Text Box: Celebrating 
Thirty Years of Achievements: 1975-2005

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE VINCE HINES FOUNDATION:

“Building Together: We can be successful when we try”

 

THE VINCE HINES FOUNDATION, Community Education and Training Services, was founded in 1975, London, England, by Dr Vince Hines, an African, born British,  in  Jamaica, the Caribbean, who  lived in the United Kingdom since 1962. The Foundation was founded in response to pressing social needs among young people in London. The Foundation is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and registered as a national educational Charity, at the Charity Commission.

 

The Foundation's early years saw pressing social difficulties among disadvantaged youth, particularly on the question of temporary homelessness. Youngsters were leaving home in search of their independence, with knock on effects, resulted in lack of proper training and skills, which led to unemployment, crime and imprisonment.

 

After a short period of social support by the Foundation, the youth were able to organise themselves and settle down to ‘normal’ lives. The Foundation's slogan in 1975 was (and still is) 'SELF-HELP'. The average age of beneficiaries was 17 years, mostly male, many of whom were new arrivals from the British Commonwealth. They were experiencing 'culture shock'.

 

Social Deterioration:

 

Today, the media and social researchers are ever reminding members of the wider public about the current social difficulties of children and young people, inner cities’ residents, who are torn by poverty, HIV virus, AIDS, teenage pregnancies, drug abuses, truancies, school exclusions, youth crimes, unemployment and homelessness.

 

During the 1970s and 80s, the Foundation did not have to deal with HIV and AIDS, today’s high levels of school truancies and exclusions, drug abuses, youth crimes, youth unemployment, homelessness, single parent families, mental illnesses, and a significant and continued flow of refugees.

 

The Foundation’s trustees learnt much about community development at the grassroots, and the pressing needs of the poor and disadvantaged in our inner cities.

The Foundation recognised that, in order to continue providing culturally sensitive and effective services for members of the Community, the Foundation’s services on offer must be relevant to current needs

 

In reviewing current needs in 1994, the Foundation’s trustees resolved to continue its work in the Community and a Ten Year Development Plan was adopted, in order to bring the Foundation’s work to a higher level of effectiveness. The Foundation’s organisational structures were re-organised, along Community, Education and Training direction. 

 

Thirty Years Of Achievements

 

The Vince Hines Foundation helped over 30,000 members of the community of various ethnic origins, social backgrounds and ages during its thirty years of  working in the community.

 

In addition, among its many achievements, the Foundation developed  Britain’s largest National Community Development Network, originally called the National Federation of Self-Help Organisations (NFSHO), which had 2500 self-help and community groups in its network, in England, Scotland and Wales.

 

On 1st January 1993, the membership of the Federation extends its scope and resolved The Black European Community Development Federation, (BECDF) to coincide with the coming of the European Union (EU). This new stance prepared the Federation to extend its work, where appropriate, within EU member states.

 

BECDF currently incorporates the National Federation of Self-Help Organisations.

 

 The Federation is managed by separate  Committee and operates through its regional and local representatives, non-governmental organisations of various types, including ecumenical religious groups. The Federation’s objects are educational.

 

The Vince Hines Foundation, on the other hand, works locally and is casework orientated.

 

The overall management of the Foundation's services is the responsibility of the Foundation's elected Central Committee. The day-to-day operational matters of the Foundation are the responsibility of the Foundation's Director, also known in the registered Rules as Chief Executive. The Foundation's Finance and General Purposes Committee, sub-committee of the Central Management Committee, whose members are appointed by the Central Committee, is responsible to ensure the proper management of the Foundation's overall finances. The Foundation's Annual General Meetings receive the Central Committee's annual reports and accounts of yearly work undertaken by the Charity, and appoint Auditors/Independent Examiners. The Foundation Custodian Trustees are ultimately responsible for the property and assets of the Foundation

 

Brief Description of Central Management Structure

 

The Main (Central Management) Committee is made up of honorary members, nominated from a variety of backgrounds in the Community, based on their specialist expertise. They are elected by Postal Ballot by members of the Foundation once every two years to serve initially for a term of two years, who may be reselected for subsequent terms.

 

Brief Description of The Central Aims

 

To promote for the benefit of the inhabitants of the UK without distinction of sex or of political, religious or other opinions by associating the local authorities, voluntary organisations and inhabitants in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation with objects of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants;

 

To help and educate boys and girls through their leisure-time activities so to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society and that their conditions of life may be improved;

 

To provide for the benefit of the Community, housing and any associated amenities for persons in necessitous circumstances upon terms appropriate to their means.

 

Philosophy of Main Organisation

 

The Foundation's philosophy is based on the notion of 'Active Citizenship', which says self-help for Community development; following the line that, given clear direction, information and proper guidance, creating among the disadvantaged a sense of purpose and worth, the Target Group, will motivate themselves to achieve and gain a higher standard of living in society for theirs, as well as the wider benefits of the Community as a whole.

 

Core Work

 

The Foundation offers services to members of the community in a variety of areas, including— youth, education, networking, partnership, advocacy, research and development, public relations, health and management, administrative and support services for small and medium sized community business enterprises.

 

The Foundation is   the Lead Partner of a Consortium of voluntary/community groups in the Borough. The Foundation works in partnership with local authorities, local schools, colleges and universities, and community and voluntary groups.  The Foundation operates and implements a strong equal opportunity policy.

