between the partners and thought carefully about the parity of voice, power and resources.
Let's go on to the long-term outcomes. The first one: gender-based violence is reduced through the delivery of preventative work. We're aware that partners working within this sector continue to highlight the gaps and problematic systems, which do not adequately prevent or interrupt abuse, and which don't adequately protect all women no matter their background. This could mean preventing any harm. But we expect many people working in this field are working to interrupt abuse and violence and prevent further harm. We know that gender-based violence is not inevitable. We think there is value in funding a combination of approaches including work to develop and test prevention work, to influence policy, to change practice on the ground, and to address wider societal narratives and to support work across coalitions alliances or movements for change.
We hope to support a further mainstreaming of preventative approaches across all of these areas. We take a wider definition of gender-based violence. So please do tell us about the violence and abuse you are working to tackle and how you're working to prevent it or interrupt it.
An example in this area could be Tender. They use creative work with young people to help to identify what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like, and identify problematic behaviour in themselves or others. It's the young people work together to challenge the narrative and attitudes which support abuse, but also get to practice at a safe distance what they would do if they found themselves or a friend in these situations. This is really high-quality early intervention work, tackling harmful societal norms about abuse. It's powerfully co-created and driven by the young people themselves. And peer dissemination is a key part of the work. Tender also test out how you involve the wider community in this work so that the young people are supported in their journeys and in their leadership, and also how you take this work to scale. Tender have also worked hard to test and develop how you tailor the work for different groups with additional needs.
Another example in this area could be Circle SE. This is the largest provider of circles of support and accountability in the UK. And this is an intervention that uses community volunteers to place a circle of support around perpetrators of sexual abuse once they are back in the community. This is to support and to hold them accountable in desisting from perpetration. Studies have shown this model drastically reduces reoffending for this group. Now they operate across the whole of the South East of England and they also take a lead role in developing new practice and innovative work, particularly how you support victims non-offending parents and families in the aftermath of abuse. They work with the circles umbrella body Circles UK to share learning, promote best practice and support other services to meet high quality standards. Their work takes a preventative approach to interacting sexual violence and abuse and developing new work to meet identified gaps and challenges.
Let's go on to trans and non-binary people's rights are recognised and protected. Now our priorities in this area have been informed by working with sector partners who work to support trans and non-binary people to access support but also to shift the policy landscape and the wider societal narratives. Alongside more equitable access to services and safety, we want to support a more inclusive narrative. We know that some of the conversations in this space are difficult, but seek to open up spaces for a more conscious, compassionate, and empathetic conversation. We know that organisations using stories and building human empathy can be a powerful tool for change. We also know that coalitions and alliances can be really important in this space, and can ensure that a wide range of people are heard, especially diverse voices and those with less capacity, less experience or less confidence to undertake influencing work by themselves.
An example of this might be Gendered Intelligence. This is a trans-led organisation working to ensure that trans non-binary, gender diverse and gender questioning people can live healthy, safe and fulfilled lives. They provide direct support services to professionals and work on public engagement around issues affecting trans people. So they work in a number of levels from, you know, grassroots work all the way up to sort of far reaching advocacy work. They play a leading role and a critical role in creating space for these important conversations we're talking about and supporting wider learning on the issues faced by these groups. Trans people themselves lead the work so that the legislation, policy and practice better reflect the needs of these communities.
If we can go on to policy practice, and the law better meets the needs of women experiencing multiple challenges and discrimination. So firstly, what do we mean by multiple challenges and discrimination? So to quote Kimberle Crenshaw, we know that women have intersecting social identities which interlock so that systems of oppression and discrimination affect women and girls in different ways. We also know that as well as different identities, women have different life experiences, which impacts on their outcomes and further trajectories through life. We know that women who have experienced multiple challenges may have histories of abuse or violence, be care-experienced or have unresolved trauma. Deep trauma can lead to poor mental health, coping mechanisms around substance misuse and being trapped in cycles of poverty, abuse, survival, sex work, homelessness and prison. We know that women from Black and minoritised communities, women who have disabilities, women who are LGBTQ, have undertaken migration journeys or have caring responsibilities can experience further intersecting discrimination and marginalisation.
Multiple challenges and discrimination can interweave, combine and overlap to trap women in situations of injustice, inequity and powerlessness. Funding in this space over the years has made it really clear to us that many of the issues faced by all women are felt in different ways by the most marginalised groups, especially when their challenges overlap. And special attention is needed to unlock change for these groups.
We know that the systems and indeed parts of the mainstream charity sector often don't adequately use a gender lens to understand and mitigate the impact on women's lives. And layers of identity and experience of trauma can exacerbate this further. So the focus of this long-term outcome is really to recognise and support the women who are the most marginalised in society and explore how we can improve their experiences and outcomes.
We can still fund ambitious work to address issues faced by a wider group of women and girls through this outcome, but we really need to understand how you will recognise the particular needs of women experiencing discrimination and/or multiple challenges and how you are centering them in your analysis and strategies.
