Empower Inspire CIC was established at the beginning of 2022 as a direct response to a post-Covid world. The idea was to reduce isolation and promote inclusion through the creation of community groups to be formed on a needs-led basis.  The organisation operates in the Neath Port Talbot/Swansea Bay area of south Wales.  Empower Inspire has now set up eight community groups that benefit 110-120 people a week.  These include a group supporting parents of children with additional needs, an intergenerational group meeting for coffee mornings, two Singing for the Brain classes, and a group initiative aimed at improving mobility in older people.

At the February 2023 meeting, Allen Lane has agreed a grant of £5,000 to Empower Inspire to set up an additional group in Glynneath within the Vale of Neath.  This will run as the ‘Sunflower Café’ and provide an informal session for individuals living with dementia, and their carers.  The dementia café will help to reduce the isolation felt by individuals and their families, and improve their wellbeing.  It aims also to improve opportunities for signposting/referring people into professional services where appropriate.


Known as FOSS, this charity aims to help New Scots integrate into Falkirk and remove barriers to accessing service. It is a befriending charity, working with any newcomers to the area, in the majority supporting resettled refugees and people in the asylum system. FOSS is based in Falkirk in the Forth Valley. In February 2023, […]

Beloved was founded ten years ago to provide support for women working in the indoor sex industry who experience disadvantage and generally do not access mainstream services. It works across Bristol and works closely with other charities and agencies to coordinate support. The charity offers casework support and assists the women with a broad range of complex and interconnecting issues. Beloved provides an emotional and practical response to the needs of the women and helps them to move forward into happier, healthier and more positive lives.

At the February 2023 meeting, Allen Lane Trustees agreed a grant of £10,000 split equally over a two-year period to Beloved. The grant will support general running costs. Anticipated outcomes over the period include that the women supported will have reduced isolation and loneliness, improved access to learning and education and better access to alternative employment, volunteering and vocational training.


Foundations 2 Change has the overall aim ‘to show men that a successful life outside of prison is possible’. It was founded by people who had been through the criminal justice themselves, and recognised that there were different ways to help people reintegrate back into society after being imprisoned. Much of its work is with repeat offenders, tackling the underlying issues that are the root cause of their offending behaviour. Foundations 2 Change works within the prison, delivering courses and rehabilitation workshops, and then helps the men as they come out of prison, meeting them at the gate, helping with accommodation, finding support and helping them make a new start.

Allen Lane has made a grant totalling £6,000 split equally over two years. The funding will help Foundations 2 Change to support men as they move back in the community. The organisation will help with setting up welfare benefits, bank accounts and other appointments, and introduce them to positive support networks that will aid their successful journey to recovery. Outcomes from the work are that on release the men will be supported into stable accommodation or rehabilitation; they will leave prison with the tools and confidence to live successfully; and that at least ten men will remain free of reoffending for at least 12 months after their release.


This charity states it is committed to creating opportunities, community cohesion and positive futures for Lincolnshire’s Traveller communities.  It aims to empower families and provide tailored services to meet their needs.  It supports the Traveller community across the county of Lincolnshire, running various projects and schemes. The work is split into four main areas – these are an advocacy project assisting people with other services and offering support at meetings etc; an education project via a mobile classroom that regularly visits sites across the area; an employability scheme offering support with training and developing skills; and a health initiative that aims to improve health and wellbeing.

At the February 2023 meeting, the Allen Lane Foundation has offered a £10,000 single grant for the employability programme.  The charity aims to work with at least 25 individuals on a fairly in-depth level over the year, helping each person to identify their strengths and create individual personalised career plans.  This will involve specific training and support aimed at raising their employment prospects, and support with writing CVs, help looking for jobs and making job applications.  Intended outcomes from the programme are that all participants will feel more confident about gaining employment; they will have increased skills and qualifications; and at least 30% will be support into employment within the period.


This Project was established to bridge the gap in services for people who are isolated as a result of their mental health issues.  It works across the rural areas of East Fife and Levenmouth, including many small towns and villages.  The Befriending Project works by recruiting and training volunteer befrienders and matching them with people with mental health issues who are referred to the service.  Volunteer befrienders will spend time with the people they are linked to, and support them in accessing activities or visiting places they would like to go to. There are also four main group social events each year run by the charity that enable everyone to get together and enjoy some social interactions.

At the February 2023 meeting of Trustees, the Allen Lane Foundation awarded a grant of £7,000, split over two years, towards the Project’s general running costs.  The intended outcomes over the period of the grant are that: beneficiaries will become less socially isolated as a result of being befriended; they will have increased confidence and self-esteem; and that they will be more involved in community and group events



Conversation Club Leeds is a registered charity that has been running since 2016.  It offers a safe and relaxed atmosphere in which asylum seekers and refugees can meet and learn or practice their English.  The charity is completely volunteer-led, with local volunteers and asylum seekers and refugees all offering mutual support.  Two weekly sessions are run each week, and overall at least 100 individuals benefit.  As well as informal English classes and conversation, the sessions include activities such as quizzes, crafts and people can find advice and information.  The charity also organises outings to places of interest, and workshops with other organisations – such as cooking sessions, or walking for example.

At the February 2023 meeting, Allen Lane agreed a grant of £5,000 to be split over a two-year period.  This will contribute towards general running costs of the Club.  Benefits for the participants include improved levels of English speaking; improved access to cultural and other local opportunities; and reducing people’s isolation and creating and encouraging friendships.



This charity works across a parish of around 2,500 families in the two small rural villages of Magheralin and Dollingstown and surrounding areas in County Down. It has set up a community venture to address needs in the local area and to offer activities and programmes that are designed to meet people’s needs. It runs various programmes benefitting all sections of the community – including a toddler group, groups for older people and community events.

The Association requested funding towards setting by a new therapeutic gardening club aimed at improving the mental health of local people. It will encourage people to be more active, to make friends and provide a positive peer support network for people who are involved. Allen Lane Foundation Trustees agreed a £4,320 contribution towards the salary of a gardener who would run the project at the meeting in February 2023.