Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Equalities Group (VEG)

In the East of England, Equality and Diversity (E&D) work was started with CapacityBuilders funding for the Eastern Region Infrastructure Network (ERIN) in 2005.  ERIN consists of 19 regional voluntary and community sector (VCS) networks and until March 2012 continues to be funded through the Frontline Engagement through Regional Infrastructure (FERI) Project which is supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

MENTER was funded through ERIN to lead on equalities, following a feasibility study in 2005. The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) funded a regional equalities officer post at MENTER.  

In 2008 VCS Equalities Group (VEG) received funding from CapacityBuilders to move the equalities agenda forward and review the information available on the equality strands in the East of England. This funding provided VEG with the support of the Equalities Development Officer and funding to conduct research into the seven equality strands described below . MENTER is the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network for the Eastern Region and represents the “race and ethnicity” strand on the VEG and has been since 2005 the lead body for the group.

In March 2011 Capacity Builders was closed down by the government and thus funding for VEG ended. 

The Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Equalities Group (VEG) brings together regional VCS organisations each working with groups, organisations or communities which belong to one of the seven protected characteristics as described by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which are: gender, transgender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, disability and religion and belief. 

VEG Members

VEG Objectives

  • The development of a robust evidence base complementing current evidence collection
  • Coordinating VCS work round equalities and encouraging multi-strand work
  • Analysing how to influence policy, planning and service delivery in the region and equality proofing VCS infrastructure plans to enable better reach to disadvantaged communities





A Review of Evidence of the Equality Strands in the East of England (pdf)
This document was produced by the VCS Equalities Group (VEG) under the leadership of MENTER which provides information around all the seven equality strands (age, gender, race and ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation and transgender) and their situation in our region.

This document can help you in the following ways:

  • When submitting evidence for a funding application
  • To get an overview of the issues faced by people who belong to other equality strands (or protected characteristics) which are also your clients/target group
  • To find further resources for your particular information need
  • To find out of other reports produced and if they are relevant to your information need
  • When lobbying government around a particular issue faced by one or more of the disadvantaged communities (from the various protected characteristics which put people at a disadvantage because of their: age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race or ethnicity, transgender status)

To find the report and breakdown of individual reviews in the Resources section under Media Centre.


June 2010_A_review_of_Equalities_Evidence.PDF2.33 MB
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