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Winning Public Service Contracts Masterclasses - Thursday 17th/ Friday 18th November 2011 shimAdd News501 to Scrapbook

4 Expert Masterclasses, 2 Days of Intensive Learning

Especially tailored for third sector organisations based in Merseyside, Cheshire & Warrington, and Greater Manchester authority areas, the Masterclasses provide a unique opportunity to:

 Respond to a rapidly changing environment
 Develop new business opportunities
 Learn how to write winning tender bids
 Understand finances and how to cost
 Learn how to sell and be competitive
 Gain local commissioner insights
 Develop shared learning and networking

The Masterclasses are funded by the Local Government Association (LGA), and will be delivered by Pulse Regeneration at Salford Innovation Forum on Thursday 17th/ Friday 18th November 2011

Places are limited; For more information, please visit

Call to participate in Universal Periodic Review shimAdd News500 to Scrapbook

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is inviting individuals and organisations to contribute to its activities on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

In order to improve human rights across the globe, the UN Human Rights Council holds a public examination every four years to examine where governments are doing well and how they can improve.

TheUPR takes place in Geneva in June2012. It is a chance for individuals and organisations in Britain to tell the world how the government is doing on human rights and how it can improve everyone's enjoyment of rights, everday.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published information on how the UPR works, howto participate in the Commission's activities on the UPR, andhow tosubmit viewsdirectly tothe UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (the closing date for doing so is 21 November 2011).

Click here for details

Fawcett Society: Counting Women In Campaign shimAdd News499 to Scrapbook

Ensuring women have an equal presence and voice in politics

Solving the problem of women's political underrepresentation is challenging and complex, and counting women into political life requires action on many fronts. Our wholepolitical culture needs to be changed to work for women, rather than women adapting to fit into outdated cultural moulds: the status quo needs to be revolutionised.

Women have waited long enough for change!

The Fawcett Society has formed a coalition with the Centre for Women and Democracy, the Electoral Reform Society and the Hansard Society to campaign for equal representation of women in British political life.

The Counting Women In campaign aims to secure equal representation and influence of women in Parliament and Government at national, regional and local level over the next 10 years.

If you feel angry that a group that makes up more than half of the population is treated like an insignificant minority, that women MPs face more scrutiny of their clothes than their politics, or that our Prime Minister still feels he can address female colleagues in a patronising way – then get involved.

Counting Women In is a public facing campaign that calls on the public to mobilise and demand that that the world of politics changes to better serve women. The time to act is now – join with the coalition in demanding that the system changes to better serve women and ultimately to better serve democracy.

To find out more, email:

Voice 4 Change announce results of their first Trustee elections shimAdd News498 to Scrapbook

Voice4Change England (V4CE) announce the results of their first Trustee elections this week, as four well respected figures from the voluntary and community sector (VCS) step up and take their place on the new Board.

Elections were held at the V4CE Inaugural AGM, held on 26th October, which they used to stage a debate on the future of race equality, asking ‘Fair, Equal and Inclusive – what is the future for race equality?'

As the first national BME-led membership organisation in England, V4CE invited Trustee nominations from across their wide VCS membership base. All present members voted on the day and democratically elected the following Trustees

* Neena Samota of Coalition of Racial Justice UK

* Rita Chadha of Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London

* Balgit Banga of Newham Asian Women's Project

* Mir Juma of Centre for Youth and Community Development

Elizabeth Balgobin, Chair of V4CE says:

"With the expertise and commitment of our new and original Trustees, V4CE embark on a new chapter, strengthened as advocates for fairness, equality and inclusivity across public policy and the VCS.

Our sector and our communities face some of the biggest challenges and instabilities of a decade. It is always in times instability that the political narrative is contested and re-shaped. V4CE will be there at the forefront of the debate on race equality, using our unique position and Board of talented Trustees to powerfully advocate for the BME VCS.

The need for coherent leadership on race equality has never been greater. We find ourselves facing a society where casual racism and a disregard for equality legislation are fast becoming the acceptable norm.

