Filed under: meetings | Tags: funding, localauthorities, OTS, politics, research, UK, vcs, volarts
I was in Birmingham on Thursday to attend a meeting of the Third Sector Research Centre’s Below the Radar reference group. This group informs the TSRC’s research into ‘Below the Radar’ small community groups. Thursday’s meeting explored the theme ‘Equalities Below the Radar’ and was attended by representatives of a wide range of voluntary and community sector organisations as well as the reference group members.
The morning session focussed on three particular areas of TSRC research: Who Supports Destitute Migrants?; Gypsy and Traveller Community Organisations – History, Issues and Futures; and Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary Organisations – Voice and Influence. I took part in a workshop looking at BME voice and influence. There was a general feeling that one impact of the Equalities Act is that a lot of funding is now general funding for all aspects of equalities (rather than separate funding streams focussed on BME issues etc). With cuts to funding (particularly in local authorities) it is now more common for a ‘mainstream’ voluntary organisation (such as a Council for Voluntary Service) to be given a single tranche of ‘equalities’ funding where there had previously been a range of different funds going to smaller specialist representative organisations.
The afternoon session was a ‘Research Slam’ in which we heard a selection of 3-minute summaries of current TSRC research and then took part in ‘World Café’ discussions which gave us a chance to explore the issues that most interested us with the relevant academics. It was a very interesting day and great to have the chance to meet a wide range of people working specifically on equalities issues with small community groups.
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