An example in this space might be Agenda. This is an alliance of 110 members, all coming together to fight focus on the most marginalised women and campaigning together for change to systems and services. It works to ensure that women and girls at risk of abuse, poverty, poor mental health, addiction, homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system, get the support and protection they need. Agenda was a real leader in this work was brought together diverse voices across different sectors, targeting both decision-makers, but also building that public understanding of multiple disadvantage. It adds value to the work of its members and amplifies their work, especially for those who, again, aren't able to implement on their own. They make the case for the interconnectedness of the challenges women face, and help to build a consensus for members about what is needed to improve women's outcomes.
Another example would be Imkaan. This is the umbrella body for organisations addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls in the UK. They provide strategic advocacy for their sector, and a representative voice for their members when talking to decision-makers. They take a lead in building capacity building funding routes for and supporting their sector for quality standards work. So again, Imkaan plays a really significant leadership role in increasing the understanding of the specific needs of Black and minoritised women who are experiencing abuse, and works to implement policy and legislation affecting these groups. Many of its members are small, led by and for organisations who are often underfunded and often overstretched. So to have access to a supportive umbrella body who understands them, their needs, and their users needs is vital. Clearly, for Imkaan, there'll be read across to the long-term outcomes on gender-based violence as well. And of course, across Racial justice priorities as well.
So that's it from me, I'll now hand back to Laura who will talk through our fourth long-term outcome on women in the criminal justice system.
Thanks Annabel. So you may notice that this outcome is more specific than the others, although very much overlaps and intersects with them. While women make up a small percentage of the overall prison population, they are forced into a system designed for men and are often survivors of abuse and can have complex needs. The impacts of imprisoning women are felt acutely by their families, and therefore links into our interest in children and young people too.
Through working in collaboration with others in the sector and other funders, we have developed connections with policymakers. Although, frustratingly, they keep changing at the moment, I'm sure others are having similar challenges. But we see this as an important area where we can affect change alongside others. As with other outcomes, we recognise the importance of service delivery. However, our funding will focus on work that leads to system and culture change through influence in policy and practice, building the evidence in case for supporting women and girls in the community and holding the government to account. The two examples I wanted to talk about are both service providers but also undertake an important campaign and influencing role. The service delivery provides them with the evidence and experience to give them the credibility in shaping policy.
So the first one is Hibiscus who support and empower Black, minority ethnic and refugee women. They work at the intersection of the criminal justice and immigration systems, providing support to women in prison, the community and immigration detention. The reports often referenced by policymakers shone a light on hidden issues, including the disparity in outcomes in more punitive responses for Black migrant women. Hibiscus' diversity of staff means it can be culturally responsive, and it takes a gender and trauma informed approach. It has links to policymakers and practitioners in the various settings it works and through government working groups working groups and roundtables. Hibiscus works in collaboration with others, and has prioritised empowering women with lived experience to become leaders and have a voice in shaping the system they're impacted by.
Second example is Women in Prison, which provides direct support for women and also campaigns to reduce the prison population and ensure that women receive the specialist support they need. It has good connections with policymakers and has been a key player, alongside others, reversing the trend that saw government funding going to large generalist providers instead of specialist women's services. Women in Prison is prioritised and invested in ensuring women with lived experience are on its Board and within the workforce, that they are shaping the work, and hold positions of power within the organisation.
That's the end of Gender justice. So we will move on to the last of our areas, which is Migrant justice.
We've been a longtime supporter of work around migration, I know that is work that's often challenging and can be unpopular. There are few large funders operating in this space, although there are some very small and expert ones. As with many of the areas we fund across, the political discourse around migration is increasingly hostile - the Nationality Borders Bill and Rwanda scheme and the increasing policing and sentencing powers will have significant impact for those in the immigration system. We've chosen not to specify particular parts of the system, but rather be led by organisations, the experts as to where you see the need and where the opportunities are to influence change.
We've also heard from the sector that you're exhausted from government consultation that hasn't responded to the compelling evidence and testimonies provided and recognise that organisations want capacity and space to create better systems rather than battling more damaging measures. We expect to continue funding work that holds the government to account through advocacy, campaigning and strategic litigation.
But we also want to provide capacity to develop and design alternative solutions and approaches. In making decisions, we'll be asking what assumptions and evidence the work is based on, and where you see the opportunities and traction for change. And since influencing the national policy is increasingly difficult, we are interested to hear what's the regional or local practices, approaches and narratives that can be shared and implemented more widely.
We haven't prepared specific guidance for each outcome as they are interconnected and the principles apply across all three. We will be prioritising strategic work that has a wider impact beyond an individual and shifts the narrative to create a more welcoming context in which better policies can be progressed.
I just want to talk through three examples of work linked to this these areas of interest. The first is Right to Remain which is a migrant-led group supporting groups in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds to effect change locally. They develop resources, deliver community training and support community organising, and building a movement for change with its These Walls Must Fall project. Its work has influenced local practice and led to 10 local councils passing motions to endorse the campaign calling for an end to detention.
