Press Release – BME Business Awards 2021

The University of Suffolk Business School and BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) created the county’s first BME Business Awards celebrating the achievements and contributions of businesses owned and operated by members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups in 2016. Since then, the awards have continued to grow, celebrating the contributions and successes of businesses of all types and from all corners of Suffolk.

Unfortunately the COVID-19 saw the 2020 ceremony cancelled and the difficult decision has now been taken to cancel the 2021 ceremony in recognition that businesses will rightly wish to focus their attention on recovery and growth.

Boshor Ali, Chair of BSCMS acknowledges “The decision not to hold the awards this year was incredibly difficult and it will clearly come as a disappointment to many of our partners, sponsors and stakeholders.”

Dr Will Thomas, Associate Professor, Suffolk Business School at University of Suffolk added “The growth of the awards has been amazing and has surpassed all our initial expectations. We know the 2022 ceremony will be a huge celebration of resilience, community and of the contributions of Suffolk’s wonderful businesses.”

Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, Pro-Vice Chancellor Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk stressed the importance of the partnership between the University of Suffolk and BSC Multicultural Services “Our University was founded on principles of partnership and collaboration with local communities and businesses. The work on the BME Business Awards is an example of how this approach benefits our students, local business and local communities. We’re all looking forward to celebrating the fifth year of the awards in 2022.”

Press Release: BSCMS successfully vaccinating BME people

BSCMS vaccination 21 March 2021

BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS), an award-winning charity based in Ipswich, has been working closely with Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and local ethnic minority groups and communities to organise vaccination sessions, aimed particularly at disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the communities. As a result, around 500 people of Asian, African, Chinese, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Eastern European backgrounds have already been vaccinated. This initiative was important for both BME people and the NHS as Covid-19 has affected members of these communities more than the wider population.

BSCMS proactively facilitated the uptake of vaccines by raising awareness and understanding of the importance of the vaccination programme, dealing openly and honestly with understandable concerns and misunderstandings about the safety of the jab, thus making it very clear to individuals and community groups that the vaccination programme was optional and non-compulsory. Such an open and transparent approach enabled BSCMS to not only engage people of a diverse background but it also reassured them. As a result, many local BME leaders and key influencers came on-board and gave their full backing to BSCMS to enable more ethnic minority people to receive the jab.

This was a partnership initiative between BSCMS, Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, NHS, local voluntary organisations and community groups in Ipswich and Suffolk. Shayra Begum, co-ordinator of the project, said, ‘We worked very hard to reach some of the most socially marginalised and isolated individuals and groups. Thanks to our excellent links and contacts with members of these communities, we were able to successfully vaccinate around 500 people so far.’ Boshor Ali, chair of BSCMS, said, ‘This is a great achievement for BSCMS. I also want to thank all our partner organisations for their help and support. We hope our initiative will now encourage other BME people to come forward to receive their jabs.’

Ipswich Star: Vaccination project success in reaching ethnic minority groups

Tom Hunt announced as Ambassador for award-winning Ipswich charity


Tom Hunt - ambassador for BSC Multicultural Services

Today (18/09/20), Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, was officially unveiled as a new Ambassador for BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS), a multi-award-winning charity in Ipswich with more than 20 years of excellent track record.

As an Ambassador Hunt will become more closely involved in the charity’s work in the community and play a key role in promoting it and helping it reach more people. This includes BSC Multicultural Services’ programmes like the Supplementary School run on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays for disadvantaged young people and the Befriending Scheme which supports vulnerable elderly people to stay fit, healthy and independent.

Previously known as the Bangladeshi Support Centre, BSC Multicultural Services was established in 1998 by local volunteers. It now supports local people from over 50 different nationalities, and from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. (Some of the charity’s achievements in 2019 can be found at the end of this release.)

Hunt has been in close contact with BSC Multicultural Services since before he was elected and since then has been coordinating with the charity on issues like the community response to Covid-19 and his membership of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, BSC Multicultural Services has been at the forefront, delivering hundreds of food parcels to some of the most vulnerable people in Ipswich in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation.

Hunt has also raised the excellent work of BSC Multicultural Services in the House of Commons and in his maiden speech he acknowledged the enormous contribution the Bangladeshi Community makes to Ipswich.

Following the announcement, Tom said:

“It’s brilliant to become an Ambassador of BSC Multicultural Services. They have played an invaluable role in our Town for more than 20 years and never has this come to the fore than during the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working closely with the leadership team over the coming years. Not only have they done a fantastic job supporting our wonderful Bangladeshi community here in Ipswich, but also people from over 50 other nationalities.”

“During COVID-19 they have been supporting some of the most vulnerable within our community through their Emergency Food Packs and Hardship Fund, and hundreds of families in desperate need are receiving invaluable support.”

Following the announcement, Chair of BSC Multicultural Services, Boshor Ali said: “Tom Hunt is a very good friend of BSCMS and we are delighted to have him as our Ambassador, proactively supporting our work locally and championing us at the national level. We can now build on this going forward!”

Press Release: Hate Crime Training for Taxi Drivers

BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) working with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk Community Foundation organised a Hate Crime Training at Meeting Room, 19 Tower Street Ipswich on 11 February. The training was aimed at Taxi Drivers and people who work unsociable hours to raise awareness and understanding of what constitute a hate crime/incident and highlight the importance of reporting such crimes to the police.

BSCMS took this initiative after collecting more than 200 cases of unreported hate crime last year in Ipswich alone. The seriousness of some cases really shocked and horrified BSCMS staff who spoke with many Taxi Drivers, shopkeepers and restaurateurs and felt that something needed to be done about this. The training was the first of a series that will be planned and delivered by the Hate Crime Project throughout 2020. More than 70 people of diverse background attended this training including several key local stakeholders (such as Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Victim Support, Hawk Express, Avenue Taxis and several local politicians and community leaders).

Speakers included Councillor Alasdair Ross, Portfolio-holder of Public Protection at IBC, police officers, owners of taxi firms, local businessmen, BSCMS staff and of course some taxi drivers and local businessmen. After the training, a group discussion took place and it was agreed to reconvene at a later date to explore ways of protecting those who work unsociable hours from becoming victims of hate crime in the future.

For more information, please contact BSCMS at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Hate crime training

Ipswich Star ~ Taxi drivers taught importance of tackling hate crime after 200 cases go unreported