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Pledge your support for Shared Vision
To help us achieve our shared vision, Voice4Change England call on the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and wider voluntary and community sector to join us and seize the opportunities we have identified to collaborate, to communicate and to celebrate our work.
Pledge your support to the BME voluntary and community sector and A shared vision to strengthen our voice and raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities lying ahead. The time has come to build solidarities to achieve better outcomes for BME and disadvantaged communities.
Pledge your support for the following:
- We believe the BME VCS is a crucial part of civil society.
- We support the BME VCS to seize the opportunities and tackle the challenges identified in A shared vision.
- We call on policymakers to act on the recommendations and commit to disseminating the messages from A shared vision findings through our networks.
Cara Irish Day Centre
Larry O’Mahony from Cara Irish Day Centre says: “The BME voluntary sector provides care and support with expert knowledge and genuine commitment to people in need.”
Lara Oyedele from BME National says: "BME National (collective of over 70 minority housing associations) completely agrees that the BME sector needs to stick together and highlight the challenges of the future in a united manner. The imminent social, welfare and economic changes will undoubtedly have a disproportionate negative effect on BME communities. Maybe we can use the “Big Society” to alleviate the disadvantage. But how this will manifest is not clear yet. In the meantime we must stand together and make our voice heard."
Caroline Diehl from Media Trust says: "Media Trust believes that everyone should have a voice and the opportunity to be heard. Voice4change plays a key role in making this happen for communities that are often invisible and unheard."
Kevin Curley from NAVCA says: "NAVCA members must support the local BME sector at a time when local state funding is being cut, insist that public bodies carry out Equalities Impact Assessments and ensure that equalities are at the heart of the localism agenda."
Black Health Agency
Priscilla Nkwenti from Black Health Agency says: "We are pledging our support to acknowledge and continue to support the unrelenting strife and invaluable contribution of the BME VCS in making society a better and fairer place for us all.”
Charities Evaluation Services (CES)
Andy Gregg from CES says: "An effectice BME voluntary sector is vital to ensure that equalities are taken seriously by local and national government and that services are really open to all in the difficult climate that lies ahead."
National Council for Voluntary Youth Services
Faiza Chaudary from NCVYS says: “We believe that all people, regardless of background, should have a voice in the voluntary and community youth sector. We think that this document offers an excellent way forward in developing and raising awareness about the valuable contribution made by many organisations promoting equality and diversity across society.”
David Parker-Radford from Young Lives says: “BME communities do not get the media coverage, the political support or the economic support that the majority population does. Without voluntary organisations working with BME communities they would ignore issues of real need in our society, such as support for new arrivals and refugees, cohesion in the community, skills development and addressing health and education inequalities. These organisations need to be united to show a loud voice to the government that they are not an afterthought and they need to form a key part of a strong society where people of all colours, backgrounds and faiths can live together in harmony and enjoy equality of opportunity.”
Black South West Network (BSWN)
Rupert Daniel from BSWN says: “BSWN as a participating organisation in the development of this document a Shared Vision fully support the aspiration expressed in this document to combat social and economic disadvantage, injustice, in-equality and abuses of human rights were they persist in our society. Black South West Network believe that policies that promote and reinforce inequality should be combated at every opportunity by civil society. Fairness and big society in our current policy environment can only succeed when equality is the norm. We hope that this document will act as a rallying point that unifies civil society and the BME sector in its efforts to achieve social change that promote positive futures for our society.”
Dr Maria Hudson, Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute
"The BME CVS continues to engage in vital work in a challenging climate. The 'shared vision' provides us with a timely agenda for tackling BME disadvantage and making a difference. We need to engage with the evidence base to bring about change and make the vision the reality".
Northampton Rights and Equality Council
Anjona Roy from Northampton Rights and Equality Council says: “Our organisation fights for social justice in Northamptonshire and given the current climate it is even more important that collective action and clear messages are sent by the sector to funders and policy makers about the essential contribution that the BME voluntary sector can make. “
South West Forum
Stephen Woollett from South West Forum says: “South West Forum are pleased to pledge our support for ‘A shared vision for the future of the BME voluntary and community sector’, its good to see such a strong, proactive vision of what needs to happen amongst lots of uncertainty and change. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) organisations play a vital role in addressing inequalities and building strong communities. In the South West’s rural areas where minority ethnic populations are small, the role of the BME voluntary and community sector is particularly important to reduce isolation and racism and ensure equal access to services. We are happy to work with Voice4Change England and its regional partners supporting a vibrant and sustainable BME sector.”
Sir Stuart Etherington from NCVO says: “NCVO is pleased to pledge its support to taking a Shared Vision forward. BME VCOs are a critical part of civil society and it is important that we work together in support of communities to create a fairer and more equal society.”