The second example is Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants also known as JCWI. A national organisation which provides direct support, trains legal professionals to improve quality of legal advice, and has undertaken research and uses strategic litigation to influence policy, including the government's Right to Rent scheme and minimum requirement for partners or spouses.
The final case study I wanted to share is Migration Exchange, a funded collaboration, an example of how we are working more strategically with the sector. It convenes funders alongside partners delivering work to build an understanding of policy and its impact, share learning and good practice, and undertake research to identify and fill gaps in the sector. For example, it commissioned the delivery of a leadership programme with a focus on resilience and development for refugee migrant leaders. And at the start of COVID, due to the place it holds in the sector, Migration Exchange was able to quickly convene funders and delivery organisations to fundraise over £10 million for the COVID Respond and Adapt programme, led by partners Refugee Action and NACCOM (The No Accommodation Network). Work with Migration Exchange means we are better connected and able to direct our funding more effectively, timely, and in collaboration with others.
So you'll be pleased that brings us to the end of the presentations. We've gone through a lot there. Thank you very much for listening, Luna is going to join us now to start the Q&A.
Q&A - questions are in bold
Hi, everyone, I'm Luna, I'm the Comms Manager in Esmée. I've got long black hair, which I've put in a bun today. And I'm originally from Southeast Asia. And I am in our office in Kings Cross, which is very cold. So I've got my scarf on.
And so we'll get started with the questions and the team have been brilliant, behind the scenes, answering lots of your questions already. If you if you want to see them, you can just click on the answered tab in the Q&A facility. And I will go to a couple of them though just to get answers from the panel as well.
So one question, what are the key differences between the old strategy and the new strategy in A Fairer Future?
I'll take that one. And I think the key features of the old strategy had a number of very, very broad impact goals and priorities, which were tackling injustice and acting early on the root causes. Now just to say we haven't abandoned those as principles in terms of how we want to fund and the work that we're looking to support because they are effectively embedded in the new impact goals and the new priorities. Because a lot of the work that you will be doing in the work that Laura and Annabel talked about within the various priorities is essentially about tackling injustice. That's where, where the work sits. And we do know that by identifying upstream risks and issues enable you as organisations to actually stem the flow of the problems that then become critical further down the line.
So the priorities are more focused, because we feel that in order for us, as a funder, to be clear about what we're supporting, and who we're supporting and responding to the needs of organisations that work in various different sectors. It also enables you as organisations, you're already working in a lot of networks and actually the power of coming together and we can see those collaborations coming together, that enables us to support the work of more people that are working on this specific issue as well. So while the wording is very, very different, the principles that are embedded within the 2020 strategy still do exist.
Thank you. And also, we've got a question from Rosemary, who'd like to hear a little bit more about what we mean by the criteria around lived experience leadership and eligibility.
Well, across all of our priority areas, when we talk about lived experience, what we're actually essentially talking about is that the communities and the individuals that are at the heart of the work, their ability to share in safe spaces, their narratives, which then go on to inform the work that you're doing. We have been working, again, in these spaces for a number of years at Esmée. And it's important for us, as a funder, to have a better understanding of the different intersecting issues that individuals and communities and the organisations that serve those communities are able to actually bring to the fore. Annabel talked a little bit in terms - quite a lot, actually, in terms - of the gender work, that a lot of the work that informs a lot of work around violence against women and girls, the organisations leading that work are better informed, and are better focused, and the outcomes can be more targeted if lived experience and the understanding of what are the different issues that affect individuals, communities, and how they can share their issues, they can be better informed and better tackled, if that lived experience is at the heart of the work. And we're looking at different ways in which we can support that, you know, organisations to bring that lived experience to the fore, but also, working with other funders, to help us better understand how we do that work well, and as well as a funder.
Can I just add a little something to that? Well, I just think in terms of when we're assessing these questions, I think we're also asking about some situation where people may not be able to take on paid employment or positions of power for various reasons. We're looking at how the organisations are supporting people with lived experience to still participate and compensate for their kind of expertise. We'll be digging into those questions as part of the assessment as well.
Thanks, both. And so question from Katie: for Gender justice, is it fair to say that Esmée are looking to fund organisations working, or with potential to work at a regional or national level in order to achieve the wider impact required? Is funding only available to fund work focusing on system change or influencing work, as opposed to supporting any direct service delivery? In, for example, expansion of services to a new geographical area? Sorry, there's quite a long question, I'll get to the third part of it, does Esmée prefer organisations who solely deliver work that is eligible for Esmée support, or can organisations apply where, for example, Gender justice represents 15% of the organisation's work and the rest of the charity's work would fall outside of Esmée new priorities?
Should I make an attempt, maybe remind me of the bits I forget. We would support the regional work, we would support national work, I think a lot of, I would expect a lot of the applicants and the grants that we make in this area will be for fairly wide ranging, fairly ambitious work where people are working at a strategic level, or have the ability to share new models on a really wide range so that not only the people that they have worked with are benefiting but a lot more people are learning from what has been piloted, or what has been changed so that the impact can be felt on a really wide level.
