IRMF received feedback from Forum members that RCOS and BAMER facing challenges and solutions include that:
Challenges and issues accessing resources to deliver “employment support:”
• Small groups are delivering employability support to most vulnerable 'hard to reach' communities but are not being resourced, e.g., taking referrals from mainstream/larger organisations, having to challenge decisions such as sanctions on people's behalf but are not being resourced for this work
• Larger mainstream organisations favoured and small groups are overlooked
• Funding pots inaccessible to small groups
• Small groups are not recognised or acknowledged for their impact and reach
• Small groups don't have capacity to demonstrate 'track record' of their impact and their reach.
• Small groups don't have capacity or resources to develop partnerships
• Information about opportunities not received by smaller groups In addition to the above discussions, other issues that came up include:
• Small groups having to challenge unfair sanctioning on behalf of vulnerable people.
• Volunteering commitments such as volunteering in small groups not recognised by JCP coaches
• Where is One stop shop? – better use of space
Support needed to overcome these barriers:
• Capacity building, one-to-one for small BME and refugee organisations.
• Supporting partnerships e.g. support with facilitating partnerships, resources for good partnership-working like templates, a success criteria document, check lists, case studies, partnership networking events, support with practical steps
• Recognition and demonstrating track record – e.g. collating information that demonstrates what support small groups provides – (anecdotal evidence is not enough), making a stronger case that it is not about size of organisation but reach, could be films/videos talking about services and impact, documents, campaign material, statutory services to provide more recognition and acknowledgement for small groups e.g. awards
• Accessing other sources of funding, resources and space such as Islington - Local Initiative Fund, Voluntary Action Islington-Website, Big Alliance - Support, Awards-For-All-Big-Lottery
• Better information sharing to include small groups, more networking, maybe a webpage
Useful Information: Organisations that looking for policies template can visit VAI website by clicking the link below: