This year, the Avocado+ event was held in the prestigious surroundings of London’s Living Room at City Hall on 4th October 2019.

The idea of the event was for six small Black, Asian, Minority-ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) charity and voluntary organisations to pitch their business ideas to the representatives of funding bodies assembled on the night – in a similar style to the BBC TV programme the Dragon’ Den. The organisation with the presentation that appealed to the panel of funders the most, would be awarded a package of assistance.

The event was hosted by the Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration Debbie Weekes Bernard with a special appearance from former Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan.

At the event were representatives from BBC Children in Need, City Bridge Trust, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Arts Council England, and the Heritage Lottery Fund amongst others.

But the night did not go as planned, as the standard of entries was so high that the judges could not agree on only one winner and so awarded two organisations – The Lerato Community Initiative and The Kevin Kararwa Leukemia Trust (KKLT).

The Lerato Community Initiative are a youth engagement charity who work with young people to engage them in learning opportunities and new adventures, helping to inspire growth and positive life choices.

The aim of the KKLT is to create awareness about Leukaemia and other blood cancers and encourage and recruit as many black and ethnic minorities to register to the bone marrow register as possible.

As well as these two winners, pitches also came from Action for Community Development, The Change Nigeria Project, Hackney Chinese Community Services, and Proud To Be Me.

The audience were also treated to an inspirational talk from Ade Adepitan who shared his journey from wheelchair basketball player, to Paralympian to TV presenter and most recently children’s book author.

The evening also provided an opportunity for information sharing and networking with key influencers, grant makers, corporate organisations and senior charity representatives, and saw the launch of the third year of the AVOCADO+ Accelerator Programme which supports BAMER groups to become more financially sustainable.

The AVOCADO+ project is a partnership between Money4Youth, Race on the Agenda and Black Fundraisers-UK. The AVOCADO+ participating organisations serve the most disadvantaged people in our society and are managed by volunteers with a passion for their causes.

Andy Gregg, Director of Race on The Agenda said, “The project demonstrated that small BAMER groups often require capacity building support if they are to maximise their potential for good fundraising. Groups need support with issues such as governance and legal, finance, evaluation and leadership before they could really benefit from fundraising support. The project will help groups move on to the next stage in their development, giving them the tools they need to survive and thrive.”


For more information on the partners see:

Money4Youth – https://www.money4youth.com/
Black Fundraisers-UK – https://www.blackfundraisers.org/
Race on the Agenda – https://www.rota.org.uk/