I think there may be exceptions to that, but I think we would expect most of it, as I said in the presentation, we can't fund a lot, even though it's really high quality, we can't fund a lot of work that's happening on the ground without that additional element of people's work. It often happens that the organisations that we fund are those people who are who are running service delivery who have really close connections to the people they work with. And they've got that really deep expertise because of that and they can see the patterns emerging. They can see what the problems are in the systems and the policy in the practice. So they are best-placed in a lot of occasions to tell us what needs to change, to make that change happen, and to talk to decision-makers at all levels about what needs to change. In terms of organisations where this is a small part of their work. Again, I think I would, we wouldn't rule them out. And we have funded organisations in the past which are more generalist organisations. But I would say again, I would expect most of the organisations to be led by and for women's organisations. But having said that, if they are sort of more, probably larger, more mainstream organisations can make the case that they are well-placed to do a piece of work for a very particular reason, but the position they have in the sector, or the connections they already have, or what they've already done that this is going to build on, then those are the sorts of questions we'll be asking about why they're best-place to do it. Who they're going to work with, crucially, and how they're going to share the work afterwards to, again, gain that sort of wider impact. Were there other bits that I've missed, or other colleagues want to come in?
No, but I think because we have had a few questions on how we view core and unrestricted funding versus project funding. I think there's something similar there in terms of you know, where an organisation's work may not fit all of our, you know, maybe there'll be other things that they do.
Yes, I think our preference would normally be to do core and unrestricted because we know how valuable that is to organisations. But if a larger, mainstream organisation is a small part of their work would meet our Gender justice priorities, we may sort of consider project funding for that. We also, at the beginning of every grant, we identify three key outcomes that the organisation is going to work to. So that is a way of really focusing down on where our funding is going for that organisation, and what they're hoping to achieve. And they will be obviously very much tied to Gender justice funding priorities. So that's another way that we can think about how the funding goes through to funding the specific impact that that we want to achieve as a funder. Others want to chip in?
Right, that sounds good. And we just had a follow up comment on the question around lived experience leadership. Tara asks what our view is on supporting organisations that aren't yet there on this, but are committed to working towards it.
We will be open to having that conversation to understand where you where you are, where you've been, and where you plan to get to, and what support you kind of need to achieve that. So I think we're open to those conversations. We know that lots of people are on different journeys with this. And there's different challenges along the way. So yeah, we've talked through that as part of the assessment.
Thank you. Okay. Question from Robin: could you please clarify the preventative work for Gender justice? Our charity supports women who were experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, and we're looking for funding to reach those in the community who face additional barriers to support. Our project would be preventative in the sense that it empowers them to make informed choices, and stop them from returning to their abuser or being re-abused.
So I think, in theory, we're open to a wide range of people's definition of preventative work. I think the difficulty might be with that one about scale. So I think it's important that we sort of understand what the gaps are. But if it's one organisation working on the ground in one area, and there's a very particular gap in that area, that might not be something that we can support, because there are a lot of other areas that can make the same case. And we could probably spend, you know, a great deal of our budget on sort of making sure those local gaps are filled. I think and I suppose the exception to that would be if the organisation was doing a piece of work, where they were trying something in a new way that hasn't been tested. So reaching different communities in a new way. And where there is potential for learning for others, so there is potential for the organisation or within networks that the organisation has to say that this is a gap that we identified. This is how we've tried to address it. And this is how others can do the same. And so again, it's having that really wide range of impact. That might be where we could fund in that in that sort of instance.
Thank you. A question are around law and improving policy: will Esmée fund work that doesn't necessarily aim to improve policy but safeguard it, given the potential unravelling of some laws and rights on the horizon. For instance, the retained EU bill and the revocation and reform bill.
Yes, I think for a long time now, lots of the work we've been doing this year has been holding the ground. And actually, organisations have in the past worked in collaboration with others to look through the policy, which is often gone through parliamentary approval very quickly. So actually, then they had to go through, assess it, identify what the problems are, who will be impacted by then raising that awareness to other policymakers and with the public to inform that opinion. So I think, yes, we are, it's not all about the choice, sometimes it is holding the ground and preventing what would happen if those organisations weren't doing that. So that is part of that work we see.
Thank you. And just a clarification question from Violet around our definition of 'led by and for' organisations, and the information that we're collecting through the, because we ask people submitting an Expression of Interest to also complete the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion form. Is this just for information gathering? Or will it influence whether a bid is successful?
