Charity Launches Volunteer Fair for Minority Ethnic residents of Brighton & Hove

A volunteer fair is being held in central Brighton this March, aimed at people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

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Hosted by community development charity TDC (Trust for Developing Communities), in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council, the Department of Health and Sussex Interpreting Services, the event hopes to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to volunteer across the city.

 Community Development worker Ratna Jan Bibi who is coordinating the event says “Volunteering can help improve wellbeing, open doors to finding employment and is a great way to make new friends and avoid isolation. We are hoping to reach people who might not have thought about volunteering before, and link them up with good causes which help communities across Brighton and Hove”.

The family friendly event will be held between 1 and 4pm on Saturday 16th March 2019 at the BMECP (Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership) in central Brighton. Thanks to a generous donation from Brighton and Hove Bus Company, free bus tickets are available to anyone travelling by bus to the event.

Free refreshments will be provided and attendees will be able to access practical advice and information on all aspects of volunteering.

Vikki Gimson of Sussex Interpreting Services says “SIS is really proud and excited to be working in partnership with TDC on Brighton and Hove’s first ever BME Volunteering Fair.  Volunteering, formally with a community or voluntary sector organisation, is an unfamiliar concept to many people from other cultures and ethnicities and can even cause suspicion around the reasons and motives for individuals to “help” for free outside of their immediate social network.  This fair will be a brilliant occasion to learn about the benefits and rewards to organisations, communities and individuals as well as the range and depth of opportunities.  Additionally, barriers to volunteering, can also be explored face to face – opening up a dialogue about support needs and prospects.”

And Sue Shaw of the Volunteer Centre at Community Works, a Brighton-based organisation that connects charities with volunteers, says “This event is a milestone opportunity for volunteering to become more inclusive; bringing together organisations with people, some who may never have considered volunteering before. It will break down some of the barriers to volunteering by being able to meet, talk and understand each other’s needs”.

TDC’s Equalities team is involved in the delivery of a programme of work with people from BME backgrounds across Brighton & Hove. This includes consulting with diverse communities of identity on their experience of health and well-being services, a multicultural well-being event to be held in April and a new social prescribing project – Community Navigation Plus, which links people from BME backgrounds with local groups, helping them address non-clinical issues. About to launch is “MESH” an integrated ‘one stop’ advice service for migrants, providing a welcoming gateway to English language provision for speakers of other languages as well as other support services across Brighton and Hove.

 The BME Volunteer Fair will take place from 1 until 4pm on Saturday 16th March at BMECP, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE.

For further info & to get involved: ratnajanbibi@trustdevcom.org.uk / 07445 183 142