Big Unfair Society

Breaking news Voice4Change England send joint letter to the Home Secretary to save the Equality Act. Find out what we are doing to Save the Equality Act.

News Voice4Change England have been commissioned by the Office for Civil Society to advise on its Big Society policies. Read more

About the Campaign

Why did we launch the Big Unfair Society campaign?

On 1 April 2011, equality-led organisations lost their place at the Office for Civil Society’s key policy-making table. Without representation at a strategic level the voice of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) voluntary and community organisations will be lost. This will have a devastating impact on the disadvantaged communities relying on their support and will prevent Government achieving a vision of Big Society that is fair, inclusive and progressive.


What is the Big Unfair Society campaign?

On 28 March Voice4Change England (V4CE) launched the Big Unfair Society campaign to mobilise everyone in the sector that recognises the crucial work of BME and other equality led voluntary and community organisations.

We called on the Office for Civil Society to:

1. Reinstate Voice4Change England as a strategic partner.

2. Use underspend from the Strategic Partners’ Transition Programme to support equality led organisations.

3. Directly engage equality led organisations in policy development and programme delivery.

 

Response to the Big Unfair Society campaign

We had an incredible amount of support for the campaign. There were 334 signatories to our campaign petition and 27 MPs signed up to EDM 1666 calling for our reinstatement. There were numerous messages of support, tweets and press coverage including support from a few of the re-confirmed Strategic Partners.

We formally handed our findings to Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP at a visit we coordinated with the Asian People’s Disability Alliance on 5 April.

 

Did we achieve our campaign goals?

1. Reinstate Voice4Change England as a strategic partner.
Voice4Change England has been commissioned by the Office for Civil Society to advise on Big Society.  Whilst this falls short of reinstating Voice4Change England as a strategic partner it shows that the OCS have recognised the need to engage equality-led organisations in policy making and gives us the opportunity to be heard at strategic decision making tables.  We will champion and support the BME voluntary and community sector to build a Big Inclusive Society.

2. Use underspend from the Strategic Partners’ Transition Programme to support equality led organisations.
Alongside Voice4Change England, the Women’s Resource Centre has been commissioned by the Office for Civil Society to advise on the Big Society. 

3. Directly engage equality led voluntary and community organisations in policy development and programme delivery.
The Big Unfair Society campaign has received incredible support and raised the profile of the importance of engaging equality-led organisations in policy development.  We will build on this support to make the voice of equality led VCOs stronger.

What next?

As the BME communities’ advisor to the Office for Civil Society (OCS) on Big Society policies and programmes we will work closely with the Women’s Resource Centre to examine the challenges inequalities present Big Society, and their solutions; and to identify the opportunities Big Society offers for tackling inequalities 
Read our Director’s open letter to campaign supporters.