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Press Release

23th September 2020

Medway African and Caribbean Association (MACA) has received a major cash boost to enable the charity to continue to support those most in need in the community and to continue to run activities to promote the health and well being of young people and those who are more at risk of contracting Coronavirus in the Black community.

MACA has received nearly £30,000 of funding from three major funders.
The funding has been received from National Lottery funding and Kent Sports a total of £9891, £9800 from The Heritage Lottery Fund Emergency Fund and £10,000 from Kent Community Foundation and The Brook Trust

The National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund aims to tackle inequalities in activity levels through working with its partners to reach those most in need as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

The funding award will allow MACA to offer activities to promote the health and well-being with those most impacted by Coronavirus.

The activities will include weekly dance workshops delivered by the Upside Down Dance Academy, as well as a healthy eating and wellbeing activity session targeted at the African and Caribbean community, who have been most at risk of Coronavirus.

Sport England’s work and contribution to Tackling Inequalities focuses on reducing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on activity levels in under-represented groups, ensuring gaps between those who are active and those who are not do not widen during this period.
With a strong understanding of the needs and issues in their areas, Sport England has initially channelled £110,000 through Kent Sport to support community groups in their areas as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

This funding and support will enable community groups working with target audiences – Lower Socio-Economic Groups, Black, Asian Minority Ethnic Communities, Disabled People and People with Long-Term Health Conditions (LTC) – to continue to exist and engage with their communities with a view to keeping them active during both the lockdown and early recovery stages.

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are proud to be able to provide funding and support to (INSERT NAME OF Community Body/club) in this difficult period. This funding will help support our valuable community infrastructure that is so important in keeping the nation active and will also provide important connections and reconnections for people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19 and for whom remaining active is so important for their physical, mental and social wellbeing. We know from our research and data that there are existing inequalities between groups when it comes to activity levels and COVID-19 has reinforced these.

“Thanks to the support of the National Lottery and its players, the Tackling Inequalities Fund will be both crucial and central to ensuring no-one is left behind when it comes to having the opportunity to be active during this period. This builds off the back of our £35m Community Emergency Fund that has already reached and supported over 7,500 community clubs and groups across England.”

During the early stages of the pandemic MACA received funding to provide African and Caribbean meals and food hampers to the African and Caribbean community, when the funding ran out, we applied to Kent Community Foundation for some funding to continue the project and have been awarded £5,000 from their emergency fund.

Kent Community Foundation and The Brook Trust have also awarded £5,000 to enable MACA to continue to provide support to its senior citizens group, who have been unable to meet since March this year due to Covid 19.

Like many charities and businesses, MACA has been impacted by the Coronavirus and has struggled to deliver many of its planned activities for this year, and has had a reduction in potential income streams. The charity applied for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Emergency fund, the funding will be used to enable MACA to redesign delivery of current activities, as well as to help develop a sustainability plan and business plan for the charity.

Carol Stewart, Chairperson MACA said:

“These funds are very much welcomed and will enable MACA to continue to deliver its activities in a safe and socially distanced way, in line with current Government guidelines as well as plan for the future. Given the uncertainty of the future we need to ensure that we can maintain and build on the legacy we have created here in Kent and Medway. We are also keen to encourage our members to stay healthy and well, which at the moment has been a particular challenge for those who are isolated and vulnerable.
We have some exciting projects and activities taking place which are open to all, regardless of race, as we are committed to bringing people together from all backgrounds.”

Sports and activities survey

This survey has been put together for the members of Medway African and Caribbean Association in order to understand which sports and activities they would be interested in. All responses will remain anonymous.

Press release Home from home Emergency support cultural support receives grant from Martin Lewis Emergency fund.

Medway African and Caribbean Association in partnership with West Coast Kent CIC, are pleased to announce that we have been successful in a grant application from the Martin Lewis charity fund.

The ITV money saving expert who as well as being a regular presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, hosts his own TV show, and has a Money Saving Expert website, launched a £3 million fund to charities who are struggling as a result of Covid 19.
MACA received £12, 500 which will go a long way to meeting its target of £25, 000 to provide culturally based support, including food hampers for Black elders in Kent.

MACA has until the lockdown been running a weekly drop in for members from the Black community which has also been open to people from a wide range of backgrounds for over 20 years.

“Since lockdown we have members who have felt very isolated and not able to engage with their friends, family, as well as access activities they would undertake at the drop in, this funding came as a total surprise and will enable us to start the project and provide much needed support “ Carol Stewart Chairperson MACA

The reason for this project being specifically targeted at Black African and Caribbean elders is because recent figures have shown that Black people are disproportionality suffering and dying from Coronavirus, despite making up a smaller % of the UK population, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52338101

With hypertension, diabetes, Sickle Cell, Lupus and other conditions known to be a bigger risk factor amongst Black communities it is important that as a community they have access to a healthy and well-balanced diet that meets their cultural needs. The food hampers received from the Government do not always cater for people with culturally specific dietary needs or food allergies, and as such there is a risk that they may eat food that is unhealthy or not eat at all.

