Saturday, 5 October 2013

My charity crush #1

“If you do a job you love, you never actually work a day” – Or something like that!

I've had many a crush in my time, from the ridiculous, I was convinced I was going to marry Craig David (pre Bo Selecta I hasten to add) - to the fruitful - I had a crush on my last boyfriend for over a year! So I like to think I know a thing or two about them.  When I was asked to write about my charity crush, for my debut Charity Chicks Blog however I really didn't know where to wasn't something I'd ever thought of to be honest!

As a lover of the sector - yes I refer to myself as a "lover" of the UKs’ Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) - you would think I'd have my favourites, but like they say a mother is with her children, I really do love them all.

You don't need me to tell you, we have a phenomenal VCS here in the UK. For the most part we are representative of the needs and issues reflected in our communities, from health and social care to environmental and forestry issues, we lobby parliament, influence policy, fundraise billions, infuse community spirit, and we make a difference, a huge difference each and everyday. How can I possibly choose just one?

That is the task I was given however, and being of African heritage, there are Black and Ethnic minority (BME) organisations that have really made a difference in my life. Black Cultural Archives, for example has provided me with an invaluable porthole into my history, the experiences of black people and how we were treated by society- from local governments to landlords.

BCA as a charity, from governance to fundraising, staffing to projects and events has had its trials already. They have both Local Council (Lambeth) strategic support and Heritage Lottery funding, which no doubt has made for an eventful few years.
Like many 3rd sector organisations, am sure there will be more trials and tribulations to come before the grand opening of the new home of BCA in the heart of Windrush Square in Brixton with funding and staff turnover being two things to think aboutl.  

However let’s think about the magnitude of BCA, their past, present and what’s to come.  The work of BCA provides me and you with an informed understanding of what it really meant to be Black British, how we got here and ensures that we as a people – black and white will never forget.

The Director once had a very frank conversation with me about the expectation history itself has of me as “black British,” the role I play in BCA’s development and how all races of my generation and beyond interacts with black history via the Archive. I’d put money on the fact that most of you reading this may not even be aware we had an archive dedicated to the history of the presence of blackness in the UK, but you do now!

Black Cultural Archives is one of my greatest charity crushes!

Joining Charity Chicks and sharing my views, opinions, experiences of my beloved VCS with you all is very exciting! The range of work we cover, and the outcomes we deliver have shaped and re-shaped societies. Some campaigns are stronger than others, some causes more "fundable," and a lot of organisations are only as strong as the ability of their current CEO - these are facts. Ugly, but facts none the same.

We have charities that have annual budgets to rival a small country, policy writers and campaigners that are changing the world, making sure the human heart isn't replaced with an app and leaders who, if they were politicians really would make the world be a better place.  

The VCS is far from perfect, there are a number of things in the sector that irritate the life out of me and I'm looking forward to writing all about them, but as we have established I am a lover of the sector and I’m equally excited about sharing the ins and outs, up and downs of our budding relationship.

Follow me on Twitter @thefaithabbey

Faith Abbey

1 comment:

  1. Great post - looking forward to more - thanks