October 2009    Issue 33

Welcome to the October edition of ROTA's newsletter!

Welcome to the October edition of the ROTA E-newsletter. The ROTA policy team are busy responding to consultations from the Department of Health, Department for Children Schools and Families, Department for Communities and Local Government and the Office of the Third Sector, for more information and to send us your views please contact us directly. We have also produced a briefing on the Education White Paper, Commissioning and Grant and responded to a Home Office consultation on Gangs Inunctions; all of which can be downloaded from the ROTA website. www.rota.org.uk.

The work of the Winning the Race Coalition continues, as ROTA submitted a comprehensive response to the Government Equalities Office specific duties consultation and have been engaging with the minister Michael Foster MP to highlight the concerns of the Coalition. See http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/WTRC.aspx for full updates.

ROTA’s Female Voice in Violence partnership continues to engage in policy development having secured a place on the UN Advisory Forum to the Women’s National Commission, and will attending their first meeting during October.

It is with regret that we have to inform you that as of October 1st 2009, HEAR, London’s pan-equality third sector network, will no longer be hosted by ROTA. Despite HEAR’s increased reputation and impact, the network has been unable to secure long term funding. ROTA has hosted HEAR since 2005 when it was first set up as the equalities and human rights sub-group of the London Regional Consortium of ChangeUp.

In this issue:
National Policy News
01 Equality and Human Rights
02 Criminal Justice
03 Health Inequalities
04 Education and Young People
05 Other Policy News
London Policy News
01 MiNet updates
1.1 MiNet Advisory Group
1.2 Training
1.3 Funding
02 Other London Policy News



National Policy News

1. Equality and Human Rights

Wining the Race Coalition responds to the Government Equalities Office Consultation on the Specific Duties

ROTA has submitted a comprehensive response to the Government Equalities Office specific duties consultation on behalf of the Winning the Race Coalition.  The Winning the Race Coalition (WtRC) is a group of 36 third sector organisations interested in promoting race equality.  They have come together to campaign to ensure that the Single Equality Bill, presently before parliament, maintains and builds upon the present race equality laws.  You can find out more at http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/WTRC.aspx.

The response was developed with information from BAME led third sector organisations, the members of the WtRC, and attending consultations across the sector.  The response is critical of the lack of clarity around the impact assessment, monitoring and training provisions, and asks that the coverage of the bill is strengthened to ensure all those organisations delivering public services are included. You can see the response at www.rota.org.uk

The EHRC case against BNP membership rules adjourned

On the 2nd September 2009 the EHRC case against the British National Party was adjourned to allow the BNP time to instruct its solicitors.  The BNP was given more time as it had recently obtained legal representation after dispensing with its original Counsel.  The EHRC started the proceedings at London Central County Courts against the BNP because it believes that the BNP membership rules of stating only people of ‘indigenous Caucasian ethnic origin ‘could be members was against the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.  The EHRC brought the case after the BNP refused to alter its membership rules following a letter from the EHRC.  The case will be heard again on the 15th October 2009.

Tender Opportunity – Draft Guidance for meeting Equality Duty

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is currently looking for an author to draft guidance which will aim at: Helping public authorities in England, Scotland and Wales meeting their gender equality duties and human rights obligations in the provision of goods, facilities or services for their transgender users and potential users; Enabling transgender people and their representatives to understand better how public authorities should treat them and to challenge the poor delivery of goods, facilities and services where relevant. For more information on the tendering process please contact Claire Lesko at the Equality and Human Rights Commission claire.lesko@equalityhumanrights.com. The deadline for submissions is 9th October.


2. Criminal Justice

Gang Injunctions Equality Impact Assessment – ROTA and WRC Response

Following call for evidence amongst BAME and Women’s Sector organisations, ROTA and the Women’s Resource Centre’s (WRC) Female Voice in Violence (FVV) partnership submitted a response to the Home Office Equality Impact Assessment on the proposed ‘Gang Injunctions’. Gang Injunction would feature in the new Policing and Crime Bill and would give local authorities greater powers to place injunction as civil orders on over 18 year olds involved in gang violence. For more details on the injunction proposals please visit http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police-reform/policing-crime-bill-documents/gang-injunctions-eia . To view the FVV Partnership response, please visit www.rota.org.uk. For more details on the on the FVV Partnership please visit the ROTA website or contact carlene@rota.org.uk

