A £1.5 million grant has helped secure the long-term future of the disabled people’s organisation (DPO) that leads the fight for inclusive education in the UK.
The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) said the grant would be spread across the next 10 years and will provide it with “crucial space, time, and opportunity to secure our future”.
ALLFIE was one of 13 charities to benefit from “game-changing” long-term core funding of almost £14 million for organisations fighting inequality across London, from City Bridge Foundation, under the first round of its Anchor funding programme.
Michelle Daley (pictured), ALLFIE’s director, said she hoped the grant would encourage other funders to support the work of DPOs on inclusive education, which was vital for the “collective success” of the disabled people’s movement.
She said funders had “hesitated” for too many years to view inclusive education as a social justice issue.
She said: “Education is not an isolated issue; it intersects with various areas, such as independent living, transport, housing, as well as issues of gender injustice and abuse.”
She said the funding would give ALLFIE 10 years to make progress on its vision for inclusive education in mainstream settings “as a human right for all disabled people”.
News of the funding emerged after ALLFIE led a parliamentary event last week that called for an end to the degrading treatment, dehumanisation and even torture that young disabled people are subjected to in institutional settings.
Daley told Disability News Service this week that ALLFIE had experienced short-term funding challenges and uncertainty over its future for more than 30 years.
She said: “We cannot definitively say that ALLFIE would have folded without the Anchor funding, but what we do know is that the grant has provided crucial space, time, and opportunity to secure our future.
“This support enables us to advance our strategy, addressing the issues of ableism and disablism within the education system, and continue to move forward the work for inclusive education.”
As well as contributing to its core costs, the funding will allow ALLFIE to recruit two new staff members.
Daley said the funding would also support the wider inclusive education movement.
She said: “Campaigning on issues that centre around the denial of any human right is emotional and tough.
“Therefore, having a funder support ALLFIE’s work over the span of 10 years makes a huge difference in promoting and advancing inclusive education as a social justice issue.
“We hope that this will bring better support in understanding the need for advocacy services for inclusive education, centring inclusive education within campaigns, increasing resources and initiatives and addressing the broader issues.”
It will also help the campaign for new legislation that would give all disabled people the right to inclusive education “without it being a constant struggle”, she said.
Daley expressed ALLFIE’s “sincere gratitude” to City Bridge Foundation and called on other funders to provide long-term funding for DPOs and “collectively support the work of the disabled people’s movement as a social justice issue”.
Other recipients of Anchor funding include Inclusion Barnet, which will receive £980,000 over the next seven years.
Inclusion Barnet said the funding would “play a crucial role in helping us keep core roles within our organisation going strong” and allow it to “continue work on addressing the ongoing problems that are making life difficult for disabled people and other marginalised groups in Barnet”.
The funding will mean it can “continue to develop and grow” and “focus on building our organisation infrastructure so that we can continue advocating for meaningful difference in society”.
It added: “We can’t emphasise enough how excited and grateful we are for getting this Anchor funding.
“City Bridge Foundation has been an amazing supporter, and this is a huge achievement for our organisation.
“We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished in getting this grant.”
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