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Grants Committee Asian Tsunami – Response to Item 17 people and communities no: affected in London Report by: Ian Redding Job Head of Overview & title: Scrutiny, Social Policy & Grants Division Date: 26 January 2005 Telephone: 020 7934 9802 Emai firstname.lastname@example.org l: Summary: This report provides Members with information on work being undertaken in London in order to help respond to the anticipated additional demands upon London’s Voluntary and Community Sector as a consequence of the disastrous events in Asia. Recommendation That Members s: 1. receive this report and note its contents; 2. encourage active participation of their boroughs in the development of a co- ordinated approach amongst London’s funders in response to the emerging demands; 3. delegate to Grants Committee Elected Officers any decision about the Grants Committee’s own financial contribution to these co-ordinated efforts; 4. receive progress reports on these issues at each Grants Committee meeting until further notice. Background 1. The earthquake and resulting Tsunami in Asia have caused the largest disaster associated with a single event in recent history. The high degree of mobility that many of us benefit from these days has also meant that the effects on people and communities, whilst obviously concentrated in the areas around the Indian Ocean, have been worldwide. Give London’s cultural diversity it is inevitable that a large number of Londoners will have been affected directly or indirectly by these events. 2. The results of international efforts to provide direct overseas aid to communities that suffered the Tsunami have been remarkable; but then there is a very considerable job to be done. However, the effects on people and communities around the world will manifest themselves for a long time to come, and in London it can be anticipated that support networks that help people deal with the kinds of challenges that these events will cause them, will come under particular pressure. 3. ALG officers were concerned that the need for resources to enable additional demands on Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) services in London to be managed and addressed, did not present those organisations with the usual wide range of bureaucracy from each funder, or a confusing maze to negotiate to find appropriate financial support. 4. Consequently agreement was sought from the Executive of the London Funders’ Group (LFG) to set up an Emergency LFG meeting in order to get some initial thoughts together, and mutually agree upon an appropriate action plan. Emergency Meeting of London Funders’ Group 5. The Emergency LFG meeting took place on Wednesday 12th January 2005, chaired by Ian Redding from ALG. Given the short notice the response was very good and representatives of the following bodies either took part in discussions or provided written thoughts on ways that funders might wish to proceed: Arts Council Association of London Government Barings Foundation Big Lottery Fund Bridge House Trust Business In The Community City Parochial Foundation Greater London Authority LB Haringey London Development Agency London Funders Group South East London Community Foundation 6. The note of that meeting is attached at Appendix 1 for the Committee’s information, and the key issues arising are summarised below. Additional demands on services 7. It was agreed that the scope and scale of additional demands for services from London’s VCS, needs to be properly researched. Based upon the reports from Government, and on intelligence gathered from funders’ conversations with a number of individual VCS agencies, the range of services is likely to include: Counselling (including bereavement counselling) Immigration issues, general advice but also due to isolated children and older people Advocacy, with an emphasis on political problems in some countries affected Asylum seekers Adoption Financial hardship (individuals wanting to pay respects to family and friends, visit families or community, etc). 8. There is an expectation that this will put pressures on the capacity of organisations in a number of ways, including on staffing and volunteers, finance (especially where an agency has close overseas links and has had to respond with increased overseas work in the emergency), and longer-term fundraising. Short, Medium and/or Longer-term Impact? 9. At this stage the expectations were that the VCS are facing short to medium term financial/capacity problems, but that they will need to reflect and adapt their operations in the longer-term as they plan for future activities: consequently financial resources will need to be found in the shorter term to enable organisations to overcome the hiatus. How are funders responding? 10. Though many funders are aware of the potential problems few have had the opportunity to consider how to respond (and certainly not through formal channels). There was, however broad commitment to finding a co-ordinated way to respond. London Funders’ Group Co-ordinatedAction Plan 11. As a result of the meeting, the following actions are now underway: Survey being undertaken for through Barings Foundation (potentially with additional resources through LDA particularly if developing capacity is an issue) to establish What is range of service issues emerging or expected to emerge for the voluntary and community sector (VCS)? What is the potential scale of these and the ability of agencies to cope with the demands? Survey being undertaken by LFG with its members (which includes all the London boroughs and ALG) to establish Whether funders are responding to or intending to respond to these issues? Whether funders are interested in joining in a co- ordinated approach to responding, if not through setting up a common fund through a single “portal” set up by LFG, signposting the VCS to the most appropriate funding source? 