The actual work that people submit, is what we assess, as we've explained this morning, and just to say, thank you, Violet for that question of clarification. The statistics that we use, in order to identify what we mean by 'led by and for', particularly in the Racial justice space, is has been a piece of work with a number of funders, that is a consistent agreed approach to those numbers, which is why you've got their very specific numbers there. And I know there was another question about what that means for other led by and for organisations where we don't have that that consistency across funders. And that's something that, you know, as funders we should be, we will be talking about how we achieved that. And in terms of some of the areas that we talked about this morning, particularly in Racial justice, that led by and for number is really, really important in terms of really understanding if the funding is actually getting to those organisations. The Racial justice priority is in recognition that historically, funding to led by and for organisations that experience racial inequity has been poor for a very, very long time. So that work in that specific area is really, really important that we understand that both for information purposes, but also to ensure that when we're assessing applications within racial justice, and in other aspects of the strategy as well, we can see how our work is actually seeking to kind of turn the tide on funding in particular communities, in particular organisations that have lost out on funding because of the way the broader funding sector has been structured over many, many years. So that's, that's why we use that specific data standard that has been agreed across the sector.
Thanks, Veda. Next question is around track record in terms of success and learnings: if an organisation has only been operational for less than a year, would you still consider an application?
Yes. I think what we'd be looking at if they haven't got a track record as an organisation, is, I guess, the the people who are involved in it. So the leader of that organisation. What sort of track record have they had, what skills, expertise, connections, are they bringing to that organisation?
Thank you. Next question from Jessica on Migrant Justice: could you clarify whether that reflects relative priority? Oh, sorry, the section of Migrant Justice was much shorter than the introduction for the Racial justice and Gender justice areas. Could you clarify whether that reflects relative prioritisation and/or allocated funding within the strand?
No, I think it's because this is a more contained area. So it felt like there was less description needed, I guess, because we funded it for a long time. But I think the three areas felt very connected in terms of the outcomes that we've chosen. So it isn't a reflection of it's not of equal importance as the other areas. But I guess because it's more of a contained system. That's why there's less description on that. Happy to answer any more questions on that by email or in this forum.
Thanks, Laura. And next question from Lisa: we are a service that provides therapy to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I believe you do not fund counselling services. But if our project idea wasn't on a therapeutic level, would it be considered? For example, if we formed an impact change group made up of people with lived experience to challenge the system?
Yeah, possibly. I mean, I think it's true that we wouldn't fund that sort of therapeutic work. But we often did work before where organisations have the survivors working with the organisation, or benefiting from the organisation's working on counselling, but they also come together to form survivors groups, and they want to use their voices and their experiences, to then influence how victims, survivors, are treated in the future. So I think I think some of that work can be really powerful. And I think if the ambition is to look back at what's happened to them to think what could have been done better, to try and change the system, use their voices, however they want to do that. I know that survivors sometimes want to do that in different ways, not always putting themselves out there, but maybe behind the scenes. Yeah, I think that's something that we could consider in terms of our interest in changing systems.
I would just add that, again, I think we pointed some of this in our example, this is looking at your links or your routes into power and to creating that change, I guess, because again, if there's, there's lots of small groups who are doing this work, which is incredibly important, we know that it's valuable, but I guess their roots to actually shift that power, is what we'd be looking at. And in the assessment process, to see who's best-placed to do that, who we can fund, to get behind, to bring about that change.
And just a quick follow up to that around therapeutic work: Karen's asked if it's true that we don't fund therapeutic work, for instance, trauma therapy for asylum seekers and migrants.
We don't fund the direct delivery of the work. No. We can support people who are trying to influence for access to those services in terms of they should be able to access those. So that's aspects we can support, we wouldn't support the direct delivery of those services.
Thanks. Next question from Tara: could you clarify if the tendency not to fund local or regional service delivery without being able to show a national reach also applies to the Migrant Justice strand? Given the outcome, the migrants having improved access to justice, would this then cover service provision of legal support?
Across all the priorities, we're not going to fund service delivery because the scale is just too vast, and we can't cover that with a budget and the needs is huge. So I think it's access to, in terms of statutory funding, being able to include this and support this, and also numbers of organisations that are able to provide it. So it is the access to it rather than delivering the service.
Thank you. Next question: can we apply under the Gender justice strand when our work is not aimed exclusively at benefiting women but, in practice, the policy and system changes we achieve predominantly benefit women, due to ingrained gender roles, stereotypes, etc. within society. Also, we recognise that sometimes to achieve equity for women, we have to work on making it structurally possible, and socially accepted for men to take on more traditional female roles. For instance, childcare. Would Esmée consider supporting this?
Think it's a really interesting question. I suppose an organisation which is doing its work and which has an impact on women, but not intentional, that it happens that way, because of how society is structured? I suppose I would expect that most applicants coming in under this strand would have, if they're mainstream organisations, would have a gender analysis, would be thinking about the impact on women and girls, and would be able to articulate and talk to that. And if they would have that kind of analysis within the organisation about who is impacted by their work. I think that the wider question about childcare was an interesting one. I think the gender norms across different caring roles is a really interesting question. I suppose that work would probably fit more into that third outcome about multiple challenges and discrimination. So I suppose work under that childcare banner, we'd be looking at really targeted works of people who experienced additional kind of multiple needs. Because I'm not sure that would particularly fit into the prevention of violence and abuse sort of section. But I think it's a really interesting question about gender norms and who does what in society, and some of those gender norms, we know can support abuse. So gender norms around objectification, we know can support abuse. Gender norms around different power and within relationships, we know can support abuse. So it's not really clear cut. But generally, work without that gender analysis, and without that analysis of additional or multiple needs might not be something we could do.
