BBC to match Stormzy's £10m pledge to tackle racial inequality in Britain

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY)  Stormzy attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Redferns)
Stormzy attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Redferns)

BBC Children in Need has announced plans to match Stormzy’s £10m pledge to help combat racial inequality in the UK.

The money will be spread over ten years and will see the charity working alongside the rapper and BBC Radio 1Xtra in a bid to help young Black people fulfil their potential.

The move comes after chart-topper Stormzy announced he plans to donate funds to UK organisations, charities and movements tackling racial inequality, justice reform and Black empowerment over the next decade.

Read more: Stormzy wore his sister's clothes as he grew up without much money

Commenting on the BBC’s decision to match his pledge, Stormzy said: “Further to making my pledge last month, I’m happy to hear that the BBC have also taken up my plea for others to pledge.

“I’m also pleased to know of their commitment to allow young Black people to decide where the money will be spent and I believe this decision is an imperative factor in supporting and strengthening the young Black community. We continue to urge others to join us in pledging.”

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Stormzy performs on the Pyramid stage during day three of Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England. The festival, founded by farmer Michael Eavis in 1970, is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. Tickets for the festival sold out in just 36 minutes as it returns following a fallow year. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
Stormzy performs on the Pyramid stage during day three of Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

The money will also go towards supporting young social entrepreneurs in making a difference in their local communities as well as developing young leaders and youth leadership.

It is also hoped that by enabling access to education and learning, young people will gain more skills and be better equipped when they start working.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Stormzy poses with the MOBO award for Best Grime Act in the winners room at the MOBO Awards at SSE Arena on October 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Stormzy poses with the MOBO award for Best Grime Act in the winners room at the MOBO Awards at SSE Arena on October 22, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

Kenny Imafidon, Trustee of BBC Children in Need, said: "Over the past few weeks, some of the systematic and institutional racism that exists in the UK has been laid bare open for all to see. This racism is not new and many people from the Black community, like myself, have had to endure the negative effects of it all.

Read more: Stormzy compares himself to Shakespeare

“I can speak for the entire Board of Trustees and all the staff at BBC Children in Need when I say, we were really inspired by Stormzy’s pledge. I am excited about this new fund and I truly believe that this is the beginning of greater things to come, as we continue on our mission to support children and young people most in need.”

Lorna Clarke, Controller of BBC Popular Music, said: “We are fully behind this new venture and it really demonstrates the power of collaboration to provide a positive force within our communities. We are committed to telling authentic stories of young 'hard to ignore' lives across the country, on 1Xtra, and across the BBC’s Pop music stations.”

Details about how to apply for funding will be announced in due course.

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