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. <http://www.voice4change-england.co.uk/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=54&qid=2958>
warmly invited to attend the launch of this research report, where you will be
able to meet the researchers and find out more.
the 7th December 2011, 2pm-5pm
Centre (Rainbow Haven drop-in advice centre),
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
113 Abbey Hey Lane, Gorton, Manchester M18 8TJ
or phone 07508 838 348
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
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
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
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
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
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
Among the groups supporting the call are the White Ribbon Campaign, Child
Poverty Action Group, Daycare Trust, Maternity Action, Unison, and
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.”
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:
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 email@example.com.
Why not join in the debate using Twitter hastag #forcedlabour.
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.
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
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:
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.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For queries about the application process, deadlines etc, please contact Helen Robinson, Research Administrator email@example.com.
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IF YOU'RE USING COMPUTERS TO HELP YOU IN YOUR LIFE THEN WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
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THEN PLEASE CONTACT:
The number of young male offenders from ethnic minorities in custody in England and Wales has risen, a report suggests.
Figures produced jointly by the chief inspector of prisons and the Youth Justice Board showed there were 1,822 young offenders in custody in 2010/11.
Of these, ethnic males formed 39% of those held - up from 33% in 2009/10.
Nick Hardwick, the chief inspector of prisons, says the report also highlights "some deterioration" in young people's experience of custody.
The annual review suggested the overall figure of young offenders held in custody was down from 1,977 in 2009/10.
The inspectors said a "changing profile of the children and young people in custody" was emerging.
"Despite the falling numbers, this population has well-defined vulnerability and increasing numbers within minority groups” Nick Hardwick Chief inspector of prisons
"Despite the falling numbers, this population has well-defined vulnerability and increasing numbers within minority groups” Nick Hardwick Chief inspector of prisons
In addition to the rise in the proportion of black and minority ethnic young males, the number of foreign nationals of the same gender increased from 4% to 6%.
The report drew on the experiences of young males aged 15-18 in all nine establishments and 47 young females aged 15-18 in all four establishments in which they were held between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011.
More than half of the females and a quarter of the males said they had spent time in local authority care and nearly a quarter of the young women already had children of their own.
When asked what would stop them re-offending, the most typical reply from both sexes was having a job.
However, the majority said they did not know who to contact while they were incarcerated when it came to preparing for the jobs market outside.
According to the report, only 63% of young men thought they were treated with respect by staff, down from 69% the previous year and an average of 76% between 2004 and 2008.
And just 67% said they were treated well or very well in the reception of the young offenders institution, down from 72% the previous year.
Mr Hardwick said: "This report has highlighted some deterioration in children and young people's experience of custody.
"Despite the falling numbers, this population has well-defined vulnerability and increasing numbers within minority groups.
"The need, therefore, to provide these young people with support during their time in custody and in preparation for release is as great as ever."
And Frances Done, who chairs the Youth Justice Board, said there was concern that in some areas the experience of youngsters in custody had deteriorated.
She said: "We will be looking closely at the experiences reported by young people and working with all secure establishments to make sure that young people's time in custody has positive results and that everyone working in youth justice is focused on rehabilitating young people to help them achieve a more purposeful life."
In tough times such as these, an intelligent funder needs to trust its grant holders to do the right thing, says Peter Wanless, chief executive of the BLF in the Guardian:
I've spent a lot of time recently warning charities and social enterprises of the need to adapt to the new funding environment, that the weakest bid they could possibly make to the Big Lottery Fund these days is one asserting that because something has been successful in the past, it will automatically succeed in the future.
In response I've been told that it's all very well my pointing out that things are changing. People can see that for themselves, thank you very much. But it's quite another thing to adjust strategy on the hoof, especially when you are inundated with demand for essential services and other funding cuts have hollowed out whatever time, headspace or unrestricted funding you might have had with which to map a coherent way forward.
It's not that people necessarily lack ideas – it's time and money (stupid!) that they need. Given breathing space, some of our grant holders would seek expert external help; some would take time out to brainstorm options and overhaul their business plan; some would want to connect up with others; some would favour an orderly closure. But without that space, we are warned, far too many good BIG-funded projects will arrive at the end of their grant, ill-prepared for whatever comes next. That's bad news for them. It's bad news for the legacy of our investment. Most importantly, it's bad news for the people and communities who rely on their services.
In tough times such as these, an intelligent funder needs to trust its grant holders to do the right thing. Charities are calling for cash now to help address the fundamentals of their business, not a complicated application form to justify additional expenditure on a specific project or an opportunity to bid for a brand new venture.
That's why the Big Lottery Fund is announcing today at least £50 million of extra good cause cash across England, all of which we will award before the end of the financial year, to provide immediate relief, much of it with (almost) no questions asked.
There are far too many organisations offering essential services – often preventative ones - for whom things could get worse before they get better, by which time a whole load more problems will have materialised.
If BIG is serious about helping and sustaining a healthy, functioning voluntary and community sector delivering services to communities and people most in need, then business as usual from the Big Lottery Fund simply isn't going to be good enough.
So, with this funding, we are responding in three ways:
Firstly, we are going to offer cash to 1,000 Big Lottery Fund grant holders across England who have a grant coming to an end within the next 18 months. We won't attach strings, we will simply encourage them to use this money and time to consider how best to sustain and secure the impact of their work - whether that be developing a more effective operating model, partnership working, or finding more efficient ways to deliver activities - and let us know what they've done.
Secondly, for organisations coming to the end of their funding with us who are having a particularly significant impact and have a demonstrable track record of achievement, we will offer an extra year's worth of funding. This will ensure they are not simply wiped out due to financial pressures and can carry on their good work, spreading their learning or even scaling their endeavours.
Finally, we have put some extra money into the Reaching Communities and Awards for All programme pots, enabling us to support hundreds more of the really strong proposals for funding we have received recently. The funding has been and will be awarded to around 650 additional projects from debt advice to family support services.
While I am very proud of this funding package, I am under no illusion that it provides all the answers. There is no doubt that the 12 months ahead will bring testing times for the sector as the full impact of the public funding cuts come to fruition and demand continues to increase. £50m, while a significant amount of money, can only go so far in this context.
However, what it will provide for hundreds of community and charitable projects is that vital time out, that much-needed breathing space to come together, assess, and plan. It will improve the likelihood that good projects will adapt to survive and continue the amazing work they do – over the next few months and hopefully well beyond.
Peter Wanless is the chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund