Christmas time is a time to look back with consideration.
Time to reflect on the growth and development of our work, couched by the challenges facing our ever-changing society.
2023 saw Voice4Change England (V4CE) plot a more orthodox infrastructure approach concerning support for the organisations that form our membership base primarily through our ‘Catalyst’ programme.
The #CatalystLondon kicked off with a series of free resilience-building workshops delivered in-person across 5 London boroughs. Funded by the City Bridge Foundation, they are designed to develop and strengthen Black Minoritised Ethnic (BME) communities over the next three years.
The National Community Lottery Fund will fund the core of our “Catalyst” workshops in the regions.
The Pathway Social Investment Project has made huge progress since its launch in November 2022 driving forward enterprise development, sponsoring a new Fund Managers programme and launching innovative research in equalities and investment. Pathway looks set to go fully independent next year.
The big themes of 2024 are already showing up before the New Year has arrived. The recent debates on immigration; in particular the Rwanda programme and the government’s determination to push it through have highlighted that the contest for the next General Election is now well and truly underway.
Economic misery, and failures in social and welfare provision; particularly in health and housing, being linked to unrestricted immigration, is a tactic as old as the hills. However, the immigration policy will not provide answers to the myriad problems facing the country. Indeed, the lack of available migrant labour may well exacerbate them further as labour shortages across the economy push salaries upwards – hindering a smooth post-covid recovery.
We may see a change in government Next Year, and we have to be alive to that possibility at Voice4Change. Therefore, understanding what the new policy landscape might look like, is something we will consider as a key objective in our policy work going forward.
Our ongoing #YourVoteYourVoice campaign supported by the GLA is helping improve political literacy and awareness.
The cost-of-living crisis enveloping the country has dominated the agendas of many charities that have to cushion the twin threats of huge increases in energy costs alongside rampant inflation pushing up the prices of everything from basic foodstuffs to building materials.
There’s much truth in the opinions of commentators who say we are only now facing the full fall-out economically of the ‘Covid years’. We welcome the initiatives from DCMS and The Key Fund in Yorkshire to tackle this head-on with two of the most innovative grant programmes seen yet.
Finally, I‘d like to take this opportunity to thank the V4CE staff, members, and partners for all their hard work throughout the year. I look forward to seeing them grow the Catalyst Programme nationally.
I’m also looking forward to meeting several new members of staff joining our crew in the New Year. Jobrul, Ella, Christabelle, and Jennifer, welcome!
We wish all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We will see you soon.
Director Voice4change England