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Dean T Huggins Development Officer. How did we start?. SBMEN originally emerged in 2003 in response to enhanced Government interest in BME communities SBMEN became a constituted body in 2005 with support from Becon

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Dean T Huggins Development Officer


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    1. Dean T Huggins Development Officer

    2. How did we start? • SBMEN originally emerged in 2003 in response to enhanced Government interest in BME communities • SBMEN became a constituted body in 2005 with support from Becon • The project was part of the Sunderland ChangeUp to strengthen the infrastructure of the voluntary and community sector

    3. Context • Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary & Community Sector in Sunderland is under-resourced • No or very low strategic participation • None receive grant funding from the local authority – and never will • Three have SLA with the statutory sector • Marginalised within the whole VCS

    4. Development work The SBMEN awarded a contract to Praxis - work started in October 2005 to develop: • organisational and management capacity • a business plan, funding strategy and work plan • explore opportunities for partnership working in Sunderland • Address issues around longevity • Organising a study visit to Bradford’s COEMO in March 2006

    5. What we have done so far • Organise networking events (eg Training) • Support individual members in preparing and presenting reports and business plans • Ensure black and minority ethnic participation in strategic activities (eg developing the Sunderland Strategy) • Participation in Sunderland’s Community Network

    6. Funding • Funds have been secured from a variety of sources over the years: ChangeUp, NLDC and the Northern Rock Foundation (small and large grants) • Lack of success with Big Lottery and Capacity Builders • Seek funding opportunities for members: Connecting Communities Plus, Grassroots Grants, Community Leadership Fund

    7. Where are we now? • A network of 16 black and minority ethnic organisations and groups in Sunderland • Two staff members: 1.5 posts • Funded until March 2009 by the Northern Rock Foundation • Working in partnership with other infrastructure organisations and agencies

    8. The Future • Increase awareness of the Network and its provision • Focus on member support: the Network is only as strong as its members • Strengthen the networking between members • There are questions about the value of strategic work: can the Network really impact on public agencies? (They want us, but won’t pay) • Increasing activity within The Sunderland Network • Secure funding for work beyond March 2009

    9. Acknowledgements: • Praxis • Northern Rock Foundation • Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities • Continuum • BECON • Sunderland City Council & SRB 6 • The Sunderland Community Network / SCVS • Member organisations & Management Committee

    10. Thank you for listening