Rob Berkeley from Runnymede Trust says: “If the Big Society is also to be a fairer society, it is crucial that the BME VCS is enabled to play its full role in supporting BME citizens and others to engage with opportunities to play a larger role in shaping public services. Without their involvement the Big Society project is likely to fail, putting at risk the major contribution that BME people already make to civil society.”
Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action
Sally Pickering from GAVCA says: “GAVCA is committed to equality of opportunity and supporting diversity and challenging discrimination and we are happy to pledge to work together with others who share our values.”
One North West
Daniel Silver from One North West says: “During these difficult times, it is important to stand together and make a statement on the innovative and essential role that the BME voluntary and community sector delivers in order to ensure greater equality and protect our most vulnerable communities.”
Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality
Jane Bashman from Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality says: “There is a real danger that words like ‘fairness’ and ‘inclusive’ are preferred which means a sensible debate leading to understanding about race is problematic. The BME third sector in places like Suffolk is increasingly fragile and marginalized, which means that BME issues are very rarely brought to important decision making tables. Inclusion and fairness can only be achieved by addressing specific ‘single strand’ issues such as race and this is why a vibrant BME 3rd sector is critical moving forward.”
Race on the Agenda (ROTA)
Dr. Elizabeth Henry from ROTA says:“There is a plethora of evidence detailing the inequalities that BME people in Britain experience across a whole range of determinants of public health. It is not possible to achieve public health for the people of this country unless and until we ensure that everyone is considered and included in the way forward. BME people and the BME VCS have a long tradition of civil society participation and must be included in the opportunities to achieve the Big Society. Key drivers of the Big Society and reform must be fairness and inclusivity – without these we all lose.”
Sickle Cell Care
Dianne Clough from Sickle Cell Care says: “We are a BME charity meeting the needs of Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia sufferers but finding that there is a massive inequality in the care they receive and the level of interest and support from the health service and government is totally inadequate compared to other life long health conditions. Sickle Cell sufferers still have to fight to claim Disability Living Allowence despite Sickle Cell been a degenerative condition and are still suffering discrimination in schools and the work place. Part of what we do is to try and address these issues at al levels.”
Justin Davis Smith from Volunteering England says: “A strong, vibrant and sustainable BME voluntary and community sector is essential for the health of society and for building the Big Society. Volunteering England is pleased to support A Shared Vision and looks forward to working with Voice4Change England to help make it a reality”.
Naz Project London
Brian Teixeira, from Naz Project London says: “BME VCOs are essential partners in addressing inequalities in our society. Without them, our progress towards a fairer Britain would stall and eventually go into reverse.”
BME Community Services, West Sussex
Amina Chitembo of BME Community Services says: “I concur with the other pledges on the site, BME third sector organisations need to stand strong and work together with mainstream organisation to support and protect the most vulnerable in our communities if we are to work towards a fairer Britain.
There may be a danger of misinterpretation of the ‘Big Society Concept’ by those seeking opportunities to exclude already marginalised BME communities but I also see great opportunities to turn this into positive support and work towards an ‘inclusive’ ‘fairer’ in the ‘correct sense’ Britain. In west Sussex, we are just managing to break ground in ensuring more inclusive services for BME communities. We will strive to continue this work and see great results despite all the cutbacks. As in the words of Maurice Bishop Backwards never, forward ever.”
The National BME Committee of the NHS Ambulance Service Network
Alexandra Ankrah says: “The National BME Committee of the NHS Ambulance service is committed to identifying effective ways it can contribute to helping the NHS to build engagement and capacity, with and within BME communities. Our area of immediate concern is that within existing resources, there is a clear role that the NHS could now take on to better support and prepare BME led community groups for emergency situations. There are parts of the BME community, including people who are of Gypsy and Traveller origins, who have some of the worst health outcomes and the lowest life expectancy in the country.
We recognise that our BME communities are skilled and resourceful – but we also recognise that what now needs to exist is a coherent and sustained conversation between the NHS ambulance service and BME communities. It is only through sustained dialogue, effective partnership and shared learning that we will be able to work to deliver better health outcomes for all of our communities.”
Northampton College Council for Ethnic Minority Communities
Laney Holland from Northampton College says: “As a BME specialist Infrastructure organisation supporting over 100 BME voluntary and community organisations in Northamptonshire, we have had LA funding stopped and believe ‘implicit’ contracts to generic voluntary and community sector organisations will and have always missed the importance of Race inequality. We have to become stronger and develop and shape our vision as opposed to waiting to see what the Local Authorities prescribe. The BME VCS need to collectively find this strength and vision to grow, represent and sustain.”
Comments pledged are the views of the named organisations and individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Voice4Change England. Voice4Change England reserves the right not to publish comments it believes are offensive or discriminatory, or may be interpreted as such.