Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary and Community Organisations


Recent years have seen a growing interest in the role of Black and Minority Ethnic-led voluntary and community Organisations (BMEOs). This interest reflects the recognition in public policy of the importance of the voluntary and community sector in general, the Macpherson report, which placed the issues of racial discrimination and institutional racism on the national agenda, and increased lobbying by black and minority ethnic umbrella organisations.

Despite this growing interest, there has been little investigation to date of the important role that BMEOs play in the UK. This mapping report, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is the first national study of the sector. In their analysis the authors: determine the general number and distribution of BMEOs; identify the type of services they provide to the community, and suggest possible gaps or under-provision in these services, both geographically and on the basis of potential demand; assess the type, nature, and strength of existing links between BMEOs and providers of financial, technical and other resources; identify the key factors that influence the level, nature and sustainability of support to these organisations as a whole; and assess the current robustness and sustainability of the BMEO sector and the principal factors affecting this.

Government policies on social exclusion and neighbourhood renewal recognise that mainstream organisations are failing to tackle adequately the deprivation, social exclusion and discrimination experienced by black and minority ethnic communities. But, for this recognition to lead to effective policy and practice, measures to support BMEOs need to be given a much more prominent and central role and to be implemented in a co-ordinated, strategic and long-term way. The alternative is the persistence of a vicious cycle of social exclusion for black and minority ethnic communities.

Read a summary of the findings

ISBN: 0 85374 7792