Women in the Criminal Justice System

Given the work being undertaken by ROTA’s Female Voice in Violence project, and the catalogued multiple-discrimination that BAME women face in the prison, we welcome current activity to address the experiences of disadvantaged women in the criminal justice system.  Firstly, Clinks, The Griffin’s Society, Women in Prison and Government Equalities Office are hosting a number of women in focus events  ‘Women in Focus’ events across the country throughout October and November. These free events will reflect on the recommendations of the Corston’s report, look at progress made, showcase innovative practice and discuss how the sector can make it happen. For more information please visit http://live-events.coi.gov.uk/womeninfocus/register.htm.

Secondly, a new alliance of charitable trusts and foundations seeking to transform how disadvantaged women are treated by the criminal justice system, the Corston Independent Funders’ Coalition, has appointed an Advocate and launched their website. Find out more about the work of the coalition please visit http://www.corstoncoalition.org.uk/.

Hate Crime Action Plan

The Home Office has published a Hate Crime Action Plan which sets out government activity to address all forms of hate crime. The plan, which places an emphasis on prevention, outlines how local agencies such as the police and councils will get new advice on the best ways to deal with hate crime. Advice to be circulated to stakeholders will include new guidance on preventing hate crime and a training toolkit for crime reduction bodies better identify hate crime and support witnesses. An electronic copy of the action plan is available from the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.

Funding for offender mental health projects

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation is concerned that many prisoners and ex-offenders in the criminal justice system have mental health needs which need to be addressed to reduce re-offending.  As a result, the Foundation is accepting applications to fund small projects working specifically with prisoners and ex-offenders to improve their mental health and to help their integration into the community. Given the disproportionate number of BAME male and female offenders with mental health needs in the criminal justice system, ROTA would encourage BAME organisations that specialise in this field to apply. Grants given under the programme may be one-off payments towards a capital project, or given over one to three years for running costs for established projects and over four years for new projects. The next deadline for applications is 27th November, for further information please visit http://www.trusthousecharitablefoundation.org.uk/home.html.

Annual Review of Ministry of Justice equality schemes

On 28th August 2009, the Ministry of Justice published ‘The annual review of the Ministry of Justice’s race, disability and gender equality schemes for 2008-2009’. The review assesses how the department is achieving compliance with its equality duties for race, disability and gender; highlights areas of good practice; and identifies further actions to be taken forward over the next few years. To access the review visit http://www.justice.gov.uk/latest-updates/equality-scheme-annual-review-2009.htm


3. Health Inequalities

New Horizons – Mental Health Consultation

The Department for Health is consulting on the future of mental health services and provision across England. Focusing on the root causes of mental illness, the consultation aims to seek out preventative and locally based solutions and support. The consultation also looks at the roles of different service providers and how partnership working between services and communities can reduce stigmas associated with Mental Health. Given the continued disproportionate number of BAME individuals who experience mental health issues and access services, ROTA is urging BAME third sector engagement in this consultation and will be holding a workshop in Nottingham in conjunction with BEAM before submitting a response. The closing date for responses is 15th October 2009 and full details can be found at http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_103144

Green Paper on Care Systems

The Department for Health has launched its Green Paper to improve national care and support systems. The document highlights challenges faced by current system and proposes the development of a ‘National Care Service that is fair, simple and affordable for everyone’. The department is consulting on its plans until the 13th November 2009 and full details can be found at http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_102338


4. Education and Young People

ROTA Template Response – Funding to services for BAME Children and Young People

ROTA has produced a template response to guide organisations responding to the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) consultation on its Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) Grants Programme. The response features responses offered by organisations who took part in our original call for evidence for this consultation, and focuses on service provision for BAME Children, Young People and Families. To download the response and for further details of the consultation please visit the ROTA website or contact Carlene on carlene@rota.org.uk. The deadline for submitting responses to the DCSF is Monday 5th October and full details of the consultation can be found at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultation Details&consultationId=1612&

ROTA produces Policy Briefing on Education White Paper

ROTA has produced a Policy Briefing on the Government’s recently published Education White Paper, Your child, your schools, our future: building a 21st century schools system. The briefing summarises the key aspects of the paper that will potentially impact on BAME organisations and the communities they serve. ROTA will be seeking to work with the DCSF on some of the issues raised in the briefing and would encourage BAME organisations to submit their views to ROTA in order to develop our work in this area. For more information on ROTA’s briefing please contact carlene@rota.org.uk or to download a copy of the briefing please visit the ROTA website. For further information on the White Paper visit http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/21stcenturyschoolssystem/.


