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Case Study
Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens 
Association

Our COVID-19 grantees went to great efforts to continue providing their valuable services throughout the hardship of the pandemic.

Voice4Change England were one of ten organisations facilitating funding from the £3.4million Comic Relief fund, aimed at helping the organisations worst hit by COVID-19 to continue their services within Black and Minoritised Ethnic (BME) communities. 

BEMSCA is a day care facility based in Bath, whose members represent a wide array of cultures. During the COVID-19 crisis, they were forced to close the doors of their centre, Fairfield House, meaning their members missed out on essential care and opportunities for socialising. The usual busy timetable of games, craft, and lunch clubs came to a halt to respect social distancing guidelines. The emergency funding was used to launch a food hub.

BEMSCA’s main aims were:

Home Delivery of Food

Menus on offer were carefully planned to reflect the cultural mix of participants, changing weekly. Volunteers delivered around meals a week, offering a friendly face and a chat, using the opportunity to check on the members’ health and wellbeing. 70 beneficiaries enjoyed this service.

Weekly Shopping Trips

BEMSCA made regular trips to Bristol to visit shops selling ethnic foods, as Bath has a lack of provision. They made deliveries to members so they could continue to cook food from their cultures and maintain a sense of normality.

IT Classes

The funding allowed BEMSCA to purchase 20 iPads, which were distributed to members. Classes were held to teach digital skills, enabling members to begin shopping and socialising online, thus improving their independence. 

Network

BEMSCA joined the Affordable Food Network, a group of 20 charities, services and groups working together to eradicate food poverty in Bath and North-East Somerset. They became a voice for BME interests, encouraging local growers to produce a wider variety of crops, such as Chinese spinach, callaloo and red peas.

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The team put a lot of effort into their menus, providing halal options and a variety of dishes from ackee and saltfish, to curry mutton. The result was so successful that they began providing meals not only to members, but to care homes in the local area, thus creating a new stream of income for the charity. 

This example shows how much BEMSCA's food service meant to their members:

"Mrs C has dementia, and she has carers each day. When we contacted the family and advised that we would be doing a Caribbean food delivery, they were very grateful for the service. Her family have said that they really appreciate this service on a Friday, as they know that their mum is getting a well-prepared cultural meal that she enjoys and remembers. This links into looking at dementia holistically, instead of in isolation, in supporting her with her care and support needs. "

We are so glad that this funding enabled BEMSCA to achieve such a wonderful outcome in a challenging time.

Testimonials

“Working with V4CE has been a very positive experience for BEMSCA. It has been a breath a fresh air to have a funder who understands the challenges that the BAME community has faced during the pandemic and had the resources to support us during this challenging time. "

"The members have always said it's been great to see the staff at BEMSCA 'who always greet us with a smile and a quick chat.'"

"Without support from V4CE, we would not have had the confidence and resources to launch our Food Hub, and we are very grateful for this."

We are collecting case studies from our grantees and members. If you are interested, please get in touch with shuqi@voice4change-england.co.uk. We are more than happy to spotlight your amazing work.

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