Ethnic Minority and Women’s Organisations: from survival to thriving

Friday 13th June 2014

Middlesex University, Hendon Town Hall, 10am-3pm

 This event will see the launch of two reports by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at Middlesex University and use this as an opportunity to facilitate a discussion  around how recent trends have jeopardised the existence of migrant, minority, women (and more generally third sector) organisations, at least in their traditional forms. The professionalization and marketization of the sector, the funding shift towards commissioning, the social cohesion and Big Society agendas, and the spending review are all factors in this process. Many organisations have closed, others are suffering and those left standing had to come up with different models of work and sustainability. Infrastructure organisations are those which have been reduced the most – on the other hand both our reports suggest that networking (formal and informal) and cooperation between organisations are key factors to ensure organisations working against inequality can survive and actually thrive (once again).

This event aims to bring together organisations, community activists, local policy makers and academics in an opportunity to engage with these issues. The afternoon workshop will explore what are the lessons learned over the last few years, encourage participants to share practice and strategies and to develop a joint action plan for the coming years. In particular, the event aims to identify a number of future actions in partnership between third sector organisations and between these and academic researchers.

The event commences at 10am, refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided.

The event is free to attend but must be booked in advance ASAP as places are limited via


 10.00 – 10.30      Coffee and Registration 

 10.30 – 10.50      Welcome and Introduction – Alessio D’Angelo

 10.50 – 11.20      Evaluation of BAN – Report findings – Preeti Kathrecha

 11.20 – 11.50      Between Opportunities and Challenges: Women’s Community and Voluntary Organisations in London – Elena Vacchelli

 11.50 – 12.00      Q & A – Open Discussion

 12.0    – 12.40       Lunch 

 12.40– 3.00         Workshop

  • Exchange of experiences, perspectives and practices
  • Development of common strategies and identification of joint actions 

SPRC Reports

Evaluation and Impact of the BAN Partnership

Research Team:  Alessio D’Angelo, Preeti Kathrecha

The SPRC worked with Advice UK to explore how effective the Black and Minority Ethnic Advice Network (BAN) has been for participating organisations. The BAN partnership is a network of over 40 member organisations in London made up of single ethnicity groups, gender based groups, BME groups, migrant and refugee community organisations, and specialist advice centres. Members currently deliver advice services to London’s BMER communities who otherwise would not be able to overcome various barriers that prevent them from accessing mainstream advice services. The research explored the impact of the BAN partnership on BMER communities in London and provided recommendations on how a future service would be best placed to operate, in particular how sustainability, efficiency and best value could be improved. The findings will help to improve activities and adapt the BAN partnership delivery model such that it is best placed to continue to deliver advice services to BMER communities in London.

Between Opportunities and Challenges: Women’s Community and Voluntary Organisations in London

Research Team:  Elena Vacchelli and Preeti Kathrecha

Women are underrepresented in areas of civic and political life, despite policy such as the Gender Equality Duty (2007) and more recently the Equality Act (2010). Although women organizations are specialist in their own areas and are often successful in establishing solid links with local communities, their ability to influence decision making is limited. Recent studies highlight barriers women organizations face as they try to achieve effective social change. At the same time governance measures, such as the localism agenda, underpin the current Government’s plans to devolve greater power to local communities and there is a growing concern that decentralisation will have a negative impact on gender equality.  Whilst localism as a concept seeks to empower local communities, without a focus on equality it may perpetuate female disadvantage. This project assessed how recent governance measures have impacted women’s organizations in London and gathered information on what specific needs women organizations have in order to ensure that they are represented within local authorities and they are able to cope with a reduced amount of financial resources.