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BEN Strategy and Priority Objectives for the next 3 years 

Black Environment Network is a unique organisation, recognised nationally and internationally as the pioneer working for ethnic environmental participation.

The honour of an CBE for our Director Judy Ling Wong is a recognition of the innovative work of BEN in linking ethnic environmental participation to major sectors of concern (including health, heritage, housing, and the arts) to benefit the quality of life of ethnic communities and to release their vital contribution. 

The current high priority of social inclusion in conjunction with the high status of BEN as an expert organisation is resulting in an increasing demand for our contribution at policy level and towards developmental work with ethnic communities. Our strategy aims to strengthen our capacity to meet this demand. 

Note : The brackets after each appoint relate it to BEN's overall Organisational Aims and Objectives

1. To strengthen and resource BEN's core work (4)
expand the core functions of input into consultations and policy to represent ethnic issues and concerns (1.4), and partnership and project development (5.1)
develop new action to consolidate core funding (4.2)

2. To strengthen BEN's capacity to stimulate and support activity within the BEN Network (3)
stimulate consistent dialogue, and fuel debate around ethnic needs and concerns (1.1)
resource BEN website as a vehicle to disseminate information and good practice (3.6)
run regular participatory appraisal events and undertake research to map issues and concerns (1.3)

3. To build the capacity of ethnic communities to take action to address their issues and concerns on their own terms (2)
put into place developmental teams in England, Scotland and Wales, undertaking a range of initiatives to address issues and concerns (5.1)

4. To build the capacity of environmental and other relevant organisations to open up their services and work effectively with ethnic communities (2)
develop BEN's training and consultancy services and associated resources (2.2)

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Organisational Strategy Document

For the purpose of our website, The Summary and Organisational Aims and Objectives are provided here, however if you wish to read the document as a whole, please click on the following link to download the PDF file

Summary

Vision
To have representation and participation, at all levels, of ethnic communities in the built and natural environment, which reflects the profile of the ethnic population in Britain

Organisational Aims

  • To represent issues and concerns relating to ethnic participation in the built and natural environment
  • To develop training and consultancy services in order to underpin ethnic participation
  • To develop, strengthen and maintain the Network
  • To secure resources in order to maintain and increase operations in England, Wales and Scotland
  • To address current issues and concerns relating to ethnic participation in the natural and built environment

Beneficiaries

BEN’s main beneficiaries are ethnic communities and organisations working in sustainable development. We have developed a large network of active local ethnic community groups and individuals across the UK. Ethnic groups need support services in information and advice to enable them to participate fully. Voluntary and statutory organisations need our services to make contact with ethnic communities. They also need information, advice, training and support to enable them to develop greater ethnic participation in their organisations.

Partners

BEN has formed strategic partnerships with statutory agencies, voluntary groups, academic institutions and funders. Partnership development has opened up the partners’ resources and networks in support of BEN’s aims.

Issues

BEN takes a broad view of the term environment, which includes the natural, built, social and cultural, in order to address the cross cutting issues necessary to underpin ethnic participation. As such BEN deals with a range of issues which include:

  • Race Relations and Social Inclusion
  • Environmental and Social Justice
  • Poverty and Disadvantage
  • Natural and Built Environment
  • Heritage and Historic environment
  • Arts
  • Health
  • Housing

Funding

Core funding is essential to support BEN’s central services in meeting the needs of our beneficiaries. Current income from membership, statutory agencies, lotteries, charitable trusts, training and consultancy is not sufficient to give central support to ethnic groups, organisations and partners.

Organisational Aims and Objectives

Vision
To have representation and participation, at all levels, of ethnic communities in the built and natural environment, which reflects the profile of the ethnic population in Britain

Aims and Objectives
1. To represent issues and concerns relating to ethnic participation in the built and natural environment

1.1 Raise awareness of the significance of ethnic participation, promote the values of ethnic minorities and fuel debate around issues relating to ethnic communities at key conferences and events, through BEN and other networks, and appropriate media outlets

1.2 Undertake research, and provide information and advice to ethnic communities, environmental and other relevant organisations on the values and benefits of ethnic participation

1.3 Undertake consultations and research to identify issues and concerns relating to ethnic participation

1.4 Input into policies which affect ethnic participation in the built and natural environment

1.5 Work with wider issues which affect ethnic participation, e.g. equality issues such as the representation of disadvantaged groups or the re-definition of British identity

1.6 Develop and support the role Network members in representing issues relating to ethnic participation in the built and natural environment 

2. To develop training and consultancy services in order to underpin ethnic participation

2.1 Develop structured training programmes for organisations to enable them to work effectively with ethnic communities

2.2 Provide consultancy advice on policy development and organisational change to enable greater ethnic participation

2.3 Build the capacity of ethnic groups to enable them to participate fully in the built and natural environment 
3. To develop, strengthen and maintain the Network 

3.1 Widen the Network to include other sectors which address key issues linking into ethnic participation in the built and natural environment e.g. the heritage, housing, health, outdoor activity and education

3.2 Organise conferences, seminars or events which encourage exchange of information and sharing experience

3.3 Develop and promote good practice in working with ethnic communities

3.4 Initiate events which engage ethnic communities with relevant mainstream organisations

3.5 Link environmental and other relevant organisations with ethnic communities and where necessary act as a facilitator to develop engagement

3.6 Provide an information, advice and networking service,enabling access by ethnic groups to information, advice, expertise, experience sharing and mutual support.

4. To secure resources in order to maintain and increase operations in England, Wales and Scotland 

4.1 Obtain funding for projects which have a regional and local focus to provide better quality of services to ethnic communities

4.2 Identify funding which provides regular income for the core functions of BEN

4.3 Establish a central permanent base for co-ordination and core strategic work

4.4 Build BEN’s reserves to secure the continuity of the organisation in line with the Charity Commissioner’s recommendation to hold reserves equivalent to 2 years of the costs of core functions.

5. To address current issues and concerns relating to ethnic participation in the natural and built environment

5.1 Develop projects and partnerships to address current issues and concerns

5.2 Initiate new and innovative projects, events and models which push the boundaries of BEN’s and its partners’ work

5.3 Promote relevant new activities within ethnic communities e.g. food growing, cycling, green transport, employment development, walking for health, and countryside recreation.

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