A volunteer delivers food to a woman's house and they stop to talk at a safe distance.

A Middlesbrough group is spreading Ubuntu throughout the town’s BAME communities.

Ubuntu Multicultural Centre staff and volunteers have been reaching out to people affected by lockdown.

‘Ubuntu’ is the African concept of brotherhood. The word describes the idea of shared responsibility and compassion. Essentially, it’s about looking after other people, and helping where you can.

Which made it the perfect name for founder John Kabuye’s vision. John and his volunteers have found a new way to reach out after plans to launch the Ubuntu Multicultural Centre were paused by the pandemic.

Help from Middlesbrough group

Together with volunteers, and other groups, like the Barefoot Kitchen, John has been working through lockdown to reach communities less likely to ask for help. And the Foundation has supported this work with a £3,500 grant through the National Emergencies Trust.

John said: “I know from experience that our BAME communities don’t want to admit they are suffering. So I’ve called a lot of people and explained ‘I am one of you’ and told them not to suffer in silence. Gradually they have opened up a little bit and let me know when they need something.”

The foundation has distributed 219 awards totalling £1,110,764 in 14 weeks of Covid-19 grant making. The smallest grant was £100 and the largest £30,000. These funds are supporting 196,000 people across County Durham, Darlington and Tees Valley

To find out more about available grants, click here.