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COMMUNITY COHESION AND RELATED INFORMATION FUNDING Equality and Human Rights Commission launches £10 million grants programme A grants programme worth up to £10 million aimed at funding grass roots organisations across all areas of equality was launched on 19 December. The Commission has developed three areas for priority funding. Applicants from organisations working to promote good relations, highlight equality and human rights and case work will be encouraged. The deadline for applications is 5pm 4 February 2008. Successful organisations will be announced on 31 March 2008, and will be funded for a 12-month period commencing 1 April 2008. Awards will be made up to £120,000 per successful application. The Commission will launch a consultation regarding its permanent funding scheme in April 2008. This will examine how best to establish a long-term strategy and programme. For further information on the grants programmes, please see: www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/newsandcomment/pages/newshome.aspx CONSULTATIONS Building Stronger Communities through Inter faith Dialogue and Interaction The Government has launched a consultation into how Government can best support faith communities’ engagement with one another and with their local communities. The consultation will look to discover what is needed to widen and deepen inter faith dialogue and social action. It will seek to: understand how to best build confidence in the benefits of partnership working and develop a greater understanding of the contribution that faith communities can make; discover the extent to which local authorities and other public bodies are already working with faith communities; improve understanding of the structures which facilitate interaction and social action, and how these can be developed; and learn more about some of the barriers to inter faith activity, and how to work together to overcome them This consultation will run until 7 March 2008. Responses to the consultation will be used to develop the final strategy and to inform plans for implementation. For further information on “Face-to-Face and Side-by-Side” see: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/interfaithdialogue Focusing English for Speakers of Other Languages on Community Cohesion This consultation seeks views on proposals to adapt the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme to provide extra help to specific groups. The aim set out in the consultation document is to use ESOL funding more specifically to foster community cohesion and integration in communities. The consultation raises a number of issues on which views are being sought, including: how to develop a list of national priorities to help prioritise ESOL funding which can be interpreted by those in local areas to develop their local plan of English language need and access to funds; how ESOL priorities could reflect indicative national priorities, but with local areas taking responsibility for targeting funding in response to local community cohesion needs; how local planning processes can influence the setting of priorities and the allocation of funds in a way that complements the mainstream system for allocating FE funds; how to ensure that learners identified as priorities are encouraged to take up ESOL provision; how to ensure quality in ESOL provision; and the best methods for promoting ESOL and the benefits of ESOL to employers. The consultation document was published on 4th January and the closing date for responses is 4 April 2008. For further information and a copy of the consultation document (pdf format) please see: www.dius.gov.uk/publications/esol_consultation.pdf Ofsted Race Equality Scheme This consultation seeks views on Ofsted’s revised Race Equality Scheme. The Scheme sets out methods to eliminate discrimination, foster good race relations and promote equality of opportunity in response to the requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The consultation paper was published on 24 December, and consultation will run until 31 March 2008. The outcomes of the consultation will inform a final version of the Scheme, for publication in April 2008. For full details of the Race Equality Scheme (48 pages in pdf format), please see: www.ofsted.gov.uk/publications CONFERENCES AND EVENTS Here are some events you might be interested in attending. 15 February 2008 London: Refugee Week UK Conference A free one-day conference for anyone involved with Refugee Week. Invitations open to all those who have participated or are interested in Refugee Week, providing a chance to share achievements and input into further developments. Refugee Week is held in June. The aim is for lots of participation. There will be keynote speakers and a number of workshops/discussion sessions covering areas such as fundraising. Publicity, working in partnership and making changes through small actions. Closing date for registering attendance: 1 February 2008 For further details, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org RESOURCES Publication of Audit of Race Relations across the Immigration Detention Estate This audit report was published on 3 January 2008. The audit was commissioned following an inquiry by Stephen Shaw, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, into the 2005 BBC programme “Detention Undercover” that made allegations of racism by staff towards detainees at Oakington Immigration Reception Centre on escort. Visits to the immigration removals centres were conducted by Focus Consultancy between 30 January 2007 and 9 March 29007. The audit findings highlighted areas for improvement with regards to race relations, but did not support serious allegations of racism or mistreatment of detainees. For more information on the findings of the audit, please see: www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/racerelationsaudit Helping Soldiers into Homes Members of the Armed Forces are to be given new support to help them buy an affordable home. Service personnel and their families currently living in service housing in all regions will be eligible to apply for a shared equity loan to help them onto the housing ladder. Under an extension of the Government’s low cost home ownership programme announced at the end of December, service personnel who qualify could boost their buying power by up to 32.5% with a regular mortgage topped up with a shared equity loan. The Government is also using the Housing and Regeneration Bill to ensure that service personnel are treated fairly when applying to councils for