5. Other Policy News

Strengthening Local Democracy

ROTA, with LVSC will be submitting a position paper outlining our broad response to the Department for Communities and Local Government Consultation Strengthening Local Democracy.  These proposals developed the role of scrutiny for local councils by developing their powers and broadening the coverage.  It also looked at what powers were needed to ensure local councils could act strategically to tackle the challenges of the future.  ROTA broadly welcomes strengthening and simplifying the accountability of local public bodies but is concerned that the under-representation of BAME communities as councillors could effect the proposals quite significantly.  You can view the position paper here www.rota.org.uk.

Consultation on a refreshed Compact

The Office of the Third Sector, the Commission for the Compact and Compact Voice are currently consulting on a draft updated Compact document, ‘Refreshing the Compact: A framework for partnership working’. Established in 1998, the Compact is an agreement between Government and the voluntary and community sector, which recognises shared values, principles and commitments and sets out guidelines for how both parties should work together. ROTA is currently drafting a response to the ‘Refreshing the Compact’ consultation document and would welcome your views and thoughts by 7th October, in particular on the following questions, to inform our response:

  1. Are you aware of the Compact and its purpose?

  2. Have you ever used the Compact and if so how has your experience been?

  3. What needs to be changed about the current Compact in order to make it more useful for BAME organisations in the third sector?

Please send comments to Barbara@rota.org.uk. To find out more about the Compact and this consultation which ends on 12th October please visit http://www.thecompact.org.uk/.  

Commissioning more responsive public services

Last year, HACT launched a new good practice publication, More responsive public services? - A guide to commissioning migrant and refugee community organisations (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2008). To date, more than 2000 copies of the guide have been purchased by commissioners and community practitioners across the country. Together with the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham, HACT is holding a joint seminar to inform commissioners and capacity building organisations such as Councils for Voluntary Services of the benefits and challenges associated with engaging migrant and refugee community organisations in contracts and commissioning. The guide also has relevance to commissioning and engaging with the broader voluntary and community sector. Speakers include Dr Jenny Phillimore, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham, Azim El-Hassan and John Perry, Joint Authors of: More responsive public services? The event takes place on 14th October, 9:30am – 1:00pm, Birmingham To find out more visit www.hact.org.uk. ROTA has also produced a policy briefing on Commissioning and Grants to dispel myths and increase knowledge of the differences and processes to the BAME third sector. See www.rota.org.uk for the briefing.

A project to address gaps in service provision for BAME women survivors of domestic violence

IMECE Turkish Speaking Women's Group and the Daphne project are carrying out research aiming to identify gaps in service provision for BAME survivors of domestic violence. Project findings will shape training for statutory sector professionals working with survivors of domestic violence. To find out more or to offer your expertise to this project please visit http://www.itn.org.uk/current_progs09.html or contact Yesim on 020 7354 1359.

Charity Commission Consultation

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation on its diversity policy.
The Commission has developed a "single equality scheme" in line with provisions in the Equality Bill. The consultation closes on 9 October, for further details please visit http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/

Commissioning: combating poverty and social exclusion

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a call for proposals relating to the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (EY2010). The Social Exclusion Task Force is keen to encourage organisations to make bids relevant to the socially excluded adults, public service agreement (PSA16). As well as proposals for regional events and technical assistance, funding will be available for four UK-wide programmes of activity to be delivered at a local or grassroots level. ROTA’s 2009 consultation with the BAME Third Sector identified Poverty and Social Exclusion as continuing policy priorities for the communities they serve, and therefore would encourage BAME organisations assess whether they can work in this area. Find out more at please visit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/european-year-2010/.

Race and the Recession – Event

'Race and Recession: Be Part of the Solution' is a Voice4Change England event taking place on the 27th October, and will examine the impact of the recession on BAME Third Sector organisations and the communities they work with. It will look at how BAME Third Sector organisations are important in tackling deprivation during the recession and how their vital role can be supported in meeting the needs of all in our diverse society. For more information please visit http://www.voice4change-england.co.uk/race_and_recession:_be_part_of_the_solution.html.

