Black Voluntary Sector Network Wales (BVSNW) was formed 1997 as a direct result of the continual search by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and communities for a solution to the prejudice, discrimination and racism that they experienced. Since its inception the organisation has moved on into embracing a more multi stranded and holistic approach to achieving its goals.
We are an umbrella, membership organisation that actively represents, supports and promotes the interests of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and the BME Voluntary Sector in Wales. We also deliver front-line services to our membership and BME communities throughout Wales.
Our objectives include:
► Raising awareness of the needs of the Black Voluntary Sector and BME communities.
► Building the capacity of the Black Voluntary Sector.
► Representing, supporting and campaigning on behalf of BME voluntary organisations, community groups, volunteers and communities in Wales.
► Playing a strategic role in advocating the needs of BME communities within policy and strategy.
We have over 13 years proven experience of engaging with diverse and complex individuals and marginalised and isolated communities throughout Wales, including: offenders, Gypsy, Roma and Travellers, Asylum seeker and refugees, economic migrants, multi-faith communities, multi-language communities, Eastern Europeans and many other diverse unique communities.
Our reputation has been enhanced through our bespoke training to the prison and police services around diversity and engagement with BME offenders and training aimed at understanding gang culture. We regularly receive requests from non-BME organisations to help them engage with BME communities. We have recently been approached by the National Probation Trust, Cardiff Youth Offender Service and the CPS to help them better understand BME communities and BME offenders and encourage them to access their service provisions.
Our interest lies with supporting Individuals who seek the chance to contribute to society but who face particular barriers to participation, lack the basic participatory skills or lack the confidence or belief to access services or volunteering and employment opportunities.
We have recently undertaken an audit of the service provision available to BME offenders and ex-offenders in South Wales.
During the research process, which involved one-to-one interview with offenders within secure units, it became apparent that within the prison system, young vulnerable offenders were being exposed to extremist views and grooming that has led to many individuals becoming radicalized or at the very least, influenced in a negative way.
This DVD resource is not only an important tool to counter this, but I believe a necessary tool. Offenders face multiple barriers in engaging with mainstream society including their basic mistrust of society and systems, society’s perceived prejudice against them and a lack of emotional support. These all make them susceptible to negative influencing.
This project will be used to develop the capacity of these young people to think critically, counter negativity and feel confident in their own value and values.
Through our partnership work with Cardiff Prison, the delivery of this project to young offenders would seem the obvious application, and through our work with the Probation service, a significant prevention tool.
BVSNW – 113-116 Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 5EQ