First grants from ‘ground-breaking’ £100m fund fighting inequality in London

Press release 25.04.2023

Community organisations which tackle inequality and make London a fairer place have been awarded the first slice of a £100 million cash injection from some of the capital’s biggest funders.

Almost £25 million has been allocated from the Propel fund to over 80 projects which empower disadvantaged young people, build stronger communities, and provide advice and support for people facing financial hardship.

Grants include nearly £300,000 to Future Men for its mentoring project for young fathers in south London and £1.2 million for the Ubele Initiative for a community wealth-building programme aimed at black and minoritised communities in Haringey, Lambeth and Lewisham.

Propel is a ground-breaking collaboration powered by membership body London Funders and supported by funders including Bloomberg, City Bridge Trust, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the National Lottery Community Fund and main advice funders, such as Trust for London, co-ordinated by London Legal Support Trust.

It supports organisations led by and for disadvantaged groups, including women and girls, LGBTQ+ communities, Deaf and Disabled people, and communities experiencing racial inequality.

The funding means charities battling the cost-of-living crisis, soaring inflation and the lingering impact of Covid will have the flexibility, capacity and financial security to deliver long-term systemic change.

A list of organisations receiving Propel funding can be found at

Paul Martinelli, Deputy Chairman of City Bridge Trust, said: “This funding will have a positive, lasting impact on charities working to improve the lives of disadvantaged groups across the capital. It will give them the financial security and space they need to explore the systemic issues they face, to tackle inequality and to deliver lasting change, to the benefit of the diverse communities they serve.”

Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, London’s Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, said: “Our capital faces long-standing, socially embedded inequalities that impact on the lives of many Londoners every day. We are committed to doing all we can to tackle the inequality in our city and I’m delighted that we are able to support these fantastic community organisations to help drive change. It’s another example of how we are working together to build a fairer and more inclusive city for all.”

Helen Bushell, Head of Regional Funding for London, the South East and East of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re delighted to contribute to this funding to build stronger communities across London. The work of London Funders and all Propel partner organisations will create social and economic opportunities for young people across the capital and those who need a helping hand – helping communities prosper and thrive.”

Nezahat Cihan, Chief Executive of London Legal Support Trust, said: “London Funders and Propel have allowed us, the main advice funders and advice sector representatives in London, to work together to start looking for solutions to the workforce crisis in the advice sector. A healthy and happy workforce is essential for delivering quality advice. This initiative enables us to discuss workforce issues collaboratively and inclusively”.

Notes to editors

About Propel

The Propel initiative has grown from a commitment that funders in London made to build on learning from the covid-19 funding programmes of the London Community Response. 

Supported by a growing list of funders, including Bloomberg, City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder – Greater London Authority, John Lyon’s Charity, and the National Lottery Community Fund, London Funders have been working with public and independent funders as well as the capital’s equity infrastructure organisations (HEAR Network, Inclusion London, LGBT+ Consortium, The Ubele Initiative and Women’s Resource Centre) to develop Propel.

Read more about the Propel initiative here:

About London Funders

London Funders is the network for funders and investors in London’s civil society. We are the only place that brings together public, private and independent funders to build a better London by taking action on what matters to our city and our communities.

London Funders set up and coordinated the London Community Response, an unprecedented funder collaboration which saw 67 funders coming together to support London’s civil society through the covid-19 crisis, distributing nearly £60m to over 3,3000 groups.