International volunteers day 2018

International Volunteer Day (IVD) is traditional celebrated on 5th December each year, and was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism.

As a voluntary sector organisation, BSWN has always made it its mission to welcome volunteers into our team and help them realise their skills and potential while benefiting from the gift of their time, effort and knowledge. Our director, Sado Jirde, would like to thank all of our volunteers on this day for their contribution to us:

“Since we are such a small organisation, the contribution volunteers make to the impact of the organisations is immense. From helping with events to undertaking research, developing policy responses and promoting the organisation, our volunteers support all aspects of our mission in Bristol and regionally. We wouldn’t be able to have the level of impact we’re having on our communities without their contribution. To all of our volunteers and interns, thank you.”

22/10 Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) summit in Bristol

22/10 Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) summit in Bristol

The 2018 Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) summit officially opened on Monday 22nd  morning with Bristol Mayor and GPM treasurer Marvin Rees welcoming all the mayors before a key note speech from Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina (USA).  A summit that brought together 100 global city leaders, together with Business Leaders, Academics, Community Leaders and Civil Society to address some of the key global challenges facing our cities such as migration, public health, climate change, governance, urban security and inclusive economic growth through empowering cities to be the drivers of change.

Challenges facing BME organisations in securing funding

BSWN (a Regional BME Infrustructure Organisations based in Bristol) has been fortunate to continually gain HLF support for our varied projects in the last 4 years. Support from development officers has been the most useful in our case, from the initial stage when you make an initial funding enquiry to throughout the project development up to the final project submission.
Capacity issues remain problematic for small BAME organisations, meaning that not only do they have limited capacity to engage with networks and information sessions, but they also have limited capacity and experience in constructing funding applications. The provision of support in this regard formed a critical element of BAME infrastructure organisations work.
With the cuts in funding and the change of focus away from infrastructure funding, BAME infrastructure organisations no longer exist/have enough capacity themselves to support the smaller BAME orgs. Providing capacity grant pots for BAME infrastructure orgs to administer/deliver could provide mechanisms through which more high quality grants can be submitted.
In addition to this practical measure, it must be acknowledged that HLF and the National Lottery as a whole, are perceived as inaccessible mainstream structures, which itself deters some BAME orgs from applying. Addressing this issue is a large piece of work, steps towards which have been taken, however, a BME led review of this issue and change processes are required to ensure that the process can be completed effectively and that HLF is perceived as an organisation that is equitable in its structure, culture, and delivery, as well as in its and setting of priorities and allocation of resources.