Race equality has slipped from the policy agenda and it comes under increasing threat, from national government and statutory agencies unclear how to interpret their duties. V4CE are calling for a national strategy from Central Government on race equality.

We stand side by side with our members, who are increasing in number by the day, to stand up for a healthy civil society based on fairness, equality and inclusivity.”

Rita Chadha, CEO of RAMFEL says:

"As a Trustee of V4CE, I will bring the skills and expertise to challenge discrimination and prejudice towards BME organisations within the wider VCS family.

As Chief Executive of RAMFEL, I am passionately involved in campaigning around equality and in particular race equality issues. I also currently chair and facilitate Barking & Dagenham BAMER Forum, based in a London borough where the BNP at the last election more that doubled their share of the vote.

In Government there is a lack of understanding about what race equality really means. The BME VCS needs to speak out now to shape the narrative on race equality. We need to constructively criticise policies and develop convincing arguments for race equality based on evidence and a cutting edge understanding of legislation, reforms and power relations.”

Elections were followed by a dynamic debate on the future of race quality. Speakers, V4CE staff and members from the audience shared creative, unified solutions for challenging negative media stories, meeting the needs of rural BME communities and addressing persistent prejudice and stigma.

Voice4Change England Board of Trustees, as of 26.10.11

* Elizabeth Balgobin (Independent Chair)

* Rita Chadha, RAMFEL

* Neena Samota, Coalition of Racial Justice UK

* Mir Juma, Centre for Youth and Community Development

* Balgit Banga, Newham Asian Women's Project

* Jeremy Crook, BTEG

* Abdul Khan, BECON

* Karl Oxford, CFD Connections for Development

* Rupert Daniels, Black South West Network

* Ila Chandavarkar, MENTER

Click here to view the V4CE newly launched Impact Report for 2011. <>

Manchester Beacon Summit Annual celebration shimAdd News497 to Scrapbook
Date & Time of Event: Thu, 17/11/2011 - 09:30 - 16:30
Venue: King's House Conference Centre, King's Church, Sidney Street, M1 7HB

Are you interested in engaging more with Manchester’s Universities, local communities and
cultural organisations? Community groups and cultural organisations are invited to join the
Manchester Beacon network at an annual Summit to celebrate the value of community university partnerships making a difference to Greater Manchester.

The Manchester Beacon for public engagement is a partnership involving The University of
Manchester, The University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University and The Museum
of Science and Industry.

The Manchester Beacon aims to support engagement between community groups, staff and students to work together to make a difference to Greater Manchester.

At the Summit, share and discover practical and creative ways to enhance community and
public engagement through workshops, participant-led sessions, networking and the
marketplace.The day ends with the presentation of Manchester Beacon's Recognition Awards for community-university partnerships making a difference to Greater Manchester.
Summit places are free but limited.

Please book your place, sign up to the marketplace, choose one morning workshop and
indicate if you’d like to run a session here:

About Manchester Beacon

The Manchester Beacon is part of UK-wide initiative, the Beacons for Public Engagement,
funded by Research Councils UK and The Higher Education Funding Council for England in
association with the Wellcome Trust.

To find out more and join the network, visit:
The Legacy of Legacy: launch event A research project exploring barriers to employment - 7th December shimAdd News496 to Scrapbook

The Legacy of Legacy was a community-based research project aiming to highlight barriers to employment from the perspective of women who have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK under the legacy casework scheme.

You are warmly invited to attend the launch of this research report, where you will be able to meet the researchers and find out more.

Wednesday the 7th December 2011, 2pm-5pm

Emmanuel Centre (Rainbow Haven drop-in advice centre),

174 Langworthy Road, Salford, M6 5PP

(Please see the map on the other side of this leaflet)

For more information, please contact:

Rachel Foakes, Rainbow Haven Business and Development Manager

113 Abbey Hey Lane, Gorton, Manchester M18 8TJ

Email: or phone 07508 838 348


David Cameron accused of unprecedented attack on women over cuts shimAdd News495 to Scrapbook
The Daily Telegraph reports that a 20-strong coalition of charities, academics, women’s groups and unions say that women are facing the "greatest risk to their financial security in living memory.”

