Stories and Numbers

Our Impact is measured both through the groups that we fund – what difference do they make to the community and to the individuals that they help – and though our overall data – the number of groups we fund, and the funding we distribute.

We organise this information by the local authority area and the needs addressed. We are committed to making our grantmaking transparent, so we also provide information to organisations that help with this process – 360 Giving and the Funders Race Equality Alliance
However you would like to explore the data about our impact, you will find the links on this page


Impact Stories

Veg Box Donation Scheme – fresh food for local families

The Veg Box Donation Scheme started in June 2020. Since then the group have provided fresh fruit and vegetable boxes to local people suffering financial hardship across Potton, Biggleswade, Sandy and the surrounding villages. Founder Sharon Mey started up the organisation initially as a way of re-distributing surplus food grown

The Ghana Society

The Ghana Society UK – Sharing the history and culture of Ghana and West Africa. Earlier this year The Ghana Society UK was awarded £10,000 through the Community Recovery Fund. This funding was awarded by BLCF and Luton Borough Council to help community groups and charities in Luton return to

Revolution Fitness

Revolution Fitness – inclusive, empowering fitness for all Earlier this year Revolution Fitness were granted £5,000 for their women’s sports activities through the Luton Rising Small Grants Fund. Set up in 2019 by an award winning, local general dental practitioner and fitness enthusiast Waled Mannan, the group have mobilised over

One Nation Archery Club

‘We are a family’ One Nation Archery Club hold regular weekly archery sessions and community taster sessions for anyone wishing to try the sport. Run by dedicated volunteers this club have bounced back after a challenging few years through covid, which saw the very sad loss of their founder and

CANTER – Supporting Adults and Children with Mental Health and Wellbeing

‘She spoke for the first time in 3 years outside of the family home!’ CANter is a programme which focusses on key issues and challenges faced by vulnerable children and adults. These can include anything from stress management, relationship issues and respect to name a few. Given that horses are

Community Catalysts

Community Catalysts Community Catalysts is a social enterprise working across the UK to try to make sure that people who need care and support to live their lives can get help in ways, times and places that suit them, with real choice of attractive local options. We help local people

Jubilee Funded Projects


The Living Room – Story of Change

When I came to The Living Room I had thought I would never be able to tackle my behavioural addictions but had a tiny bit of hope left. When I got here I had already been in residential treatment twice as a result of a daily cocaine problem and a

Working Through The Pandemic

Since the first National lockdown we have undergone 20 months of turbulence, uncertainty and insecurity for the voluntary sector and other sectors, the likes of which we have never experienced before. Our Foundation, like so many other charities, experienced a surge in demand for our services to help plug the

Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire

Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire are steering the development of the LFPA with the objective of supporting organisations working in the area of food poverty in Luton, to work in collaboration in order to maximise impact when addressing the underlying causes and impacts of food poverty. A grant was awarded to

Dallow Business Partnership

This grant was provided to fund community drop-in service where they provided a number of different activities including exercise classes, introductory/basic skills (counselling, first aid etc) as well as other wellbeing activities. We have raised awareness around a number of issues as well as conducting general fitness sessions. These included;


The grant awarded was to enable the organisation to deliver the Bedford and Luton Leadership Programme 2018-19. Over nine months, 27 sessions/events were delivered in each location, and participants attended a two-day Leadership Retreat. Sessions were hosted by senior leaders from public, private and not-for-profit sectors; repeated annually. There are

The Butterfly Project

This organisation provides therapeutic support to survivors of domestic abuse, through a range of creative activities such and art-making and singing. They also offer women one to one art therapy and the general public expressive art sessions. They were awarded a grant to run a series of art-based therapy sessions

Kings Arms Project

A grant was awarded towards their Women’s outreach project, working with up to 130 vulnerable women, who may be rough sleepers, homeless, struggling with addictions, escaping abusive relationships, ex-offenders, unemployed, have no recourse to public funds and refugees. Julia, a Polish female, had been sleeping rough for many years and

Learning Through The Arts

A social enterprise organisation that were awarded a grant using arts to build confidence, motivation and skills to put on a concert or performance working with local groups and colleges. Funds raised would be donated to local charities the young people choose. The grant covered costs of workshops and sessions

Impact Data

All Bedfordshire


Central Bedfordshire


Impact Projects

360 Giving

We’re using the 360Giving platform to provide greater transparency in our funding distribution, and clarity as to which organisations are being funded.

Vital Signs

Our research resources show social data within the community, to identify areas for future development and pinpoint the greatest challenges.


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is the initiative behind our transformation into making our funding transparent, and to reflect our variety of perspectives.

Funders for Race Equality Alliance (FREA) Data

The FREA racial justice audit, 2021-22, was BLCF’s second use of the audit and remains a key tool to help us deliver our commitment to address inequality as outlined in our new Strategic Plan Local Focus, Lasting Change Strategic Plan – Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation (

2021-22 saw 15 organisations across the alliance complete the audit Audit Tool — Funders for Race Equality Alliance ( The audit looks at and holds funders to account in their aims to address the levels of inequality experienced by global majority communities and those experiencing racial injustice across the funding sectors and helps them to see where barriers can be removed. These findings show the national average compared to the results of BLCF and will be used to help us shape our thinking going forward.

The 2021-22 report saw the toolkit applied, for the first time, to all our funding programmes across all of Bedfordshire. The resulting headlines showed how we continue to improve and deliver against our promise but also areas for improvement, development and change.

The headlines show that the percentage of grants awarded to groups whose mission and purpose is to work with a specific community experiencing racial inequality nationally was 42% and across BLCF 21%. The difference is a reflection on the range of charities we support and provides more in-depth analysis compared to our first year of data, which was based on a smaller sample of grants in one local authority area. We can do more to reach out and so through our Insight Network The Small Charities Forum – Beds & Luton Community Foundation ( we can bring groups together to share theirs and our data and knowledge around need.

As we dig further into this data, we see some promising results. As part of the FREA 21-22 audit, funders were asked to report on the leadership of the groups awarded funding to see where there is representative senior leadership and lived experience of issues facing the community. When we look at the percentage of grants awarded to groups where 75% of their Board and 50% of their senior staff are from groups experiencing racial inequality, we see a different picture. The national average is 28% and at BLCF this increases to 33%. The percentage of grants awarded to groups led by people who have experienced racial inequality shows a national average of 24% and at BLCF 33%. This is a very positive picture for BLCF and shows the results of the hard work we have done to develop processes to make our grantmaking more accessible, as well as enable fast-track applications from global majority groups, simplifying processes and our ongoing offer of 1-2-1 support to groups when developing their applications. Most exciting is the data we see which reports on percentage of grants awarded to groups led by people who have lived experience of the communities they support. Here the national average is 2% and BLCF 32%. This is a fantastic effort by the BLCF team and has been achieved through the close working with groups across projects to develop ongoing relationships, supporting dynamic community leadership and organisational growth and excellence.

The real challenge continues to be the short-term nature of funding. Our impact through grants on groups working to address root causes or symptoms of racial inequality show nationally 61% of grants support that work and only 25% in BLCF. This is almost certainly due to the fact we remain a short-term funder, and often fund interventions rather than long-term projects that would address this as a priority. We will continue to advocate for groups to create more opportunities for longer term funding, which in turn will strengthen the impact in this area in the future.

BLCF are pleased to see the results of our work over the last year and will use the findings to do more, not only within communities experiencing racial inequality, but start to look at communities experiencing other areas of inequality such as those from LGBTQ+ and disabled communities, to see what can learn from this and what improvements we can make.