Suffolk Pita Festival is a big success

2018 pita festival

Ipswich Star article

A cultural exhibition event, held at Suffolk New College from midday to 4pm on Sunday, with traditional delicacies available to sample.

The festival centres around a pita competition, with judges poring over the South Asian sweet and savoury snacks.

There was also traditional food and jewellery stalls, henna art, children’s entertainment, and the BSC’s educational awards which recognises the achievements of those who have supported the centre.

Mohammed Allam, joint BSC manager, said: “It was fantastic. We were slightly concerned that with a few other events and an England game, that people wouldn’t show up but we didn’t need to worry.

“It was buzzing, around 500 people came along to enjoy the event. We had information stalls, charity fundraising stalls and of course the pita competition.”

Launched 20 years ago by volunteers, the BSC strives to support people in the Bangladeshi and other black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Suffolk and engage them in social, cultural, educational and recreational activities.

Mr Allam said: “Everything we do is about bringing the community together.

“It’s about learning about other people’s culture and treating each other with respect to build a cohesive community.

“That underlines everything we do.”

The organisation provides a number of capacity building programmes for local communities, a resource and learning centre and key referral advice agency. The BSC also works closely with statutory and voluntary organisation partners on projects related to health, education, employment, housing, welfare rights and crime.

The centre runs a homework club for students aged 11-18 at Northgate High School in term time as well as a sports club at Northgate Sports Centre for children and families to take part in activities.

Mr Allam added: “A lot of violence that you see is mainly to do with young people, who have nowhere to go.”

“One of the things we do is run clubs to support the young people and it’s about raising aspirations and educating them to do positive things in their community.”

Our photo gallery of the event

Could you be a winner in the Suffolk BME Business Awards?

from: Ipswich Star 4 Jun 2018

Launch of BME Business Award 2018

The annual BME Business awards – which celebrate the massive contribution that the BME – black and minority ethnic businesses make to Ipswich and Suffolk, are back.

Could you, or your Suffolk business, be an award winner this time?

Yesterday organisers and sponsors gathered at the University of Suffolk to launch the 2018 campaign, in order to encourage people from the wider business community to nomimate themselves, or encourage others who are in business locally, to enter for the 2018 awards.

The annual event is the coming together of a wide business community with a rich heritage of cultural diversity, and is hosted at the University of Suffolk, Waterfront building in Ipswich.

The event, organised by the Bangladeshi Support Centre and the University of Suffolk will take place on Wednesday October 24, 2018 at the university.

Now in its third year, the event showcases the contribution of Suffolk’s growing Black Ethnic Minority (BME) communities to the local economy.

The awards night itself is a celebration of community and co-operation as well as diversity.

There are hundreds of BME businesses in Suffolk, both large and small, and they employ thousands of people across different sectors including telecommunications, finance, IT, property development and catering, and also the charity sector.

Boshor Ali chair of BSC said, “We are delighted this event is back on and will help raise awareness of BME people’s contribution to the economy of Suffolk.

“These businesses provide much-needed services locally and contribute millions of pounds to our economy. It is important to celebrate their achievements especially in the post-Brexit context.”

Dr Will Thomas, associate professor at the University of Suffolk, said, “Once again we are pleased to be working in partnership with BSC in highlighting the positive contribution that minority communities make to our economy. This is an important event and needed in the current climate.”

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said this was an important event in the calender.

The borough council is among the sponsors.

He said: “We are delighted to be involved again. It is a really good showcase for the contribution the BME community are making to the Suffolk economy.

“They are a vibrant part of the Ipswich community. What is amazing is that each time we are finding businesses which are doing great things, providing jobs and incomes for people and really contributing to the life of Ipswich.”

Entries are now invited for the 2018 BME Suffolk Business Awards.

Businesses are encouraged to nominate themselves for the seven available awards including a Special Judges Award selected by an independent panel of judges on merit.

For further information about the awards contact Bangladeshi Support Centre on 07932 644466 or see or the University of Suffolk