The new millennium over ten years ago has brought with it new chances, challenges and exciting changes in the way we work, play and interact. We are continually being urged to take responsibility for our futures and to play a role in an accepting society. But if we wish to be truly inclusive, we need a level playing field and this is something that seems to be absent in Britain today.

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Welcome to BME opportunities

Black and minority ethnic communities as well as the Minority Ethnic Voluntary Sector (MEVS) are at a disadvantage from a dearth of resources. This is not simply in terms of money but also in the involvement of ethnic minority people (as trustees, volunteers, staff and donors) and an inclusion and participation within the policy and decision making process.

Developing resources

Our organisational goal is to reassess this by developing resources for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in the UK. In order to do this the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO) and the Ethnic Minority Foundation (EMF) have been set up.            

It is now over three years since we started a major consultation exercise with the ethnic voluntary sector and people across the United Kingdom. This still goes on. To date we have held over three hundred consultations and have got in touch with some 10,000 voluntary sector organisations.

What's important?

The goal of the consultation has been twofold, one to seek the opinions of BME people and discover the important issues of concern to them and then whether they would support the creation of two charities - Ethnic Minority Foundation (EMF) and its arm Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO).

The consultation procedure has enabled us to more fully understand the requirements and aspirations of our communities. It has shown that interest in the two charities was certainly forthcoming. As a result both EMF and CEMVO are now registered charities. The principal goal of both is the social renovation of Britain's black and minority ethnic communities and Voluntary Sector.

BME people have their own voluntary sector delivering much needed services. However on account of a lack of resources like funding, formal personnel, and the potential to influence the policies of funders and influential politicians and the communities they support, remain troubled and weak. It is, nonetheless, clear that whilst the ethnic minority communities are six per cent of the population, they receive only two per cent of voluntary sector funding from every source.

Too many of the United Kingdom’s 3.5 million Black and minority ethnic (BME) people are restricted access to opportunities by racial prejudice and disadvantage. Many exist in the poorest areas, live in unpleasant and packed houses and are more likely to be impoverished and to undergo ill health.