12. LFG has a full members meeting on the morning of 3 February 2005, but will now extend that beyond lunchtime to provide for a further discussion about the Tsunami. It is anticipated that given the urgency of the situation a substantial amount of feedback from both surveys will already be available. Action within boroughs 13. A number of boroughs have been active in assisting their communities in responding to the events that have arisen: many have made facilities available to help agencies cope with demands. Colleagues in the ALG Corporate and Public Affairs Division have been working with boroughs in order to catalogue these through the ALG Website. For Grants Committee information, an extract of these from the Website is attached at Appendix 2. 14. How individual boroughs might be intending to respond to pressures on the VCS agencies in their areas ought to become clearer when they reply to the LFG survey. Grants Committee members may wish to encourage their officers to send their reply to the survey as swiftly as possible, and to attend the LFG meeting on 3 February. 15. Members might also wish to encourage their boroughs to consider contributing to a co-ordinated response to the demands on the VCS, and to how they might envisage this being most effectively and efficiently administered. Geographical spread in London of communities most directly affected 16. Information relating to the location in London of four of the main communities affected by the Tsunami events, as per the 2001 census (Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai), is set out in Appendix 3. Particularly notable is the size of the Sri Lankan community and the proportion of the UK population in London (75%). 17. The data is set out on four separate tables providing the raw statistics analysis in percentage terms re-ordered analysis based upon spread of the Sri Lankan community in London re-ordered analysis based upon the Malaysian community A Grants Committee response 18. Given the Grants Committee’s role as a strategic funder in London it is important that the ALG places itself at the centre of activity in securing as co-ordinated a response as is feasible. The potential for development of a single response by funders, was discussed informally by Grants Committee Elected Officers on 6 January 2005 (prior to the LFG meeting); clearly there was commitment in principle to do this. 19. The financial capacity of the Grants Committee to respond is, however, restricted by the need to retain sufficient balances to underpin the Grants Committee budget for 2006/7 (agenda item 13 provides more detail on the context). The most likely proposal for the Grants Committee is for a one-off contribution to a “fund” set aside to resource appropriate activity, though the scale of this would depend on the results of the LFG (Barings) needs survey. In the circumstances the Committee are asked to delegate a decision on the size of this contribution to Grants Committee Elected Officers. Recommendations 20. Grants Committee are recommended to receive this report and note its contents; encourage active participation of their boroughs in the development of a co-ordinated approach amongst London’s funders in response to the emerging demands; delegate to Grants Committee Elected Officers any decision about the Grants Committee’s own financial contribution to these co-ordinated efforts; receive progress reports on these issues at each Grants Committee meeting until further notice.Officers recommend that the Committee Appendix 1 Summary of discussion LFG Emergency meeting – Joint Tsunami initiative Held on Wednesday 12th January 2005 Chair: Ian Redding Association of London Government LFG held an Emergency meeting to consider how members could respond to the Asian Tsunami disaster in a joint initiative, given that it is anticipated that it could substantially increase pressure upon a range of services provided by voluntary and community agencies in London. Members had the opportunity to brainstorm on the services needed or affected and the potential scope for / obstacles to contributing resources to a joint initiative. Please see below for a summary of this discussion. 1. Clarifying the impacts of the Asian Tsunami through the collation of information from voluntary and community organisations In order to get a sense of how the voluntary and community sector was responding to the Asian Tsunami disaster, members were firstly asked to talk through any work that that had been undertaken in response to the Asian Tsunami disaster resources they would be willing to commit to for a joint initiative Whilst most members present had not identified funds that could be commited to a joint initiative, most had started to undertake a needs analysis of the situation by talking to community and voluntary groups/ organisations. It was agreed that this information should be collated centrally by LFG, to enable a clear picture of the impact of the Asian Tsunami on Londoners. Whilst many community and voluntary groups/organisations had been contacted, many more needed to be approached to enable LFG to have a clear picture of the situation in London. It was agreed that members would pass on to LFG the details of those community and voluntary organsations that should be contacted. LFG will collate this list and pass it on to The Baring Foundation, who will then make contact with these organisations. To ensure consistency, it was agreed The Baring Foundation would develop a list of questions to be put to groups/ organisations. Actions 1. LFG to pull together list of organsations that have been approached 2. LFG to pull together list of organisations that still need to be approached for information 3. LFG to email lists from action 1 & 2 to Baring. 4. Baring to develop questions that will be put to relevant organsiations (action 2) and send a draft of these to group members for comment. 5. Baring to contact organisations from action point 2. This information should be emailed to LFG in time for the next meeting on 3rd February. 2. How joint resources could be pooled There was a discussion on the possibility of a “joint pot of funds”. It was agreed that this could be impractical to administer and that a „virtual’ joint pot of resources with joint publicity and direct signposting as a time limited intervention would be a better option for pooling resources. Most members agreed that pooling resources and information provided them with an „added value‟ instead of working individually. 