Thinking ahead: training for BAME Third Sector Support Organisations

Voice4Change England are offering new training workshops, for BAME third sector support organisations, assist organisations becoming more sustainable, and work more effectively, during economically challenging times. They are offering a three part, ‘Training for leaders’, workshop, for Chief Officers, Chairs, Senior Policy Officers and other individuals responsible for leading BAME support or infrastructure organisations; as well as a two part ‘Training for development workers’ workshop, aimed at people in BAME third sector support or infrastructure organisations, who support frontline organisations. 

More details including how to book will shortly be at http://www.voice4change-england.co.uk/home.php. For further details please contact Jemma Grieve on jemma@voice4change-england.co.uk.

Briefing on Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act

The Refugee Council has published a briefing on the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.  The Act introduced significant changes which affect refugees applying for naturalisation; once these sections are brought into law, currently planned for July 2011, most people will have a qualifying period of eight years (up from five) before they can apply for citizenship. If they take part in voluntary work, termed as ‘active citizenship’, t this period of time will be reduced to six years. The Refugee Council opposed these changes. To read their full briefing please visit http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/policy/briefings/2009/bci_act.htm.

Parenting among minority ethnic populations

A new study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has found that researchers and policymakers know very little about parenting among minority ethnic populations in the UK. ‘Understanding the experiences of Asian fathers in Britain’, which explores the patterns and experiences of fathering young children among four Asian religo-ethnic groups: Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims, Gujarati Hindus and Punjabi Sikhs, found that: great diversity in fathering exists within and between religio-ethnic groups; many fathers have poor knowledge of statutory family support services and perceive them as unattractive and intended for mothers; efforts to increase the time fathers have in direct contact with their children must recognise the varied working conditions of Asian men, and the pressures they face from family and consumer society to earn and accumulate materially. To find out more about the study and to download its report please visit http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/experiences-asian-fathers.

London Policy News

1. MiNet updates

MiNet Consultation Response to the CapacityBuilders Single Equality Scheme

MiNet has recently produced a response to the CapacityBuilders Single Equality Scheme consultation.  The MiNet response highlights the importance of keeping a race perspective and a focus on issues of compounded race equality issues, within a broader agenda of bringing equality strands together.  This can be viewed on the MiNet webpage http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/MiNet_Publications.aspx.

Consultation Response to Equality and Human Rights Commission Guidance for the Single Equality Bill

MiNet has also produced a response to the EHRC to inform the production of the framework for services and Public Functions Guidance for the Single Equality Bill.  This can be viewed on the MiNet webpage http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/MiNet_Publications.aspx.

1.1 MiNet Advisory Group News

The Future of the BAME Third Sector

On Thursday 22nd October, Croydon BME Forum will be delivering an important event in collaboration with KnowHowNonProfit looking at the future of the sector.  The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the role of the BME Third Sector, celebrating the contribution of the sector and examining its sustainability in testing times.  The event will also launch a new innovative website (www.bmelinks.org). The event will take place at Hilton Croydon Hotel, for more information, or to book a place contact 020 8684 3719 or email conference@bmeforum.org.

Selby Trust – Social Enterprise Opportunities

The Selby Trust is a thriving multi-purpose community centre in a former school building in North London, providing low cost workspace for 30+ third sector organisations onsite along with sports and conference facilities that attracts 1500 people each day from diverse communities.  Social enterprise courses are now available in drawing and art, which will include information on tonal rendering, composition, furniture design and architectural design.  For more information about the Selby Trust visit http://www.selbytrust.co.uk/ or if you would like information on art and design opportunities contact Joel Minot 07799533602.

Specialist Training – All Staff Working with Children and Families

AFRUCA – (Africans Unite Against Child Abuse) is the premier charity promoting the welfare of African children in the UK.  They are offering a training course designed to enable those working closely with African children to develop a stronger working knowledge of clients from African background, and the key role that religion can play in child upbringing in many African communities. It will assist participants to assess and examine some religious practices and their impact on parenting styles and child safeguarding. Participants will work to identify strategies to promote better safeguarding of African children and to intervene positively in families where there is child protection concerns of abuse related to the influence of religion.  To book your place at the training, please contact AFRUCA at 0844 660 8607 or visit www.afruca.org for more information or to download a booking form. 

