The overarching strategic aim of the project is ‘to bring together and better support the development of the BAME communities of Croydon through a co-ordinated approach we call ‘promise neighbourhood’. Through this approach, we aim to:
- Create resilient neighbourhoods by developing capacities of organisations working with BAME communities;
- Create a tipping point for change so that BAME communities are better supported to deliver their objectives;
- Provide effective leadership and a vision so necessary to develop capacity, learning and partnership working.
The approach will make a difference through structural and cultural transformational processes, including delivery co-ordination. Our approach is to bring the BAME sector together to build strong and sustaining relationships across communities where their voices can be heard, and actions taken to address inequalities and disadvantages. Our approach through this proposal seeks to support community-led and place-based efforts to transform communities, especially BAME communities. We will do this by developing individual and organisational capacities at a ‘neighbourhood level’ that would then be replicated across the wider Croydon communities. Through the approach envisaged we will develop a firm and lasting foundation that will support the implementation of successful, long-term strategies that will transform the lives of BAME communities in Croydon by working thematically in a collaborative way within neighbourhoods (i.e. geographical areas).
National estimates of the size of the BAME voluntary and community sector varies considerably. The most recent (and only) attempt at auditing the sector was undertaken in 2007 by Voice 4 Change England where they found that there exist somewhere between 15000 and 17000 such organisations. Data and information, they found, was “unreliable as nationally, and regionally, BAME social enterprises” are not captured with “data poorly kept” or unavailable. A first task for the ‘partnership’ will be to capture and identify BAME organisations thematically and geographically across Croydon. Indeed, our own consultation in developing this proposal showed that for many small voluntary and community organisations capacity support to enable them to access opportunities, whether through bid writing or programme development, is something they welcome within the approach.