It comes as the Prime Minister faces growing accusations that women are deserting him and the Tory party in their millions over the way he has handled the cuts.

Today the Fawcett Society accuses the Government of "grinding down women” and causing the "greatest risk to their financial security in living memory.”

The think tank is urging Mr Cameron and George Osborne to consider their "life raft” measures ahead of next year’s Budget to try and alleviate the pain to women of a number of Coalition policies.

Among their recommendations they want childcare costs for low income families restored and a re-think on plans to cut child benefit.

Anna Bird, chief executive of the Fawcett Society said: "Women have not faced a greater threat to their financial security and rights in living memory. Decades of steady, albeit slow, progress on equality for women is being dismantled, as cuts to women’s jobs and the benefits and services they rely on turn back time on women’s equality.

"Fewer women working; a widening gap in pay between women and men; entrenchment of parental gender roles; increased risk of female poverty and dependency on family and the state for financial subsidy – this is the picture that emerges when the many policies of economic austerity are stitched together.”

In a sign that Mr Cameron is concerned that he needs to win back the support of women one of the few female Cabinet ministers will tomorrow(FRI) make a hastily arranged speech on the subject. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will address the issue of women and the economy in a bid to illustrate their vital importance.

Mr Cameron has in recent weeks been accused of superficially reacting to the accusations that he has little understanding of women and has promoted too few. In a mini-reshuffle Justine Greening was made Transport Secretary and Chloe Smith, 29, a junior Treasury minister.

It has also been noticeable that in public appearances such as yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions women were arranged to sit in full view of the television cameras.

Recently internal Tory party polling showed why Mr Cameron is right to be worried. It showed that Mr Cameron is being rejected in increasing numbers by women in skilled manual jobs.

And women are also said to be far more concerned about an apparent hidden "motive" behind Conservative plans to reduce government borrowing to cut public spending.

The Fawcett Society, in its report which will be officially unveiled tomorrow, will point out that the Coalition’s changes to the tax and welfare system are "undermining women’s security and independence.” It points to evidence that 70 per cent of money withdrawn from the benefits system in last year’s Budget comes from women’s pockets.

Single mothers will be among the worst hit and as public services are scaled back women will disproportionately be expected to fill the gaps in care by providing unpaid care for family and often resulting in them having to give up any employment.

But the think tank warns that a "triple jeopardy” of measures to reduce the deficit are hitting women hard: "cuts to their jobs, cuts to the benefits and services supporting women’s every day lives, and a growing likelihood that women will be the ones left ‘filling the gaps’ as state services are withdrawn.”

It wants the restoration of support for childcare costs for low-income families to pre-April 2011 levels; ring fencing of funding for Sure Start to help protect women’s access to employment; and a halt to the closure by local authorities of units to and hostels to help women fleeing from domestic violence.

Among the groups supporting the call are the White Ribbon Campaign, Child Poverty Action Group, Daycare Trust, Maternity Action, Unison, and Gingerbread.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, said: "We need urgent action to stop women being ground down by the Government’s devastating cuts. Two thirds of public sector workers are women, who are most likely to rely on these vital services.

"Women are being hit hard by unemployment, the rising cost of living and cuts to benefits and services to young people.”


Chinese migrant workers in the UK: experiences of exploitation and forced labour shimAdd News494 to Scrapbook

On November 1st, JRF will be launching research conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with the Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, Manchester, and in collaboration with the Chinese Welfare Association in Belfast and the Chinese Migrant Network in London.

This research drew on the experiences of 32 migrant Chinese workers, mostly in the Chinese catering and hospitality business and it explores the experiences of exploitation among low-skilled Chinese migrant workers in the UK. It highlights the extent of exploitation at work, examines what makes workers vulnerable to forced labour, and considers the complex relationships between migration, work and family.

