Equinox Consulting – solutions to Black minority ethnic, BAME issues
Equinox Consulting is an innovative dynamic management consultancy set up in 1983 to promote social and economic advancement for disadvantaged communities. These comprise Black and Minority Ethnic, BAME Inner City , Refugees and Asylum seekers, urban poor, and other disadvantaged and socially excluded communities.
We adopt an integrated approach by offering Management Consultancy, Training and Research services. Our clients include central and local governments and their agencies, community, voluntary and civil society organisations, small business enterprises, and international corporations.
Our primary focus is working on issues that affect black and minority ethnic, BAME communities. We devise engagement and consultation strategies towards their full participation, contribution, and integration into the mainstream.
Equinox Consulting is an approved consultant for the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and a Registered Practice of the Institute of Management Consultancy.
We offer solutions in
We support black and minority ethnic, BAME communities of interest to participate fully in society. Communities as places need to be regenerated from time to time when they fall into disrepair; however communities are not only about places, there is a human element of people who make up communities.
We actively support prospective and existing black and minority ethnic, BAME business people especially those from the African and Caribbean communities because we believe that there is a lot of untapped potential and a lot more of unfulfilled aspirations for business development in these communities.
We recognise that employment is the main key to the enjoyment of a fulfilling life and endows most people with the dignity and pride in the contribution and participation in the economy. However, there are several black and minority ethnic, BAME people who still face barriers to getting and staying in a job.
Our Current projects
Southwark Stands Together – Review of current funding to find structural barriers that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups may face in making successful applications and how to address them
Southwark Stands Together (SST) is the Council’s local call for unity, support and action. It is a long-term programme of positive action for the council to work in solidarity with Southwark’s communities and council staff to tackle racism, injustice and inequality.
In summer 2020 Southwark Stands Together was launched by Southwark Council with a number of listening and round table events engaging with Southwark residents and community organisations to hear about their experiences of racism and inequality.
These conversations exposed the depth and breadth of racism and inequalities that have been felt and experienced by Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in Southwark for many years.
Among issues raised were concerns that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Community Organisations do not have fair access to and outcomes from Council run grant-making programmes.
This has prompted Southwark Council to commission an independent review to identify any structural barriers faced by Black Asian and Minority Ethnic community organisations when trying to access funding from the Council. The work is expected to review:
- how targeted support can be offered to groups from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, who have not previously accessed grant funding;
- whether the way in which we (Southwark) structure grant making enables or disables people to access these opportunities;
- the support in place for people to access funding;
- grant making and commissioning processes and requirements and the barriers these may generate.
The project is being overseen by a Steering Group comprising Council officers working alongside Community Southwark and community representatives from the Southwark R.E.A.C.H. Alliance and Latin American Networks.
Equinox Consulting, has been appointed to carry out the investigation. One of their tasks will be to hold confidential and open conversations with as many Black Asian and Minority Ethnic community organisations as possible, about their experiences of and contact with the Council’s grant-making and commissioning processes.
Equinox will present their draft report findings to all stakeholders who have engaged with our work. The Council is expected to l take forward recommendations from the final report produced by Equinox.
Royal College of Surgeons England – evaluation of the International Surgical Training Programme
The ISTP Programme, one of a number of Medical Training Initiatives (MTI) has been developed to provide overseas medical graduates with a clinical training placement opportunity within NHS Trusts. This programme enables a limited number of overseas surgeons to undertake specialist clinical training in the National Health Service (NHS) for a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of two years.
RCSEng facilitates registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and sponsorship for the supporting Tier 5 visa that doctors will need in order to come to the UK.
Once accepted onto the Programme,RCSEng aims to match and place trainees within a UK Trust within 12 months. This timeline is dependent on the availability of suitable posts and the specialty/ development needs of the trainee.
Established in 2014, the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) has now been running for seven years and in that time, RCS England has supported more than 480 International Medical Graduates to come to the UK to train for up to two years. The College is constantly looking for ways to develop the ISTP and in recent years have established a national network of Specialty Clinical Leads who take part in candidate interviews and provide specialty advice to help guide the programme. They have also introduced a Projects & Research Grants Fund in 2020 to support and encourage ISTP trainees and alumni to undertake comparative research or projects.
RCSEng have now commissioned the management consultancy firm Equinox Consulting to carry out a review of the ISTP, so that all stakeholders can share their views about the Programme. The objectives of the review areto assess the impact and value of the ISTP on trainees, their home countries, supervisors, NHS trusts and hospitals;
to identify areas for improvement in the scope, nature and administration of the Programme.
