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BAME Voluntary and Community Sector Development


In April 2018, BSWN has been commissioned by Power to Change to conduct research into the state of the BAME sector with a focus on Community/Anchor organisations to help inform their funding/ investment plans for Bristol.

Our research team engaged an estimated three-quarters of the city’s BAME-led sector in the survey, interviews, and roundtable discussions between May and September 2018. The overall aims of the project were to establish:

•  the size and make up of the BAME voluntary and community sector in Bristol;

•  the opportunities and obstacles faced by community anchors and organisations in BAME communities in Bristol in achieving greater sustainability;

•  the type of infrastructure support needed to foster a resilient community businesses and organisations.

The research findings and recommendations focused on the areas of equitable finding, capacity building, assets, and connectivity/partnership building within the sector. The Executive Summary of the research will be available for view soon.

Informed by these recommendations, BSWN established the BAME Voluntary and Community Sector Network which now meets bi-monthly and is open to all BAME-led Voluntary and Community organisations in the region. Chaired by Jendayi Serwah, each meeting is themed to provide access to information and guidance for funding and partnerships working within the sector. To find out more about previous network meetings, please see our Events page here.

Following the success of the initial consultation with the BAME VCS sector organisations, BSWN designed a 6 month pilot project wherein a selected group of 6 BAME VCS organisations will participate in visioning workshops around capacity building and benefit from professional business planning support services to help income generation/ sustainability with a focus on asset-based organisations.

These organisations have been selected and began the programme in June 2019. The pilot programme is expected to conclude in January 2020 and will inform the next steps of our Sector development work.