BAME Advocacy Seminar

A partnership event by Advocacy Resource Exchange, Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Afiya Trust, taking place on the 22nd October, will explore BAME Advocacy issues, reflecting on the three year Supported Voices project and the work of partner organisations involved in the event. The seminar will feature workshops and presentations from EHRC, the Afiya Trust, the Advocacy Resource Exchange Supported Voices project, BME Health Forum/MRCF Good Practices for Access and Wellbeing programme and the Delivering Race Equality Dashboard amongst others. For more information or to book a place please contact andrea.dixon@advocacyresource.org.uk.

Essex Racial Equality Council Conference

On the 4th November Essex Racial Equality Council will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with conference entitled ‘Race Relations – the next 25 years’.

Speakers include Ziauddin Sardar, author, academic and member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission; Rob Berkeley, Director of the Runnymede Trust; Jane Tottingham, Diversity and Equality Manager, Ford Motor Company; and Clive Mardner, Director of Essex Racial Equality Council. For more information please visit http://www.essexrec.org.uk/index.html.

1.2 Training for BAME groups

FREE Interactive Mentoring and Training for BAME Groups

Recruitment has now started for individuals from new or recently established third sector organisations representing Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities.  Over a four day period participants can learn about setting up a sustainable organisation, project development, governance and fundraising basics.  It is an opportunity for individuals to consider the right path to take when setting up their own organisation and directions they may potentially take.  For more information visit http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/MiNet_News.aspx.

Free Training for BAME groups on “Understanding Environmental Management Systems”

Global Action Plan has a few free remaining places for training on 14th Oct (09:30-11:30) for BAME organisations.  The training will provide information on what is right for your own organisation and quicker and easier methods to get your organisation environmentally accredited.  The training will be held at NCVO, Regents Wharf, 8 All Saints St, London N1 9RL (5 minutes walk from Kings Cross station). Please contact Anthony@rota.org.uk if you require more details. 

Equalities training events

In partnership with Voluntary Sector Forum and London Councils, ROTA is delivering equality and human rights learning events to all organisations funded by London Councils, which will cover:

  • Equalities and human rights legislation

  • Equal opportunities policies

  • Data collection methods

  • Accessibility, outreach and marketing

  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission

As well as presentations from peers who have developed good practice and experts, participants will have the chance to learn from and problem solve with others through table discussions and interactive workshops.

Two events have already been held and another two will be held on 5th and 6th October. London Councils will be developing an equalities resource pack based on these events which will be available on their website after the events. To find out more about the events please visit http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/WhatsNew.aspx?#H5.

1.3 Funding

Community Cash Awards (UK)

Young people are being given the chance to claim a share of £1 million to help tackle the dangers of drugs, crime and play a positive role in their community. The Royal Bank of Scotland Community Cash Awards will see £1 million of grants being distributed by youth charity “The Prince’s Trust” to young people who want to run community projects in some of Britain’s poorest areas. The Awards, worth £250 to £5,000, are available to disadvantaged 14 to 25-year-olds who want to transform their area and learn practical skills. Projects could range from improving local youth facilities to sex education workshops in schools. Projects must: be run and managed by people between the ages of 14 and 25; clearly benefit the local community; benefit the people running the project; and be a new or developing project.  For more information, visit http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/grants/community_cash_awards.aspx

Sport England Small Grants Programme (England)

Sport England has announced that its small grants programme is now open for applications. Under the programme, not-for-profit organisations, including sports clubs, voluntary or community organisations, local authorities and education establishments (such as schools, colleges and universities) can apply for grants of between £300 and £10,000 for community-level activities that help people become involved in sport, keep people in sport or help people improve their performance at their chosen sport. Sport England anticipate this fund will be used for example, for purchasing sports equipment for local clubs, running coaching activities for the community and getting more coaches qualified. The Sport England Small Grants programme has a total value of £7 million and will fund both revenue and capital costs.  For more information, visit. http://www.sportengland.org/funding/small_grants.aspx.

