published: 26 October 2021
Black Lives Matter UK has agreed to the release of £40,000 in grant funding to the National Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund (NMPMFF) to further their Development Plan and appoint two new key part-time staff members (employed via accountable body, Catalyst4Change CIC).
The NMPMFF (developed in 2015) is the first permanent national resource of its kind specifically for those that are affected by deaths in custody and makes small grants available for families and their campaign groups across the United Kingdom to provide practical domestic assistance, to further the work of their own campaigns or to assist them in engaging in a range of other local, regional or national campaigns, events and initiatives.
The NMPMFF’s funding programmes are structured to assist families financially both at the time of loss (e.g., support with funeral or memorial costs etc), and after, in the form of support with counselling, inquest costs, website development, publicity resources, respite breaks and more.
Much research, and grassroots knowledge, has shown that people of African and Caribbean decent, die in disproportionate numbers in state institutions.
The NMPMFF is also closely involved with initiatives such as Red Alert HELP!, The United Families & Friends Campaign, Black Lives Matter UK, The People’s Tribunal on Police Killings and others, all seeking to challenge injustice and influence structural change reform.
The NMPMFF 5-Year Plan
The BLM UK grant will support both NMPMFF’s grant aid programmes, and its ambitious development plans for the future. Many new initiatives will be rolled out over the next 3+ years, with support also provided by 4WardEverUK, Catalyst 4 Change CIC, Migrant Media, the United Families & friends Campaign and others.
What the Family Fund plan to do!
As well as their current funding programmes and gifting schemes, the NMPMFF also aspires to develop other initiatives that recognise and support affected families.
National Events Programme:
In June 2020 it was announced that the NMPMFF had appointed Catalyst 4 Change CIC to organise a series of national live music and arts events (which was delayed by COVID-19 restrictions). This has been made possible with a small part-funded grant from the Edge Fund together with our own investment. Read more here.
Annual Gala Dinner & Awards:
Led by 4WardEverUK, the NMPMFF plans to work with a range of other campaign and civil rights groups, individuals, charities and companies to launch the Annual Activists Awards & Gala Dinner. Its principal aim is to recognise those affected families and individuals that have influence structural change. Its secondary purpose is to raise the profile of, and resources for the Family Fund.
Regional 24-Hour Advice Lines:
The NMPMFF aspires to develop regional helplines (in partnership with Red Alert HELP!) for families concerned about a loved one detained in police, immigration, prison institutions or detained under the Mental Health Act.
Bereavement & Counselling Hubs:
The NMPMFF aspires to develop a range of counselling & therapy hubs across the UK to help children, young people and families deal with the devastation following a custody death. They will work with established charities, companies and individuals ensuring that affected families can get the help they need as quickly as possible in their regions.
Year-Round Holiday Schemes:
The NMPMFF aspires to provide respite breaks, group outings and short UK-based holidays for families affected by custody deaths. These will include river & coach tours, activity & theme parks and self-catering breaks in some of the UK’s areas of outstanding beauty.
What can you do?
Can you help with the Memorial Family Funds’ aspirations? If you have skills, experience, knowledge, resources or connections that can help, please contact them.
About Black Lives Matter UK
Black Lives Matter UK formed in 2016. They are a member-led, campaigning organisation, working towards collective liberation. They fight for the Black working class family, here and across the world, fighting against racism, but also against capitalism and patriarchy because ALL Black lives matter. They are proudly led by Black people and are a multitude but not everyone.
Like many Black radicals who have come before, BLM UK believe in the power of solidarity and stand strong in a long lineage of Black struggle for freedom. They welcome and express solidarity with all those fighting for freedom across the world, be it in Kashmir, Kurdistan, Venezuela or Palestine.