ChangeUp diversity winner plans to strengthen regional structures

The charity that won the tender to provide the new ChangeUp equalities and diversity service plans to set up nine regional consortia across England.

The Women's Resource Centre beat 25 other bidders to win the most hotly contested of the nine programmes announced by Capacitybuilders last week.

The bid was backed by umbrella group Navca, BME voluntary sector support coalition Voice4Change England and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Consortium of Voluntary and Community Organisations.

Vivienne Hayes, director of the Women's Resource Centre, said the centre intended to bolster existing infrastructure and develop new resources in areas where they were missing.

"We are hoping to strengthen the existing regional equalities and diversity infrastructure and establish new ones where they are lacking," she said. "There are areas where third sector organisations do not come together."

The debate about public service delivery contracts, of limited relevance for the majority of the voluntary sector, had overtaken concerns about equality, she added.

Meanwhile, the charities that missed out on key ChangeUp contracts have begun to assess the implications for their organisations.

Ben Kernighan, deputy chief executive at the NCVO, said the organisation was still waiting for decisions in four areas before the final impact could be judged. The NCVO placed bids to run the collaboration and responding to social change services, which Capacitybuilders has put on hold because of the need for "greater clarity".

It is also expecting decisions on whether Capacitybuilders will commission further programmes to continue the ICT and Workforce Hubs' work.

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