Hilary Benn MP says the voluntary and community sector is needed more than ever to bring people together

News release from Voice4Change EnglandVoice4Change England
28th November 2013

For immediate release

Hilary Benn MP says the voluntary and community sector is needed more than ever to bring people together


Labour MP Hilary Benn’s keynote speech at this year’s Voice4Change England (V4CE) annual general meeting described the ongoing tensions in Britain’s communities through migration and the vital role voluntary sector can play in developing aspirations and bringing people together.

Benn, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, gave his speech during Voice4Change-England’s (V4CE) annual general meeting, which took place on November 21, 2013 at the Resource Centre on Holloway Road in London. 

The event gave members of V4CE an opportunity to look at the work achieved over the past year and the work yet still needed to be done in the sector. 
One of the other highlights of the night was the panel discussion on the Lobbying Bill and Immigration Bill between Sutton Lib Dem Councillor Lester Holloway, Islington Councillor Claudia Webbe and Kulveer Ranger, former Director of Environment and Digital London for the Mayor of London.
Hilary Benn MP said: "In some communities in the country, the pace and scale of change they have witnessed, most recently the migration from eastern Europe, creates tension."
"The voluntary and community sector is a knife point for bringing people together and giving them a chance to develop that confidence and aspiration that we all yearn for because we know what a difference it makes to our life chances."
Explaining the challenges and solutions to the current changes for the voluntary sector, Kunle Olulode, Chief Executive of V4CE, said: "This year was a particularly delicate period as questions over the Big Society, questions of race equality and the issue of resources in relation to the government cuts were the main drivers which shaped our thinking as we worked with our voluntary sector members.”
Notes to editors: 
Voice4Change England
Voice4Change England (V4CE) is a national advocate for the Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector (BME VCS).  BME voluntary and community organisations (BME VCOs) are a crucial part of civil society that have emerged from and work for BME communities.  By supporting the BME VCS we aim to improve the life outcomes for BME and other disadvantaged communities. 
For more information or interviews please contact Communications Officer Samantha Watson on 020 7697 4245 or email swatson@voice4change-england.co.uk