Funding: Influencing change in the welfare system

Funding: Influencing change in the welfare system

Lloyds Bank Foundation –

We’ve been hearing for a long time from charities about challenges with the welfare system, but during the coronavirus pandemic, these issues have intensified. Many people have experienced a drop in their income in recent months and have needed to access welfare support. Record numbers of people are claiming Universal Credit and food banks have seen a rise in the number of people needing emergency support.

While the Government introduced temporary measures to ease the impact of some of these challenges, the consequences of the pandemic are going to be with us for much longer. As we recover from the initial impact of the pandemic, there may also be opportunities to influence change for the better, as we look at how we can rebuild from the crisis and what can be learned.

In this context, we are looking to fund work which seeks to influence key issues in the welfare system highlighted by the pandemic and make the most of current and upcoming opportunities for change.

We are particularly interested in work which will benefit working-age adults who face the greatest challenges, such as those who are affected by the complex social issues that the Foundation focuses on – for example, people who are affected by domestic abuse, have experienced homelessness, are dealing with mental ill-health or are moving on from time in prison. More generally, it may mean people who are unable to access online support or processes, who are disproportionately affected by structural inequalities, those with no recourse to public funds or those who need support from others to navigate the benefits system and advocate for what they are entitled to.

We are particularly interested in work which seeks to influence:

  • Sanctions and conditionality
  • The level and rate of deductions
  • The level of Local Housing Allowance / Housing Benefit for working age adults without children
  • The process of claiming benefits, including greater options for those who struggle to get online
  • The support offered to claimants, including by Work Coaches or by others
  • Improving support for those with no recourse to public funds
  • The prison discharge grant
  • Improving the operation of the social security system for those experience domestic abuse

Rather than delivering services, this funding is a chance to think differently and focus on influencing change in the welfare system, through policy, research and campaigning.

You can read more about what we’re looking to fund, who is eligible and how to apply, by downloading our guidance .