One of the learning points of this project has been the need for bureau to develop partnerships with both mainstream voluntary and statutory organisations and BME and migrant worker community groups. In some cases this has been challenging where statutory organisations have been reluctant to recognise and address issues of rural BME communities. Similarly Bureau had a challenge developing relationships with BME groups. In both cases over the lifetime of the project those relationships developed and worked on joint initiatives.
In Wiltshire, the bureau with partners form across all sectors developed and community interpreters progarmme, to jointly develop a pool of community interpreters who were trained to be a resource for the area.
Community Development played major part in the project, and it was the ability of staff and volunteers to commit time to building trust and relationships with the BME communities over a period of time. This investment resulted in greater engagement with the community, In Perth the Gypsy and Traveler community, who were supported over a numbers of years on a range of issues in improving the facilities at their site and on benefits advice.
all bureaux recognised the role of community development in the success of this project, which has increased the number of clients, and volunteers and trustees in bureau.
This provides a challenge for bureaux and other agencies, to work in rural areas, adopting community development and partnership approach, in identifying race discrimination issues and ensuring the provision of advice services are meeting those needs. The pilot bureaux have shown, how with limited resources they have been able to reach the BME and migrant workers communities and engage with the community proactively.
What are your experiences and what has worked for you? please share your experience..