BMECP, set up in 2000, is a Registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. BMECP, a BME infrastructure and umbrella organisation works with diverse BME community groups and organisations, individuals and their families in Brighton andHoveincluding Refugee and Asylum Seeker Communities. BMECP is governed by a Board of 18 Trustees representing the diverse communities that it works with.
Our Vision is to be the Champions of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Community in Brighton & Hove.
Our Mission is to ‘Facilitate the development of a strong and sustainable BME voluntary and community sector by creating an effective and unified voice, addressing the causes of social exclusion, and promoting a cohesive community.’
BMECP has been reflecting on the past and has identified agreed goals and strategic aims with a new focus, ’’ A sustainable BMECP Centre’’ is our guiding principle, under which we can all rally to achieve the following 6 goals.
- Formalise BMECP as a SocialEnterprise
- Achieve financial independence
- Develop a volunteer programme
- Develop the research and consultation framework
- Develop training, development and consultancy framework
- Review BMECP Engagement & Marketing strategy in its role as a BME Infrastructure and BME engagement organization.
BMECP currently provides the following services/projects:
- BME Infrastructure – provide support to BME Community Groups and Organisations
BMECP provides support and has a link with diverse BME community groups and organisations locally. There are about 45 groups and organisations on BMECP database. This work includes the following:
- Developing and Managing the BMECP Centre a welcoming space for the community with affordable meeting rooms and office space including hot desking facility.
- Developing and supporting BME community groups and organisations and working with other organisations to ensure appropriate delivery of support.
- Supporting groups with fundraising which includes identifying funding sources, supporting with funding application, providing bespoke training, signposting to other organisations for support.
- Acting as a link between services and BME communities, ensuring that information on services is made available and that they participate in decision making processes relating to service provision.
- Ensuring that BME communities participate in decision making processes that affect their lives.
- Ensuring that BME issues are represented at various forums and partnerships
- Undertaking research and needs assessment and supporting such processing and ensuring that BME communities participate.
- Signposting people to relevant employment related support and where appropriate providing training and one to one support in partnership with other organisations
- Signposting people to relevant business start up support and where appropriate providing training and one to one support in partnership with other organisations.
- Part of the national delivering race equality mental health programme
- Act as a link between services and the BME communities.
- Develop and support communities so they engage with mental health services
- Support service providers to ensure that services are appropriate and that they meet the needs of BME communities
One Stop Shop Service for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
This drop in service is available on Fridays at the Centre from 11.00am to 2.00pm in partnership with Money Advice Community Support Services (MACSS) who provide welfare benefits information and advice and Migrant Helpline who provide immigration related information and advice. A hot lunch is provided with hot drinks. Also provides space to meet other people thus reducing isolation and also gives an opportunity to access information on other things displayed at the Centre. Very popular service and attendance ranges from 15 to 20 a day.
BMECP Elders, Chinese Elders Group, Hindu Elders Group and Arabic Speaking Elders Group
The BMECP elders meet every Thursday at the Centre from 12.00pm to 3.00pm. About 30 elders attend the group although there are 75 elders registered. This provides the elders with space to meet other elders and share a hot lunch. The activities include gentle exercise, boccia game, wii games, films, talks from other service providers and outings in the summer to gardens with space for the elders to exercise. The group is made up of diverse members some of whom represent other local BME elders groups. The Chinese Group meets at the Centre on Fridays and they also have exercises and share some lunch. They also have other services coming to speak to them. The Hindu elders is exploring moving to the Centre as their permanent base and the Arabic Speaking Elders Group meet in Hangleton.
BMECP Women’s Group
BMECP runs the BME women’s group who meet once a month at the Centre. About 15 women attend the group but there are 50 women registered. The women’s Group activities have included bespoke training, Shape up programme and one to one advice. The women also support BMECP with the organising of the BME International Women’s Event which is usually attended by up to 100 women. Some of the women also providing catering for the various events that BMECP runs. BMECP also supports other women’s groups both as communities of interest and identity and also within neighbourhoods.
Mental Health – Delivering Race Equality Service, Community Development Worker
BMECP has a Community Development Worker contract with the Primary Care Trust.
BME Health Forum
BMECP manages the BME Health Forum which brings together diverse groups, individuals, organisations and specific services that share an interest in the health and social care needs of and provision of services to BME communities. The forum has health specific subgroups. Information is disseminated to the forum members on a regular basis and they are encouraged to participate in consultations relating to health and social care. The forum also runs health specific events.