social housing or homelessness assistance. Under existing housing legislation, members of the Armed Forces won’t have a “local connection” with the district where they are serving or living. This can put them at a disadvantage when it comes to prioritisation for social housing or if accepted as homeless. By amending the law so that service personnel have a local connection with the area they are stationed or living in, this puts members of the Armed Forces on an equal footing with civilians. From the Street to the Boardroom The Government and business leaders have given homeless organisations a chance to become entrepreneurs via a competition called “Spark”. This competition will enable hostels and homelessness charities to bid for financial support, mentoring and a business “makeover” to grow their social enterprise businesses, encouraging the development of employment opportunities and skills. The organisations with the best ideas will win a share of the prize fund (£1.5million) as well as mentoring from experienced social entrepreneurs. For further information visit: www.communities.gov.uk/news Drinking Places: Where People Drink and Why A report of a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, published at the end of November. The study examined alcohol consumption in two contrasting geographical areas, one urban and one rural. The study also looked at the attitudes to and the use of alcohol across various social groupings, by age, gender, social class and faith. Some of the key findings: the priority given to public drinking by Government and the media has detracted attention from the population’s routine domestic drinking practices; binge drinking has come to mean high levels of street drinking by young people, therefore excluding many whose high levels of alcohol consumption should be cause for concern. In the study, many whose consumption of alcohol at home far exceeded government- recommended weekly limits continued to view their own drinking practices as unremarkable; there were clear differences in tolerance thresholds and expectations of appropriate behaviour between the urban and rural areas examined in the study; important differences in the ways that men and women in the study drank also indicate that alcohol strategies need to take account of gender differences; home is increasingly the place where young people learn to drink. Young people’s drinking habits need to be understood and addressed in relation to their parents’ attitudes to and use of alcohol. The changing nature of intergenerational relationships and parenting practices also need to be further understood; strategies that were designed to revitalise the urban night-time economy based on alcohol consumption implicitly exclude faith communities such as Muslims, so contributing to social segregation; and drinking cultures are not uniform across the country, but are embedded within wider historical, socio-economic and cultural contexts. More recognition is needed of how national alcohol strategies might be interpreted differently or have a different impact on specific locations. For more information on the study please visit: www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/socialpolicy/2139.asp Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2007 The New Policy Institute has produced its tenth annual report of indicators of poverty and social exclusion in the United Kingdom. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of trends and differences between groups. Published in December 2007, key findings from the report include: overall poverty levels in 2005/06 were the same as in 2002/03. Child poverty in 2005/06 was still 500,000 higher than the target set for 2004/05; half the children in poverty are still in working families; the number of children in working families where earnings and Child Benefit are insufficient for them to escape poverty goes on rising; overall earnings inequalities are widening; the unemployment rate among the under-25s has been rising since 2004, while the rate for those over 25 stopped falling in 2005; at least a quarter of 19 year olds lack minimum levels of qualifications; not all those who want to work can do so, and disability rather than lone parenthood is the factor most likely to leave a person workless; the value of social security benefits for working age adults has fallen further behind earnings; and the public sector is the largest employer of low-paid workers aged 25 or over. For more information on the report and detailed findings please see: www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/socialpolicy/2164.asp Postgraduate Courses in Community Cohesion Last year, our information package highlighted the development of courses in Community Cohesion Management. The first accredited postgraduate courses for community cohesion practitioners will be launched in April 2008 by Coventry University and the Institute of Community Cohesion, iCoCo. Information Days have now been advertised and are as follows: 6 February – Manchester 19 February – London 27 February – Coventry To attend one of the Information Days or for further information on the courses, please contact: Michelle McLardy, Admissions Officer on 024 7688 7091 History and Citizenship ‘The First Black Britons’ This DVD/VHS learning resource has been developed to help teachers and students gain a better understanding of “The Black Peoples of the Americas“ syllabus. “The First Black Britons” provides a journey of discovery from the Napoleonic Wars to the Imperial Age and highlights the struggle for equality. Presented by Black-British actor/comedian Gary Beadle, and with advice from Professor Roger Buckley (author “Slaves in Red Coats”), this resource explores archives, museums and historical sites in Jamaica, Barbados, London, Liverpool and Windsor. Reconstructions based on first-hand sources are used to bring the history to life, and told in three stories: “Slaves in Red Coats” – how the government of William Pitt (the younger) secretly purchased a slave army to defeat French and Napoleonic forces in the Americas; “The Queen’s Gentlemen”; how Britain’s first African army won the personal favour of Queen Victoria and carved a unique status for themselves as a new class of citizen; and “The Prodigal’s Return” - – how West India Regiment soldiers exacted revenge on the chiefdoms that sold them into captivity. For further information please see the website: www.sweetpatootee.co.uk Disclaimer: Please note that the content of this document does not necessarily reflect GOSE policy.
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