About the Community Investment Scheme

What is the Community Investment Scheme?

The Community Investment Scheme is part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s commitment to build support for donation amongst Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic communities.  

Global Kidney FoundationThe scheme funds community and faith/beliefs organisations to drive awareness, understanding and behaviour change. We know that trusted local organisations can be effective at achieving these goals due to their specialist knowledge, understanding and footprint in the community. 

You can read more about the current cohort of projects funded here: See a full list of projects funded in the third round of the Community Investment Scheme (PDF 147KB).

In its latest round of funding the scheme has broadened its scope to cover a range of health inequalities.

  • Projects engaging Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic communities in deceased organ donation (Total funding pot of £250,000)
  • Projects engaging Black African and / or Black Caribbean communities in blood donation (Total funding pot of £150,000)
  • Projects covering a combination of blood donation and deceased organ donation (funded using a combination of the above funding pots)
  • Community Engagement Leads initiative: focused on stem cell donation, in partnership with Anthony Nolan. Funding strategic location-based partners to lead on engaging local networks in the Pakistani community (Total funding pot of £40,000). 

Why is the scheme needed?

Ethnicity is a multidimensional concept with many links to health. The Community Investment Scheme will help tackle some of the health inequalities affecting people from Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic backgrounds. 

BAPs imageIt aims to address the shortage of Black blood donors, whose blood is used to treat conditions like sickle cell, the shortage of ethnically matched organs for those waiting for a transplant in all BAME communities, as well as the need for ethnically matched stem cell donors.

Establishing and building trust in these communities is key. Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and research shows they are less likely to view government policies in a positive light or trust government messages.  

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is not immune to these systemic challenges, as highlighted by June 2020 report. A number of initiatives are now in place to address the issues identified in the report, recognising the role of ethnicity in our work.   

Through the Community Investment Scheme, we look to work with grassroots organisations to engage, educate and recruit more donors as clinical data shows that ethnically matched blood, organs and stem cells provide the best treatment. 

We want to work with trusted and authentic voices in the community to deliver these messages and make a real change for those whose lives will be improved or saved by donation.  

It is with building trust in mind, that for the latest round of funding we have extended our Community Engagement Leads initiative in partnership with Anthony Nolan to fund community organisations to create grassroots networks to promote stem cell donation. This work is highly focused, working with organisations in specific locations, and with specified ethnic groups.

Applying for funding

The application window for funding is now closed. 

If you have any further questions about the scheme, please send them to community.funding@nhsbt.nhs.uk and we will respond as soon as we can.