Thanks, Annabel, I'm going to move on to a question that was sent to us in advance from Sarah around modern slavery and human trafficking: one strand of their work focuses specifically on reforming policy work. They're very concerned at the moment about the climate and rhetoric around modern slavery in which it's been described as a potential illegal migration loophole. This creates a very difficult landscape in which to support victims and survivors, and get them to come forward and also to speak up to prevent future cases. They don't know if their work, in theory, would align closely enough with our priority around Migrant Justice. However, they're also conscious of our success rate, which last year was 6% for applications sent through our website, and so they don't want to put in an unsuitable application. Could you offer any advice regarding this? It would be hugely appreciated.
Yes. So, broadly speaking, I would say that, organisations are tackling modern day slavery and trafficking could fit under Gender justice or Migrant justice. I guess the same principles still apply in terms of the work, the assumptions, the evidence, what the changes you're seeking to do, your ability to do that. But I think they could align under either of those areas. I'd say that in terms of the process when you submit your Expression of Interest. And once that's reviewed, if it looks like there is some alignment, and we do have phone calls, so again, we'd be able to talk about this in more detail at that stage before we're inviting an application, which would require more information to go through to the second stage. So there is a stage before where we would we can have that conversation before you have to go to more effort in terms of submitting an application.
Thanks, Laura. We also had a question which the team behind the scenes did answer, but I thought I would ask the panel as well, just for what your advice would be for organisations submitting an Expression of Interest in terms of what it is that you want to get from the 150 word limit. And just to clarify, in the Expression of Interest, we ask two questions. And for each of those, applicants have 150 words to put their answer.
So I'll take that one, and people can add to it. I guess it is a short amount of space. But I guess within that those two questions we're trying to ascertain what do you want us to fund and why you're well placed to bring about that change. So it's a bit about your track record and what your ambition is, and your place in the sector to deliver. So I would focus on those key things. I don't know if Veda or Annabel want to add anything to that.
Thank you for the question. Yes, our Expressions of Interest are, I suppose, if you take it as an opportunity to really think through if there were a number of key points that you want to get across to us. And that's what the Expression of Interest is about. It's designed in a way to help potential applicants to really focus in on the key elements of the work that they want to talk about. But also to talk about themselves. We talked a little bit earlier about, there'll be some organisations that don't have a track record. So both of those questions together, or a long track record, both of those questions together, we take in order to have a discussion about taking you through to the next stage and having a conversation with you. So it's a bit of an elevator pitch actually, and thinking about it in those terms and actually being really focused on if you had a limited amount of time. Think very carefully and clearly about what it is you want us to hear. And then we can potentially take forward to a further conversation.
Thanks, both. There have been a couple of questions around the decision-making process and the timeframes in terms of what people can expect. What might be helpful actually, because we've got some time if any of the panel wanted to talk through that in terms of who makes the decisions, what level and roughly how long it takes for an application to go through our process.
I can start with that. And people can add in if I forget. Expression of Interest is the first stage. So once that's reviewed, if it looks like there's some synergy, alignment with our strategy, then we arrange an exploratory phone call. Once we have an exploratory phone call, there's various meetings that go on - it goes to team meetings, to kind of share it with the with the wider team, see how it fits, or what other work we're funding, if there's any crossover with other elements of our strategy that we're interested in. And then we would submit that for decision, from that meeting, we will then know if we can invite to a full proposal. When we invite a full proposal, applicants are given I think up to three months to submit that proposal, and there will be a phone call as part of that. So it's kind of an iterative process. Once you've submitted it, there will be phone calls to discuss it in more detail. And then once that comes back, it will go to one of our committees, which meet on a rolling basis. And we typically say we will get a decision within three months. Sometimes that can go over that if it's for over a certain level of funding, because then it has to go to our Trustee Board. So there's different delegation limits. But ultimately, we will, once we receive the second stage application, we'd hope to get a decision back to you within three months. And of course, if it's a lower amount of money, under £60k, we can sometimes turn those around quicker because there are different delegation limits, and meeting and frequency of meetings that we can take them to.
Thanks, Laura. Next question from Pete: our charity works with asylum seekers and refugees in the Southampton, Hampshire region. The area is defined as legal advice desert, following national research, and we're considering setting up a CIC to meet this need, which would also provide an income stream for our free advice service and make us more sustainable. Would this kind of project be supported?
I guess it's hard in terms of setting up services to meet that need. Because, again, there's lots of areas where people could apply for that. And it's obviously needed and I don't think we can meet that need. Under the access to legal support is more thinking about how we can work strategically with others and probably in collaboration with other funders to meet those needs and improve support and maybe do research and commissioning around that. So I think we wouldn't be funding lots of direct delivery in terms of service and support for individuals. It's more the access to and working in collaboration with others about how we can meet those needs.
