Updated: Dec 21, 2022
2022 seems to have come and gone at an almost indecent speed. This has been the year of three Prime Ministers and the death of the country’s leading monarch whose reign practically defined the historical milestones of four generations after the Second World War.
Our first year out of Covid has delivered so many positive moments in terms of addressing the communities we seek to support. We have seen the continuation of collaborations with partners Comic Relief and Sport England and new arrivals in the shape of the Pargiter Trust helping us target support to our elderly. 2023 the 3rd phase of our Comic Relief distribution.
In 2023 we will see the winddown of the Windrush Community Fund which served those who served the affected communities in group work and 1 to 1 support. Through the work of the fund, Windrush advocates all over the UK were enabled to help those complete the compensation claims of those individuals and families impacted by the Windrush scandal.
To date as of this autumn, the total amount paid or offered to claimants through the scheme has increased to over £59.58 million.
£51.02 million has been paid across 1,307 claims and a further £8.56 million has been offered, awaiting acceptance, or pending review.
59.2% of claims have had a final decision.
The underperforming government response has been hugely improved from a low base of around 150 claims 2018. We will be carrying out a through evaluation of the impact of the Windrush Community Fund in the spring of next year.
A long time coming and after many years in the planning the Pathway Social Investment Fund was finally launched in November this year. Emerging out of a piece of research commissioned by the Baring Foundation as far back as 2015, the project is now live and has attracted huge interests from Foundations, third sector leaders and even the private sector. We look forward to welcoming Dilys Winterkorn from Children In Needs/BBC campaign, as its new Programme Director in the New Year.
But let’s not get too complacent. Yes, there has been a lot of good stuff in the pipeline, but we face a triple challenge in the form of legislative changes that are going to test civil society in the days ahead from immigration, to voting, to policing. Changes made to the law are soon to be felt in British society at large. We will monitor their impact and where necessary register our concerns.
For moment we find ourselves in the Christmas period, let’s enjoy the time together with family and friends. Let’s celebrate our humanity and use the move towards of the New Year to reflect on what has changed over the recent past; from lockdowns to the renewed value we place on issues of social freedom and social equality. We look forward to new possibilities opening up in our work, as well as no doubt, confronting new challenges ahead, brought to the fore, by an extremely damaging cost of living crisis that will hit the communities we support very hard indeed.
For the time being, we at Voice4Change England will pause and wish all our members, supporters, partners, and colleagues a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We will see you soon.
Kunle Olulode MBE
Director at Voice4Change England