Black and minority ethnic (BME) representative body Voice4Change has this week spoken out against government plans to pull the plug on funding for regional BME support networks in March 2009.
According to Voice4Change, government plans to withdraw funding worth £540,000 from BME networks in nine English regions could spell disaster for BME voluntary and community groups and the BME third sector as a whole. Without BME regional networks, the government is likely to lose touch with up to 15,000 BME voluntary organisations. Without network support, these already under-resourced organisations are unlikely to be unable to manage themselves at a strategic level or speak on matters such as policy and public opinion. They are also unlikely to be able to access the best and most useful funding streams.
Undoubtedly, this fatal blow to regional BME networks could kick-start a downward spiral: BME voluntary and community organisations will no longer be able to provide services to, or act as the voice of, BME communities throughout England and, if that is the case, the government, out of touch with this portion of the third sector, will be unable to develop coherent inclusion and equality policies.
Source: Third Sector
This week has seen the announcement of nine new innovation projects. Each project is set to receive funding through the Building Democracy Innovation Fund, provided by the Ministry of Justice.
This year’s bidding round, launched at the end of July and fuelled by the Building Democracy blog, received 124 applications from local and regional groups wishing to run projects to encourage more people to get involved in politics, decision-making and the discussion of public issues.
The nine winning projects include:
•Yoosk.com: an online ‘question time’ which will allow the public to communicate directly with local and central government.
•Policy Slam: a series of debate events involving the public and policy makers.
•Tagwagon: a converted campervan stuffed with new technology that roams the country recording and mapping the opinions of local communities.
The winning entries will receive up to £15,000 to run a pilot version of each democratic engagement programme.
For further information, visit:
Source: Ministry of Justice
This week Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced the nine English towns that will each receive a share of £30 million of government funding as part of the Change4Life programme.
The scheme, backed by government and implemented by local community groups, charities and even food retailers, is intended to promote healthier lifestyles amongst residents of Manchester, Dudley, Halifax, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets, Middlesbrough, Tewkesbury, Thetford and Portsmouth. It is hoped the programme will encourage activities such as healthy food promotions in supermarkets, walking campaigns, cycling groups and free swimming classes.
Plans are already being put in place in each of the nine participating towns and include a Points4Life loyalty scheme in Manchester that will offer points that can be converted into healthy food or free sports activities to those taking part in exercise, a Cycle Recycle project in Thetford, junior health trainer programmes in Middlesbrough and a new ‘urban garden’ with new green spaces in Tewkesbury.
For more information on the Change4Life scheme visit:
Source: Department for Health
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Change 4Life, charities, community and voluntary groups, Department of Health, Dudley, food retailers, government funding, Halifax, healthy living, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Tewkesbury, Thetford, Tower Hamlets
Looking for fresh ideas and new techniques to revitalise your voluntary or community organisation?
Well, why not head to the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) conference in London on 11 December 2008?
The event will include hands-on workshops and plenary sessions on topics such as how to tackle strategic development in the current turbulent climate. There will also be a range of guest speakers, including Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, and Lenka Setkova, head of the Carnegie UK Trust Civil Society Programme.
If you are an NCVO member and an active third sector or voluntary organisation, tickets will set you back £168.
For further information contact Kathryn Cook on 020 7520 2510 or email her at email@example.com.
Or visit the NCVO website:
Yesterday Environment Secretary Hillary Benn announced Defra’s £6 million Greener Living Fund.
The Fund is intended to help voluntary, community and charity organisations promote positive environmental changes in their local area. It is hoped that financial support given to groups will be used to encourage people to live ‘greener’ lifestyles – by taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly choices.
The Fund has been launched in conjunction with Defra’s new Third Sector Strategy. The new programme will aim to improve third sector involvement in the implementation of policies concerning the environment, food and rural affairs and seeks to recognise the “absolutely vital” role the third sector must play in bringing about a greener Britain.
The Greener Living Fund will offer funding for two years. A bidding phase will take place before the end of 2008 and the programme will open to applications between April 2009 and March 2011.
For further information visit:
Last week’s launch of the government’s £7.5 million Empowerment Fund has caused a stir amongst some third sector organisations.
The Fund, which will run from 2009 – 2012 and will support approximately 25 – 30 organisations with grants of between £250,000 – £500,000, has outraged smaller voluntary and community organisations because of its financial thresholds.
According to the Fund’s criteria, only charities with an annual income of at least £400,000 are eligible to apply. These measures mean a whole host of valuable and entirely competent voluntary sector groups will miss out on a chance of funding and the opportunity to work towards community empowerment- simply because of their income size.
Charities and voluntary groups had warned the Communities and Local Government department during a consultation back in September that implementing the thresholds would disappoint the sector and claimed that the steps could “increase disparity” and “limit innovation and new approaches”. The government, however, insists that limiting the number of eligible applicants will ensure the Fund makes a more “meaningful impact”.
For further information visit:
Communities and Local Government:
Source: Third Sector
Posted in New Funds, Sector News
Tagged Communities in Control, community, community and voluntary groups, Department for Communities and Local Government, Empowerment Fund, government, Hazel Blears, New Funds, third sector, voluntary sector