The project will be co-ordinated by Westcoast Kent Community Interest Company ( WKCIC established 2013) whose team as well as coordinating large scale events have the experience, are fully licensed, run restaurant facilities, have a 5-star food hygiene rating and are currently running a delivery and takeaway service in Thanet Southeast Kent with a small team of paid and volunteer staff.

The Home from Home community support programme seeks to provide the following:

Access to African/Caribbean meals, which can be delivered hot or delivered cold so that it can be heated up at home, or frozen

A telephone befriending service: recruit a team of volunteers who can make calls once a week to Black elders across Kent and Medway, and signposting where required

Provide culturally based food/household hampers: E.g. tins of Ackee, Callaloo, packets of Saltfish, seasoning, mackerel, plantain, Black hair products. These are just an example of what the hamper could include.

The Charity which has also launched a Go Fund me page has raised nearly £500 from donations within the first 24 hours of the campaign launch,

For more information and interviews contact
chair@macacharity.org.uk
07501 497920

Carol Stewart
Chairperson on behalf of MACA and Eli Thompson Director on behalf of Westcoast Kent CIC

Home from home emergency support cultural support.

Medway African and Caribbean Association in partnership with West Coast Kent CIC, are launching a fundraising bid to provide culturally based support to members of the Black community who are isolated and vulnerable during the Coronavirus pandemic.

MACA has until the lockdown been running a weekly drop in for members from the Black community which has also been open to people from a wide range of backgrounds for over 20 years.

Due to the restrictions it had to close the drop in to ensure that its members are safe. Since lockdown we have members who have felt very isolated and not able to engage with their friends, family, as well as access activities they would undertake at the drop in.

Access to culturally based meals and food products has also proved difficult, with many of the specialist shops being quite small in size, thus making social distancing difficult, compounded with not being able to go at times when it is less busy.

The reason for this project being specifically targeted at Black African and Caribbean elders is because recent figures have shown that Black people are disproportionality suffering and dying from Coronavirus, despite making up a smaller % of the UK population, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52338101

With hypertension, diabetes, Sickle Cell, Lupus and other conditions known to be a bigger risk factor amongst Black communities it is important that as a community they have access to a healthy and well-balanced diet that meets their cultural needs. The food hampers received from the Government do not always cater for people with culturally specific dietary needs or food allergies, and as such there is a risk that they may eat food that is unhealthy or not eat at all.

In addition, we are looking for volunteers to help in making telephone calls to help reduce the isolation, as well as donations for books, games or activities that can be delivered to those who are in need to help with providing much needed stimulation.

The project will be co-ordinated by Westcoast Kent Community Interest Company ( WKCIC established 2013) whose team as well as coordinating large scale events have the experience, are fully licensed, run restaurant facilities, have a 5-star food hygiene rating and are currently running a delivery and takeaway service in Thanet Southeast Kent with a small team of paid and volunteer staff.

The Home from Home community support programme seeks to provide the following:

Access to African/Caribbean meals, which can be delivered hot or delivered cold so that it can be heated up at home, or frozen

A telephone befriending service: recruit a team of volunteers who can make calls once a week to Black elders across Kent and Medway, and signposting where required

Provide culturally based food/household hampers: E.g. tins of Ackee, Callaloo, packets of Saltfish, seasoning, mackerel, plantain, Black hair products. These are just an example of what the hamper could include.

How can you help?

Donate: We have set up a Go Fund me page where you can make a donation of any size

Volunteer: If you want to help in volunteering to drop of food, food hampers, make calls then email info@macacharity.org.uk

If you run a African or Caribbean restaurant/take away and want to offer your services, then please contact us so we can pass your details to Westcoast Kent CIC as we need to ensure that any food provided meets the required legal standards.

Access to this support will be from referral routes such as local voluntary sector groups, local councils, care and support agencies. The more funds we raise the more support we can offer!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, we hope that you can help us to help others!!

Carol Stewart: Chairperson on behalf of MACA and Eli Thompson Director on behalf of Westcoast Kent CIC

Young Black Achievers Awards 2019 in pictures!

What an amazing night we had, over 22 awards presented and the most amazing performnces by local talent Germaine Murray, USDD dance group, Yaa on the Trumpet, Taylor Paisley French took us on a Jazz journey, then we finished off with a fantastic performance form Lukas Setto!

We had some surprises on the night, with some winners not knowing they were being presented with an award, Robyn Goldsmith of Medway Council Arts Team and Eli Thompson owner of Olby’s Soul Cafe in Margate. We do it all again next year, so keep an eye on this page for more details, or get involved!