Lankelly Chase’s response to COVID-19

Lankelly Chase’s response to the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 will happen in three phases:  (i) supporting our existing partners, (ii) adapting our planned 2020/21 activity, and (iii) building capability and capacity for the process of renewal.

Crisis support

Since lockdown restrictions came into force in the UK, Lankelly Chase’s first actions have been to support those people and organisations with whom we have a relationship.  This has included:

  • Lifting all restrictions on existing grants to enable partners as much flexibility as possible
  • Establishing a rapid response fund to address partners’ cashflow difficulties.
  • Establishing a fund that enables partners to build additional capacity to respond to the crisis.

We have also made funds available to the six places with which we are currently working: Barking and Dagenham, Barrow in Furness, Gateshead, Greater Manchester, Oxford and York. We are in discussion with partners in each of those places to work out how these funds can best be held and used.

We are in close contact with most of our partners, and have seen extraordinary commitment to the communities they serve and resilience in the face of disorientating adversity.  We’d like to thank them and the many organisations like them who have always championed social justice and continue to do so now when it is needed more than ever.

Adapting our plans

Responding with humanity and compassion to the crisis is everyone’s priority right now. Even so, many of our partners are already looking to the future and expressing concern that the process of recovery must not repeat the mistakes of the past. Many of the fragilities and inequities that blight our socio-economic system have been exacerbated by this crisis, and the case for fundamental change is growing.

We can already see that the work that we’d planned on a number of fronts will be needed more than ever to underpin a ‘just recovery’. This includes supporting new approaches to network building, governance, sustainable economic models, racial justice, place-based working and equitable knowledge creation. We still hope to press ahead but will need to keep under review what is most relevant in the new context, the headspace that will be available and what will be logistically possible.

Building for renewal

Many are already viewing this crisis as a unique opportunity for change, and are seeing the seeds of that change emerging in the response to COVID-19. Enormous changes that previously seemed unimaginable or impossible have happened overnight. The radical has suddenly become the necessary.

We agree that new possibilities emerge from substantial disruption, and that big ideas such as universal basic income are gaining much more traction. However, there is every likelihood of the worldviews which created our current systems continuing to prevail and of a reversion back to the systemic injustices that have been with us for decades, even centuries. Even though many of us have torn up the rule book in the last few weeks, systems of oppression have a long track record of co-opting the best efforts of those who strive for a very different future.

Lankelly Chase will do its upmost to ensure that the emerging possibilities are backed by resources, led by diverse actors and characterised by a sense of collective endeavour. We will look for how power is shifting, for how the economic, social and environmental are coming together, for how unusual suspects and alliances are forming, and for how methodologies that reach beyond mechanistic thinking can rapidly spread. We will search for the wisdom, leadership and strategies that can help turn this time of crisis into an era of change.

Also, over the next few weeks and months we will be communicating the following:-

  • Weekly reflections: what we are hearing and seeing across the work with our partners and in places.
  • Weekly updates: what is happening across the sector in response to COVID-19.
  • Twitter takeovers: to amplify the stories of people, organisations and communities who are on the frontline responding to COVID-19
  • Media support: Connecting journalists and people currently missing from the dominant media coverage about COVID-19.

If you would like to participate in twitter takeovers or have connections with the media please get in touch with renee@lankellychase.org.uk.

If you have thoughts on the role that Lankelly Chase can best play at this time, we would love to hear from you. Please contact communications@lankellychase.org.uk.

**The Charity Excellence Framework has produced an excellent repository of available emergency funding. The full list is here.**