Thanks. Another question. And this is from a cultural organisation who are a majority white-led organisation, but the work that they're looking to fund would provide an opportunity to financially compensate, which they usually can't afford, and thereby give greater authority to their existing strong network of community partners, the majority of whom are from women-led community organisations or from minority ethnic and migrant backgrounds. They want to effectively work with them on a project that would essentially revolutionise their policies and procedures for all the work they're going to do going forward, including looking at how they could diversify their workforce and future by identifying, with them, barriers and solutions to them entering the sector and their organisation. Would this type of work be considered? They would look to empower them to share the work they do nationally and internationally and thereby affect future practice in the sector?
Quite hard to digest all of that, I think I forgot the first half.
I think that essentially it's coming from a white-led organisation. And so I guess if you could just talk a little bit more about where we would support white-led organisations working on some of these issues, and they're a cultural organisation. Sorry, shall I repeat the question? Does that make it easier?
It might be we have to go back to you by email.
That's fine. Yeah, maybe just talk a little bit about the principles of what we would expect. And then I don't know who this person is. They didn't, but we will. We'll respond to that afterwards as well, in more detail.
Yes, if you're doing this, if you're working in this space where it's not led by, then I guess why are you well-placed to do it? What have you tried to do previously? I guess are they able to have a significant impact, that some organisations may not because of the positions they hold. So I think it's that kind of opening doors, connections point. I think we wouldn't be funding lots of individual posts to work with specific communities. There are examples where we have done that because the specific organisation's got roots to power, and they've demonstrated how they're changing their services to be more inclusive. But I think those ones are by exception.
Can I just add something in briefly here as well, Laura, and I think it goes back to what we've mentioned throughout the webinar. When it comes to white-led organisations and we recognise that when it comes to diversity and equity inclusion, lots of organisations are starting to think about how the structure of their organisations, their values, and the mission of their organisation, f they're seeking to work with communities that are led by and for, we want to encourage white-led organisations on their own reflective practice as funders are having to do as well. In terms of how, as a white-led organisation, if you're working with a particular community that have a particular identity is not reflected in your organisation, how can you actually move towards that? How will the communities that you're working with have an impact on how your organisation is structured, who works at your organisation, so it's not just about the work, it's about ensuring that the work you do is reflected back into how your organisation operates. And in the profile of your organisation as well. We recognise that's a lot of work to do. But that is, for us, it's about supporting work that shifts how organisations, what diversity, equity and inclusion means in practice, not just in policy. That reflective practice is really, really important. So, we can come back to you on the specific elements of your question, but as a general principle, for organisations on the call, that's that reflective practice as a white-led organisation, it's important to be thinking about that as well.
Thank you. There was a question around our eligibility criteria on turnover. We have a minimum annual turnover of £100,000. Would the panel just like to talk a little bit more about that, but also where, you know, what are our plans around supporting smaller and early stage organisations who might not meet that criteria?
Sorry, Luna, can you can you ask that question again?
So just on the £100,000 turnover, we do, through our main application process, we have a minimum eligibility criteria of £100,000. Does the panel just want to talk through and talk about our support for smaller and early stage organisations that wouldn't meet that criteria, particularly if they're led by and for?
Well, this is something as a funder we are actively looking at in terms of how we do that. So, for example, as I mentioned in the Racial justice strand, those kinds of networks of organisations that do meet the £100,000 turnover, we're looking to learn from that particular practice of ensuring that the funding that we have available is able to get to more led by and for organisations experiencing racial inequity. But as a funder, as I said, with the work that we're doing, particularly in that strand, but it also has its impact across how we fund more broadly, thinking and understanding better, smaller organisations and early stage organisations. Because we do recognise that the £100,000 limit does exclude organisations who are emerging that don't quite have the turnover that's required, and it's incumbent upon us as a funder to think about better ways. I don't have an answer now, but through some of our practices, and some of the collaborations in a number of the priorities, there are ways in which, you know, larger organisations, we're challenging them to think about how they include smaller organisations that have very good practice in this area. They can be better included in the work that they're looking to deliver across the priorities.
That's great. Thanks, Veda. So a question from Lindsey: just in response to your earlier comments about reflective practice or work organisations need to do around diversity, equity and inclusion, would Esmée fund time to do that work to consult with communities, etc.
So I think it's beyond just consultation, actually. It's not just about speaking to communities and embedding that in because, again, that can be seen as quite extractive. It's about how will the communities that individuals that you're working with, help reshape how your organisation operates? Now, if you are an organisation that's delivering that work, that's what we want to hear about. How are you actually doing that? How are you actually doing that meaningfully? So if there's time within your application, you're looking to do that, because it's important to you, because it's fundamental to your very mission, then, as part of an application, we'd like to hear you're going to do that. Because that's something that others can learn from as well.
