Rebuilding Manchester's Black Third Sector with BURN

The network tackles the persistent racial inequalities we find in our city, aiming to give equal opportunity to Manchester's Black residents.

By Alex Watson | 9 June 2020

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BURN, the Back United Representation Network based in Greater Manchester has received funding from the Forever Manchester campaign to build back the black Third Sector.

BURN is a network that aims to challenge and tackle persistent racial inequalities found in Greater Manchester that negatively impact people of African descent.

Decades-long lack of strong and co-ordinated Black senior leadership has resulted in growing racial inequalities, BURN was created to fill that gap.

The founders of BURN successfully lobbied for the creation of a race equality panel to advise Mayor Andy Burnham which is launching in July 2020.

They aim to achieve parity and equal opportunity for Black residents of Manchester, covering health, business, education, employment and skills training, to create a better post-COVID world.

BURN is one of twenty organisations from across the region to achieve the support for a six-month period.

“It goes without saying that I am extremely pleased that we have secured this vital funding from Forever Manchester. It will enable us to start working towards our primary objective which is the economic empowerment of Black people in Greater Manchester.” – Lisa Maynard-Atem, Director, The Black United Representation Network

Research has shown that Black people have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Most Black voluntary, community and social enterprises are small, community-based charities working directly with those with the greatest needs.

They suffer from a lack of funding and have seen a rise in the demand for their services during the crisis. Many are on the brink of closure, which could leave many vulnerable people without the essential and trusted specialist support they need.

BURN aims to work with local partners to design and develop a bespoke distance learning programme to strengthen and grow the capabilities of these organisations so they can better weather any future economic storms.

The Restore, Strengthen and Scale Up programme will be delivered online and will build the digital skills, capabilities and confidence of the Black Third sector to use digital platforms such as Zoom to engage, communicate and deliver services remotely.

The accelerated growth programme will also include wrap-around support such as mentoring and action learning sets to facilitate collaborative working and partnerships between organisations.

To find out more about BURN visit

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