Welfare needs of BME communities

Gathering evidence to inform community interventions
  • Thursday 18 July 2013, 10.00 – 16.00
  • Middlesex University, Hendon Campus (NW4 4BT)

The current economic crisis and the ongoing welfare restructuring are having a disproportionate impact on Black and Minority Ethnic communities throughout the UK. As far-reaching government changes to benefits, housing, healthcare, advice provision and other services affect an already deeply unequal population, local community organisations need to work and advocate even more effectively for their clients and members. At the same time, recent funding and policy trends – from the shift to service commissioning to the ‘social cohesion’ agenda – have raised new challenges for the sustainability of BME sector as a whole.

This event aims to bring together practitioners, community activists, local policy makers and academics in an opportunity to engage with these issues through case studies, examples of good practices and ‘knowledge exchange’.  Key themes to be explored include:

  • the impact of the current economic crisis and welfare restructuring on BME communities in London;
  • advice and welfare needs and gaps in service provision;
  • priorities and challenges for BME community organisations (including issues of sustainability);
  • the role of community based research to gather evidence, inform decisions and empower communities.

The day will also be an opportunity to present on-going ‘knowledge exchange’ activities and community initiatives and to  launch two recently completed community-based research projects:

  • Welfare needs of Turkish and Kurdish Communities

Research team: Alessio D’Angelo, Ozlem Galip, Neil Kaye

In partnership with Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre (Hackney)

  • Welfare needs of Welfare Needs of Afghan Communities

Research team: Elena Vacchelli and Neil Kaye

In partnership with Paiwand, ARDO and Afghan Association London (Harrow) 

Booking information

This event is organised by Alessio D’AngeloElena Vacchelli and Preeti Kathrecha from the Social Policy Research Centre (Middlesex University), working in partnership with BAN (BME Advice Network) and other community organisations. It is co-funded by the Third Sector Research Centre, Social Enterprise CBC (Capacity Building Cluster).

The event is free to attend but registration is essential. Deadline for registrations: Monday 8th July 2013

To book your place or for any query please email: Preeti Kathrecha: P.Kathrecha@mdx.ac.uk


  • 9.30 – 10.00 – Coffee and Registration 
  • 10.00 – 10.30 – Welcome and Introduction
  • 10.30 – 11.30 – The Policy Context

Equality and public services: recent policy trends
Eleonore Kofman, Professor of Gender and Migration, Middlesex University

Welfare restructuring and the impact on BME population
Alice Donald, Senior Research Fellow, Middlesex University

Questions & Answers 

  • 11.30 – 12.45 – COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH

Researching (with) BME communities
Louise Ryan, Professor of Sociology, Middlesex University

Community based research: two case studies (reports launch)

Welfare needs of Turkish and Kurdish Communities – Link to report
Alessio D’Angelo, Lecturer in Social Sciences, Middlesex University
Welfare needs of Afghan Communities – Link to report
Elena Vacchelli, Research Fellow, Middlesex University

BME communities statistical profile
Neil Kaye, Researcher, Middlesex University

Questions & Answers

  • 12.45 – 13.30 – Lunch 
  • 13.30 – 14.30 – BME organizations: priorities and challenges

BME organisations: navigating the perfect storm
Alessio D’Angelo, Lecturer in Social Sciences, Middlesex University 

Intersectionality in the women’s sector: looking at BME women’s organizations
Elena Vacchelli, Research Fellow, Middlesex University 

Questions & Answers

  • 14.45 – 15.45 – Panel discussion: insights from the BME sector
    Wesley Harcourt, AdviceUK;
    Carolina Gottardo, LAWRS (Latin American Women’s Rights Service);
    Sadida Trozic, BHCAC (Bosnia and Herzegovina Community Advice Centre);
    Sarbjit Ganger, Asian Women Centre;Fatima Begum, Island Advice Centre;
    Taylan Sahbaz, Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre.
  • 16.00 – 16.30 – Final remarks and close
  • Networking ‘cream tea’