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What is the Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Network?

The BME Network Community Interest Company is a UK registered Social Enterprise, a not-for-profit Strategic Infrastructure Organisation, with over 75 Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) and Refugee led organisations as members of BME Community Forum. 


What do we do?

We provide Information, Advice and Guidance to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Community organisations based in Middlesbrough, whilst working closely with the wider community, Local Authority and other Government bodies and Institutions (Cleveland Police, Public Health, Job Centre Plus, Cleveland Fire Service, Crown Prosecution Service, HM Prison Service, Probation Service, Environment Agency and many others) as well as charitable organisations to promote good community relations by creating projects which promote a better understanding of different cultures and faiths.

We work closely with these public service providers to advise, guide and support them, often acting as a critical friend to ensure that their services are meeting the needs of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Communities living in Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley area.


How do we do this?

We appoint and send BME Community representatives to the various panels, forums, community consultation and focus groups to ensure that the views and needs of our community are highlighted and fed into policies, strategies and action plans. 


How do we know what the BME Community needs are?

We have regularly BME Community Forum meetings, Business Events, Consultation meetings, focus groups etc, where we invite BME community leaders, member organisations and residents and ask them about community issues and consult & inform them about various polices, which could have an impact on our community.


What else do we do?

One of the key roles is to get information out to the community, involve and empower the community so they can make change happen. We have traditionally relied upon Community and Faith leaders to get this information out to the public, unfortunately this does not always happen due to various reasons, hence we now have adopted a direct approach in an effort to bypass gatekeepers. We have developed:

• A BME Community Information and Media House at 169 Victoria Road, Middlesbrough TS1 3HR

• A BME Web Portal to provide information and act as gateway to various BME focused projects, service and information

• Developed a Facebook presence to utilise the Social Networks popularity to keep the community informed.

• Produce a Community Newspaper (Community Mirror) and sent out regular e-bulletins to keep members informed

• Work in Partnership with Community Voice FM Radio to deliver BME focused radio programmes


What Services do we offer to the BME Community?

• Information, Advice and Guidance

• ICT Facility

• Employment Support and Referral Service

• Latest Job Vacancies and Job Search Support

• Volunteering Programme

• Business Support and Guidance

• Funding Information

• Capacity Building Training

• ITC & Media Training

• Broadcasting and Community Radio Training

• Supporting the development of Community Groups (Constitutions, Policies and Training for management committees)

• Islamophobia and Hate Crime Reporting Centre

Youth Media Club – Youth led project developing cultural and media related projects

• Plus much more (Community Sports Events, Culture & Heritage Projects, Trips and Visits)


How is the BME Network funded?

As an independent not-for-profit social enterprise,  the majority of running costs are self-generated, we bid for contracts to deliver services and develop projects and services which the BME community can access, for example by delivering Employment & Business Support service, Research, Consultancy and training etc. As a recognised BME infrastructure organisation, we also access some grant funding to support our partners in the public sector partners to meet their Equalities Duties under the Equality Act 2010


How can I support the BME Network CIC?

We encourage and actively seek people with drive, passion and desire to help improve the lives of all communities, especially those communities which are often hard to reach (or easy to ignore) so if you can spare some time and have the desire to make change happen...we can provide you with the necessary tools to become a BME community organiser. Please contact Idrees Rashid (Partnership Manager) for more information about our Volunteering Programme.


Why should I Volunteer?

• To help shape the future, which will offer better prospects for the BME community in terms of Employment, Educational attainment, Housing, Health, Social Care, Criminal Justice system (Police, Courts, Probation, Prison service) etc.

• A lot of our volunteers have gained valuable experience, which they have used to improve their own career prospects.

• To get a better understanding of how the system works and how you can influence it to ensure that BME community has a voice.

• Do you really need another reason?

I don't have time, what else can I do?

• Connect with us by "Liking" our Facebook page......then at least we can keep you informed

• Keep your family and friends informed about our projects and services

• Leave us a message on the wall.

Thanks for visiting, come back soon!


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