The event aims to:

  • To convey the research findings and the idea of a continuum of exploitation as it applies to Chinese migrant workers in the study
  • Provide and opportunity for discussion and debate around the research findings and identify actions that can be taken to reduce exploitation of migrant Chinese workers

Lead Researcher Carolyn Kagan from the Research Institute for Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University and Sylvia Sham from Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, Manchester will be speaking at the event as will JRF’s Forced Labour Programme Lead, Louise Woodruff. The event will be Chaired by Gerry Yeung, Director, Yang Sing Group.

The event will also include small group discussions which will consider the implications and recommendations arising from the research including what actions could be taken to reduce exploitation. The discussions will be set in the context of either Government, Civil Society and Trade Unions or Business, if you are able to join us on the booking form you will be asked to select which one of the three groups you wish to join.

If you have any further questions, please contact Anne Richardson on 01904 615957 or

Why not join in the debate using Twitter hastag #forcedlabour.

NCVO: The lessons from the riots must not be ignored shimAdd News493 to Scrapbook

The Government must ensure tackling the causes of August's civil unrest does not drop off of the agenda according to our newreportreleased today (31 October 2011).

Following on from a summit we convened in September, which brought together over 100 people from charities, community groups, young people’s services and government to reflect on the causes of the disturbances and the best ways to respond, the report makes a series of recommendations to government, the sector and the media to lessen the risk of events repeating themselves.

It stresses the importance of community groups and statutory bodies working closely together to ensure that an ‘early warning system’ is in place. Many delegates at the summit described how they sprang into action during the disturbances to dissuade people from taking part, bring together community representatives and co-ordinate clean-up activities.

The report also calls on Government to make a full assessment of the impact of spending cuts on communities, and ensure that any cuts to services are introduced sensitively and strategically with the impact mitigated as far as possible. It voices many attendees’ concerns over the lack of funding for young people’s services beyond 13-19: a ‘cliff edge’ approach to funding which can lead to further social exclusion and the breakdown of useful mentoring relationships built up over time.

Other recommendations, which are also drawn from feedback from NCVO members, include:

  • Government should invest in structured job creation programmes, particularly for young people and apprenticeships, working with employers to fund or match fund placements or offer a range of other incentives including tax breaks as appropriate.
  • The voluntary and community sector has an important role to play in speaking out and constructively challenging decisions and practices, including those of government and the wider public sector.
  • When reporting on the riots, the media must ensure accuracy and proportionality, and balance negative news stories with reports on what community groups are doing to attempt to alleviate these problems.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:

‘It is essential that the lessons of the riots are not ignored. While the actions of the rioters were deplorable, we must address the sense of despair and disconnection felt by many who felt they had nothing to lose by taking part.

‘The riots summit threw up shining examples of the pivotal role that charities are continuing to play to help communities get back on their feet and reach out to disaffected groups. To lessen the risk of last month's shocking events happening again, it is crucial to preserve and value voluntary action.’

Download a full copy of the report (PDF 896KB).

New JRF call for proposals on poverty and ethnicity shimAdd News492 to Scrapbook

In Spring 2011, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation launched a major new 5 year programme across the UK which aims to increase understanding of the relationship between poverty and ethnicity.


As part of the first phase of this work, weare inviting proposals for a research project which is intended todetermine:


·What, if any, is the relationship between informal workplace practices and culture and the disadvantage/in-work poverty experienced by people with different ethnic identities; and

·What is the balance between the expectations and actions of employers and those of employees with different ethnic identities in explaining this relationship?


In combination, our aim is for this research to provide a comprehensive insight into what kinds of action could be taken to address the level of in-work poverty experienced by people from ethnic minority groups. A particular focus of this research will be the way in which it will explore the issue of ‘intersectionality’ – in that we will be seeking to understand the perspective in terms of ethnic identity as well as in terms of other characteristics such as gender, sexuality, disability, religion etc.


For more information about the programme please refer to our poverty and ethnicity website.Proposals should be submitted by 23.59pm on Tuesday 29 November 2011 via our website.


We would be very grateful if you could pass this information onto anyone who you think might be interested in undertaking this work, either alone or in partnership with another organisation.


For any questions about the project or the wider programme please contact Grahame Whitfield a For queries about the application process, deadlines etc, please contact Helen Robinson, Research Administrator