Blue Stone Rights Project

Introduction

We are always looking for ways to help our members to carry out their mission by collaborating with others. The Blue Stone Rights project is a collaboration of Consortium members to provide training, education and capacity building by bringing together the expertise of the North East Law Centre with nine of our other members to support them to develop and use legal and human rights approaches to make a difference to the lives of their beneficiaries.

This two year project is funded by the Baring Foundation and runs until April 2018.

In addition to the Law Centre our partners in the project are

  • The Angelou Centre
  • Children North East
  • Involve North East
  • Newcastle Carers
  • Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service
  • Riverside Community Health Project
  • Skills for People
  • Streetwise
  • YMCA Newcastle

How legal and human rights approaches could improve the help we can offer beneficiaries

The law and human rights based approaches are important tools for the voluntary and community sector because they can provide a means to

  • tackle directly the discrimination and disadvantage faced by vulnerable people and to
  • create and protect the space in which voluntary organisations operate, helping to safeguard the freedom of purpose, action and voice of the sector as a whole.

Voluntary and community sector organisations can use these tools effectively, for example to

  • provide advice and support to beneficiaries in claiming their rights eg in health & social care, immigration and asylum, education and welfare benefits
  • refer people to specialist legal advice in a timely manner
  • mount information campaigns so their beneficiaries and the public are more aware of their rights

The project will build the capacity of its partners to

  • understand how legal and human rights approaches can increase the effectiveness of their support
  • mobilise them to work out the legal issues related to their beneficiary-facing work
  • plan, implement and sustain an effective approach or set of approaches to further the interest of their beneficiaries in seeking redress and solutions

 Timetable

In 2016/17 we will audit the use of legal and human rights approaches of all of our members and then use the findings of this audit to identify ten for the Law Centre to work with to provide three days of one to one advice and consultancy work.

In 2017/18 we will focus on sustaining the work of the partners that have been most involved in the project in using these approaches. This will be done by dedicating the Consortium’s Business Development Manager’s time to support each partner to evaluate the outcome of the use of these approaches; to bring the partners together to submit joint funding applications; to seek opportunities for new collaborations; and to explore ways they can save resources by sharing assets and back office functions.

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