 

Target Groups, Ages, Locations and Characteristics:

 

Seventy five per cent (75%) of the Foundation’s target groups are British born Black and ethnic minorities, with a particular emphasis on African and Caribbean children and young people between the ages of 11-22 years, mostly in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The majority are between the ages of 13-19 years old. The Programme has extended to other boroughs in the West London Connexions catchment's areas as appropriate. This depends on adequate and additional resources coming on board.

 

About 35% will have been excluded from school and are attending or have attended pupils referral units or truanting.  Some might have had contacts with the criminal justice system, and from households headed by lone parents, who are on social benefits of some sort.

 

Today, there is a core group of about 250 children and young people associated with the Foundation’s Youth Development Programme. This number is on the increase. This is partly because of the innovative services the Foundation offers.

 

An overall summary of the Foundation’s current beneficiaries can be summarised thus:

 

q    Black British: 26.85%

q    White British: 21.36%

q    White Irish: 0.1 %

q    White and Black Caribbean: 11.08%

q    Black Caribbean: 21.56%

q    Black African: 17.86%

q    Other:            1.19%

 

 

Current Activities:

 

Partnership On The Street— Innovative Outreach Work

Resource for Life— Information, Advice and Personal Support

Compulsory Basic Training  (Motor Bikes)

Development in the Outdoors—Residential Outdoor Courses

Sports and Leisure – Foundation Eagles Football Club

Music and Video Workshop

Job Brokerage

Management, Administrative and Support (Organisational Development)

Family Support Service

Networking, Partnership  And Advocacy

Research

 

 

 Mostly part-time, sessional and voluntary workers do the Foundation’s work. The Foundation is sustained by donations, grants and gifts in kind. As such, development can only keep space with funding availability.

 

 

Outcomes

 

The Foundation is having important successes in its work with children and young people. Given additional and adequate resources, this success rate would increase substantively.

 

Fifty percent (50%) of the beneficiaries associated with the Foundation’s activities remain in education; 10% gained access to training and vocational skills; 20% get jobs; 60% reduced their levels of petty street crimes and anti-social behaviours; 20% stop petty crimes and anti-social behaviours. At least 60% have clear directions as to what they want to do ten years ahead; 20% - mostly male, present challenges, which demonstrate a need for more intensive support, motivation and incentive to make changes in their lives, in order to avoid anti-social behaviours and engage constructively in education, training and work.

 

Service Delivery Plan 2003-8

 

Foundation’s overall direction until 2008  will operate under the below seven broad headings, and underpinned by the  triple themes – Advocacy, Networking and  Partnership:

 

Central Management, Administrative and Support Services (CMASS), which will continue to provide organisational development for the following: -

 

Family Support Services

 

Youth Development Support Services

 

Community Learning and Media Services

 

Sports and Leisure Services

 

Aged Together – Services for the Over 50s

 

National and Local Community Development Networking

 

Conclusion

 

The social problems, which the Foundation is currently addressing, are likely to be with us for decades. THERE IS A CRUCIAL NEED, THEREFORE, FOR THE FOUNDATION GAINING ADEQUATE RESOURCES IN THE INTEREST OF STABILITY AND FORWARD PLANNING FOR THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS. The Foundation’s management would therefore welcome more financial support from all quarters.

 

Based on the Foundation’s grassroots experiences, there is a social deteriorating trend among disadvantaged children and young people. There seems to be easy access to such things like drugs, including alcohol. To assist in arresting this trend, there needs to be more innovative and imaginative methods of providing services to those in need. Funders and policy makers must be prepared to supporting social innovations, particularly those coming from the grassroots’ communities.

 

Networking and developing effective partnerships with agencies locally are essential to the success of the Foundation’s work. Unnecessary duplications of other agencies work are carefully avoided. The Foundation has a substantive pool of expertise that is willing to share ideas, research findings, and good practices with others as appropriate. The work of the Foundation is associated with the University of Reading Education and Professional Studies. Representative, Horace Lashley, Lecturer in Community and Youth Matters. The Foundation accepts pupils from the local schools for work experience and undergraduate from the Imperial College, The University of London. The Foundation has in place, equal opportunity, health and safety and child protection policies.

 

Special thanks to all those who gave their support over the past three decades, particularly those management committee members and voluntary workers, who worked tirelessly without gaining favours. We all have achieved a great deal. Thanks, too, to funders past and present and those who are currently giving favourable considerations to the Foundation’s funding requests to maintain stability and development.

 

Above all, we have demonstrated that when we build together, we can achieve what we will.

 

During the past thirty years, Foundations  has  demonstrated pioneering work of significant proportion,   during the latter part of the twentieth century, which was and is still of significant social values to Londoners. The strength of this work  has  generated across Britain. It influenced our multi-cultural communities, on the basis of self-help for community development and changed lives for good.

 

The evidence presented, as seen through the eyes of history, clearly demonstrated that Dr Vince Hines and The Vince Hines Foundation are two of London’s important success stories. The Foundation is based in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham since its inception.

 

 Central Management, Administrative and Support Services (CMASS)

December 2004

 

THE VINCE HINES FOUNDATION

           Community Education and Training Services

UK Registered Charity No.: 269681. Est. 1975.

UK Registered Learning Provider. Department for Education and Skills Registration No.:10006844

E-mail: cmass@ubol.com

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