Thanks, Veda, question here around for our Gender justice priority: they work directly with LGBTQ plus young people and their families, the majority of members of trans and non-binary, they wouldn't want to exclude the LGB young people in the bid, would this be a barrier to getting funding? Also, they have other teams running social action projects and delivering training to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and adults. Would they put in one bid for multiple projects or apply separately from each specific piece of work?
I'll try and answer the first bit. In terms of service provision, so a service for an LGBTQ people across the board, and sort of separating out the trans and non-binary people, it may be difficult for us to fund that. But it may be difficult for us to fund that anyway. Because we can't fund a project working on the ground, unless it also has that kind of strategic ambition to use those experiences of the people working on the, you know, the people on the ground to then inform policy and practice. So I think we would generally be funding, in this space organisations, which are trans or non-non binary-led or organisations which aren't, but which are really clearly showing how they're centering the needs of those organisations, of those groups, within their work. So I think it may be difficult for us to fund that, but it's more about the scale of the work, the ambition of the work and the level that you're working to change. As I said before, service delivery is something that we can fund if those organisations are also then using that experience to try and change the system. But I'm not sure we could fund that on its own, unfortunately.
And the second part of that question was whether they would make multiple applications. For various projects, the preference is to give unrestricted or core funding when we can so it wouldn't be to fund specific amounts to specific projects, it would be more of an overarching core cost investment. And I guess we don't typically make more than one grant at a time unless there's a specific circumstance or opportunities around that. So submit what you think's the strongest fit to our strategy. And we can have that conversation, that we can explore other possibilities on that call. But we typically wouldn't be making more than one application to an organisation at a time and preferably through core costs rather than lots of projects.
Thank you, and we've just got five minutes to go and currently no open questions if there are, you know, people who were still here still have a question. Sorry, somebody's just posted something. But I will just give a warning to the panel to just to say if you could just prepare some final thoughts.
But I will get Tara's question. So comment, not a question. But something perhaps for Esmée to consider in the future: the situation with access to justice for migrants is dire and becoming worse. We desperately need funding for legal advice provision. In many areas of the UK there is basically none. So much work around migrant justice starts here. Those with insecure status are stuck without this service provision. Advocacy around increasing access to justice is of limited benefit because increasingly, the supply and provision just doesn't exist. I understand your priorities are set for this fund, but want to ensure that funders understand the state of play in this area. If any of their panel want to just share some thoughts around that as well.
I think so, thank you for your feedback. All these questions have been useful in terms of thinking how our strategy has been received, and how it's interpreted and actually what we need to think about in terms of communicating it, and what areas we're funding in. And on the legal access work it is about working strategically with others. And some of that will be some delegated funding, I think, to this work. It just won't be us funding things directly. I think it will be in collaboration, aligning with other funders, to support that work to scale it, whereas we couldn't fund lots of individual centres. So yeah, definitely we're aware of that issue and hence this outcome, and we're looking at how we can respond to it. So thank you very much for your feedback on it.
Thanks, Laura. So before I ask you, the panel, for your final thoughts, and we wrap up this webinar, I do just want to let everybody know that we will share all the questions and answers along with the recording and transcript of the webinar. So that includes all the questions that were given typed responses to, I know there was a lot of them. So thanks, team, for doing that so well.
So yeah, who wants to go first? Perhaps we'll finish with Veda to wrap up. But I don't know if Laura, Annabel, do you want to say anything?
I'm happy to go first. Just to say thank you very much everyone for coming. It's been great to talk to you about the stuff that we've been talking about in Esmée for a while and to share it with you. I think with Gender justice, It's the first time we've had a really explicit, you know, category on there. So it's really exciting. But we want to keep learning from you and keep understanding what's going on in the sector. What's changing for you, and what the sector looks like, and what this work looks like. So it's very much a process for us. But yeah, we're excited to get started.
Yeah, me too. I think this is really helpful to hear the questions and to get feedback as well. And we hope that this will be an ongoing kind of process that we continue to engage in the sectors around specific areas of justice we're working in. And yeah, we're excited that we can start making grants again, and get cracking with the strategy.
And just to say from me, thank you to everybody that's attended today, and everybody that's attended all three of the webinars over the past few weeks. Through your question and the answers, you've given us a lot of food for thought. And as Annabel and Laura have said, particularly in what we're calling the justice areas, this is new and emerging work for us. And as I said at the beginning, as a learning funder, it's important for us to be open and understand areas that we can do better in, areas that are exciting, that we can get behind. So I think all of this work collectively across A Fairer Future. And I'd say across all the two other areas as well in terms of ONW (Our Natural World) and Creative, Confident Communities, we feel the strategy is in its place now. You know, things will emerge as we move through, as we start to deliver in different ways. So we welcome feedback from you, but we hope you are excited like us in order to really get going and start delivering on this work. Because we know there's a lot of need out there. There are a lot of issues out there that that need to be addressed. And as a funder, we play one if not a small part in the broader funding of this work across all of our all of our strategic areas. So thank you for your time. Thank you for your interest and we hope you have a really good rest of the day. Thanks everyone.