African Advocacy Foundation – an evaluation of the Transition Project, the response to the Covid 19 Emergency.
Africa Advocacy Foundation (AAF) supports and empowers vulnerable and disadvantaged people. The organisation is a community-led initiative that aims to equip diaspora communities and marginalised peoples with the tools they need to find health, safety, prosperity and opportunity to lead fulfilling and happy lives.
AAF works with communities both in the UK and overseas who are affected by a range of issues including sexual and reproductive health, violence against women and girls, female genital mutilation (FGM) and mental health issues.
The Transition Project was established in response to the hardships suffered by some vulnerable families who were shut off from support during the COVID19 pandemic and the need to provide them with services during the recovery period.
Despite its own challenges during the pandemic, African Advocacy Foundation had to bounce back and apply for funding in order to deliver services that were being demanded by the vulnerable communities, it serves, who had been shut off from statutory services..
The main objectives of the evaluation assignment are to:
- Review the processes of setting up and operation of the Project
- Review the extent to which what was delivered by the Project met with the original objectives for accessing the funding
- Make comment on the findings and lessons learnt and to make recommendations about the future operation of this type of emergency funding
A Better Start Southend (ABSS)
Consultancy support to formulate strategy and co-produce an action plan
A Better Start Southend (ABSS) is a partnership of local organisations working to improve the lives of Southend’s very youngest residents: children 0-4 years old. ABSS started life in April 2015 as one of five Better Start areas across the country funded with £40m over 10 years by the National Lottery Community Fund to work in six wards in Southend to find new ways to solve some of the problems that have affected local children and families for years. Their strategy is to focus on diet and nutrition, social and emotional development and communication and language for child development. In addition to increasing social infrastructure by building community resilience and implementing system change.
In their ambition to have Southend be known as the best place in this country to bring up a child and be a parent, to create a community that welcomes every baby and ensures they have the best deal possible ABSS works with a variety of local agencies, parents and carers to find out what needs to change and co-produces solutions and services
In 2020, in response to a letter from a parent enquiring how ABSS was going to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement, the ABSS Action Against Racial Inequality Group was established. It was agreed the group, made up of parents, external representatives, ABSS delivery partners and core staff members would meet monthly to explore key issues around racial discrimination and health inequalities faced by Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Southend.
Equinox Consulting have been commissioned to provide independent support to assist the AARI Group to identify its aims and objectives in relation to ABSS and develop an action plan to enable them to engage with BAME parents who are not currently using their service, and provide ongoing advice to enable the group to develop to meet the agreed objectives. This will include
- Reviewing work already undertaken
- Meetings with key stakeholders to ‘temperature check’ and identify options
- One or more workshops with the group
- Development and refinement of the Terms of Reference and Strategy
- Identification of resources needed to move the work forward
Discussion on African Business in he UK
Maxine James on Barriers for Black Businesses
Welcome to Equinox Consulting
Lambeth Caribbean Insight Research
Ade Sawyerr in Discussion on Black Businesses
Mayors Black Business Debate 2013
Maxine James on supporting Black Carers
Ade Sawyerr on setting up in business
What our clients are saying
A key feature of this research is that the Black Caribbean community was involved in developing the recommendations that are put forward in this report. I hope these will be used as a foundation upon which the council can take action and embed practices that build stronger relationships and a better understanding of the Black Caribbean community in Lambeth. This report does not mark the end of a process but the beginning of a new way forward. I hope that the recommendations put forward will help the council work cooperatively not only with our established communities, but with our new communities too.
In looking at a way forward we commissioned Equinox Consultancy to conduct a community needs assessment on our behalf. The Trustees were presented with a draft report in March 2014 and the implications are being explored to inform a strategic plan for WACA. We are aware that key priorities identified by participants in the survey are: Education, Health and wellbeing and arts and culture. The way forward will be a key theme for our AGM. We would like to extend our thanks to Equinox for the work completed and to WBC for funding the work.
“the ACCF launched the business plan to the community and have received favourable response to the contents and the work programme. The plan was also presented to the leader, Leicester city council and his associates and they too offered their congratulations on the comprehensive research and vision.” – Chair, African Caribbean Citizens Forum, Leicester.
“I would like to express my appreciation, and we are extremely grateful to you for providing five superb capacity building training sessions. The training consultants, Ade Sawyerr and Maxine James of Equinox Consulting delivered excellent modules which suited the needs of the CEMP membership.”
Thanks again for sending over the documents. I’m pleased you were able to take on board our comments about the structure of the documents. There are no further changes that we feel are needed so happy to thank you for your efforts over the last few months and bring this phase of the work to a close