3. How might funders work on a joint initiative There was a discussion on how funders may be involved and it was agreed that funders could be most effective by aligning areas of need with their areas of expertise. There was a brainstorm on what the possible areas of need may be and the following was agreed. (NB. Not listed in any order of priority) 1. Counseling - including bereavement 2. Asylum seekers 3. Advocacy – political issues 4. Immigration issues isolated children and older people advice 5. Community tensions - maintaining cohesion 6. Adoption 7. Hardship grants (through organisations) - ability of individuals to travel 8. Volunteer management 9. Capacity of organisations finance and utilising for current overseas work fundraising 4. What other organisations may need to be approached It was agreed to talk to the big agencies already actively involved in responding to the Asian Tsunami disaster. This will include The Red Cross and The Disasters Emergency Committee. It was agreed that the following organisations would need to be included in an approach for information of impacts of the Asian Tsunami. 1. IOF 2. CAF 3. LASA incl London advice wkers network 4. Refugee Council – views on prevention advice 5. BAAF 6. MINET 7. MODA 8. TAMIL womens group- no name? 9. ALG steering group of networks 5. Other decisions It was agreed that any initiative would look at matching needs with in-kind support. 6. Other Actions LFG to email membership summary of meeting and questions on members‟ contribution to Asian Tsunami. A second meeting will be convened on 3rd February to look at mapping results and any issues that arise out of this. Appendix 2 (Extract from ALG Website) Response to the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean region by London’s boroughs 07/01/2005 London boroughs have offered their deepest sympathies to the victims, their families and friends. Individual councils have organised events such as memorial services, opened up condolence books and supported local collections to show solidarity with families here and abroad who have been affected by the tragic events in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean. Councils also observed the national three minute silence on Wednesday 5 January and many have enabled staff to make donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee via their pay packet. A detailed list of these activities is below. London boroughs’ contribution to the disaster response efforts in the UK Councils have been working with the Government, the Met Police and other agencies to support and assist people returning to the UK from the disaster zone. A system called the London Local Authorities Gold Command has led the local government response. This system ensures that there is always one local authority Chief Executive on duty to represent the 33 London local authorities in the event of a catastrophic incident affecting London. The “Gold” Chief Executive works with the multi-agency London Resilience Team established by the Government to coordinate the capital-wide response to a major incident following the event of 9/11 in New York. The Team includes representatives from the emergency services, transport operators, utilities, NHS and local government. Local authority roles have included: Social Services staff from the London boroughs of Hounslow and Hillingdon have been providing support to those arriving back from the disaster zone at Heathrow Airport. The staff are also assisting the charity Heathrow Travel Care and other agencies, such as the Red Cross, in providing support for traumatised and grief stricken passengers. The bodies of victims from England and Wales are being returned to the UK via Heathrow Airport and then dealt with by the Coroner’s Office for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, working with Hammersmith and Fulham council staff. The Commonwealth Local Government Forum is planning to host a meeting on 14 January 2005 of UK authorities and other interested parties to talk about the local government response to the earthquake. The Association of London Government is discussing the impact of the disaster on London's voluntary and community sector with the other London Funders Group. Local authority events across London Barnet The council has organised a multi-faith ceremony, which will be held on Sunday 16 January at 2.30pm at Hendon School, Golders Rise, London, NW4 2HP. The event will also see the launch of a borough-wide appeal for people affected by the disaster. Brent The council is holding a fundraising quiz open to staff and the public on Friday 21 January, 7- 9pm at Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, HA9 9HD. Croydon A book of condolence is open in the Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon. Enfield Books of condolences are on display at major council buildings for residents to sign. Greenwich The Council has opened a Book of Condolences for the victims of the disaster. Hammersmith & Fulham The Borough is providing mortuary facilities and the Borough Coroner is dealing with all bodies being repatriated to England and Wales. Haringey Residents that have been affected personally by the disaster and would like to talk to someone in confidence can call Social Services for help and support. Harrow Harrow Council has set up a dedicated bank account for those people in the borough who may wish to contribute. Kensington and Chelsea A multi-faith rememberance service was held on Wednesday 5 January. Newham A multi-faith memorial service is planned for 16 of January. A memorial ceremony was held at East Ham Town Hall on Wednesday 5 January to mark the national three minute silence. Tower Hamlets The Council has organised a borough-wide fund raising day on the 21st January. Waltham Forest The Waltham Forest Council has set up a goods collection point at the Council recycling centres in Kings Road, Chingford and South Access Road Leyton.
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