Inclusion and equalities discussion event – Leeds

Tricia Rich, Public Health England (originally posted February 2015)

On Monday 23 February, VCSE organisations met in Leeds to discuss the four questions guiding the inclusion and equalities work theme. Some headlines from the discussion are listed below.

For more detailed notes from the discussion please download the documents at the end of the post.

What are the particular challenges faced in achieving funding and building partnership for organisations working with specific communities, or groups with protected characteristics?

  • Larger organisations tend to win tenders – small and medium sized organisations miss out.
  • Types of funding
  • Lack of statutory sector engagement
  • Welfare Reforms

Some charities and causes are more appealing to the general public than others. Should central government or local statutory organisations focus more support on those charities or causes less likely to attract charitable donations because they are less well-known or popular, or which affect smaller communities or groups?


There is evidence that work with some groups and communities is more likely to be affected by funding cuts than others. Should central government bodies or local statutory bodies direct their funding to compensate for any disproportionate impact?

  • Easier for large organisations to get funding
  • Fundraising is more difficult for those doing unpopular work / strategic work
  • Lack of statutory consultation
  • Impact is favoured over need
  • Where the public is less likely to fund, is also likely to be where government funding cuts also hit, this makes it harder to argue that statutory funding should compensate. Therefore the VCSE sector need to demonstrate both 1) their impact and 2) their challenges

A key feature of the VCSE sector has been its willingness to challenge discrimination and inequality. Do new models of funding compromise the sector’s independence? What examples are there of how the statutory and VCSE sectors can work together to maintain VCSE organisations’ role as critical friend and champion of those who are excluded or marginalised?

  • Impact of cuts on organisations has been severe
  • Effects of types of funding
  • How do we develop a model of funding that will benefit the sector?


  • Need for commissioners and VCSE sector to have stronger dialogue and work together better
  • Impact on workforce of smaller and shorter grants
  • Challenge of making the argument that statutory funding should compensate for lack of public funding or impact of government cuts
  • Challenge of dealing with issues that are not attractive, until they become ‘acute’
  • Costs of interpreters – massive barrier across all outcomes / out-put / target group
  • Perception of provision and delivery of public services, relates to peoples understanding of balance of what government  / private / VCSE provides
  • What role does VCS think it has for health? Education, service delivery etc

Notes from 23 Feb inclusion & engagement event Leeds

Notes from Leeds VSCE review event 23rd February

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