BECON was born in 2001 as a result of a various government regional initiatives around Equalities and the work of representatives from all the little Black and minority organisations in the North East to create an umbrella organisation to serve all their diverse needs. Initial aims were to be an infra-structure organisation, to create BME networks across the region, to advocate for BME orgs in the Region, to ensure that BME people were represented at policy and decision levels across the Region and to be a becon to get funds for the Sector at Regional Level. It was specifically decided not to deliver services so there wouldn’t be competition with other BME orgs. Louise Evan-Wong was the first Chair of the Board from 2001 – 2004. BECON had a multitude of projects across a wide range of subjects, Community Champions, Children’s Partnership Project, Sports Development, Employment Support, Learning and Skills, BME Leadership, Mental Health Project, Youth Integration to name a few. The office was a welcoming and safe space for BME people across the Region to come and visit and feel valued.
Sadly BECON was wound up in 2018. Every organisation has a life span and there comes a time when it needs to wind down and probably BECON reached this some time before 2018.
BECON is no longer – but as with all organisations there are highs and lows and the lows have purposefully been omitted because people will tend to remember them as their BECON memory and that would be catastrophic, however it would be good to learn from them and maybe there could be an all BME forum where the various challenges that occur in the life of BME organisations could be shared and solutions.