LEAP (Local Employment Access Projects) Fundraising event on the 4th of November

On Wednesday 4th November, Local Employment Access Projects (LEAP) will be holding its first ever fundraising event, the Big Push, at the prestigious Waldorf Hilton Hotel, Aldwych.  LEAP is a well established BAME-led charity providing training programmes to transform the lives of thousands of disadvantaged people from across London.  Big Push will be hosted by the TV personality Kwame Kwei-Armah with guest speakers Mike Harris (founder/co-founder of Egg, Firstdirect and Mercury One-to-One) and Levi Roots (entrepreneur, chef and star of Dragons’ Den), dance performances and other entertainment. Fore more information, contact LEAP on 020 8962 1900.

The Development Awareness Fund – Mini Grants Scheme

The Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that it is accepting applications for funding through its Development Awareness Fund - Mini Grants Scheme. This may be useful for small BAME (UK based) organisations whose work involves an interest in international development issues, such as child labour, HIV/AIDS, migrations issues.  The programme provides grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to three years for projects that raise awareness and understanding of: international development issues within the UK, of global interdependence and highlights the progress that has been made.  Project proposals must be submitted by 31 October 2009 http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Working-with-DFID/Funding-Schemes/Funding-for-not-for-profit-organisations/DAFMG/.


2. Other London Policy News

London Councils Future Commissioning Priorities Consultations

London Councils are expected to run two consultations regarding their future commissioning priorities. The first of these will be a scoping consultation, expected in the latter part of this year and will inform the formal consultation to be held at the appropriate time next year. Both will comply with the Compact and last for 12 weeks. London Councils will also be sending out information about how to get involved and get your voice heard and ROTA, along with other third sector bodies, will be monitoring this process and keep members updated.

London Child Poverty Awards 2009

Minister Stephen Timms has announced the launch of the London Child Poverty Awards 2009. The aim of these awards is to celebrate and promote the great work being done by individuals and organisations across the capital in tackling child poverty.  London Councils is sponsoring the 'Corporate Commitment' Award. There are five other awards - superb service and exemplary employer for organisations and outstanding practitioner, inspirational parent and child poverty champion for individuals. Deadline for applications/nominations is the 5th October 2009.

Please nominate organisations and individuals that you feel deserve to be recognised, you can also nominate your own organisation. Detailed information on what the awards themselves are and how to enter can be downloaded via: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/childpovertyawards.

GLA – Time for Action Update

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has published an update to its Time for Action plan – equipping young people for the future and preventing violence.  This update follows the Mayor of London’s consultation on the original Time for Action document published in November 2008, which set out the Mayor’s vision for tackling youth crime in the capital. To view ROTA’s response to the original document please visit www.rota.org.uk . ROTA continues to engage with the GLA on the Time for Action programme through our Female Voice in Violence project and wider work on education, health and criminal justice. For further information on Time for Action please visit www.london.gov.uk

London Councils new grants website

London Councils has launched a new website featuring real-life case studies from a range of the organisations it funds with its £28 million voluntary sector grants scheme. London Councils also has a directory of the work being funded, with contact details, events listings and the latest news from our funded groups. To visit their website visit http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/grants/ and so use their directory please go to http://www.grants.londoncouncils.gov.uk/.

A Manifesto for Londoners

London Councils have been engaging with key policy makers, thinkers, including voluntary sector leaders, throughout this summer and autumn to identify the most pressing challenges foe Londoners and developing thinking about how they might most effectively be addressed. The result of this engagement and thinking will be a Manifesto for Londoners which London Councils hope to publish in early 2010. London Councils are also hosting discussions with key politicians at each of the major party conferences and have published a scene-setting collection of think-pieces, Developing a manifesto for Londoners, with contributions from a broad range of London's politicians and key thinkers. To find out more visit http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/lobbying/corporatecampagins/manifestoforlondoners.htm.

Practicing Diversity – Case Studies Wanted

Kingston University has been commissioned by the London Development Agency (LDA) to undertake a study of Small to Medium Enterprises that are engaged in good workforce and supplier diversity practices.  This study will highlight case studies of good practice that will be posted on the website of the London Development Agency. Those who take part in the study they will have their company profile promoted on the LDA website as a model employer. For more information please contact Dr Peter Garside p.garside@kingston.ac.uk / 07770 347272 / 0208 547 7505.