‘The Queen’s Award 2022’ for BSC Multicultural Services

Queen's Award Poster

BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) is a multi-award-winning charity and community organisation. It was established in 1998 by a group of dedicated community volunteers. For more than 24 years now it has been playing a significant role in improving the quality of life of local BME people in Ipswich and Suffolk. In recognition of its high quality of services, BSCMS was awarded MATRIX, a national quality standard, and it received an All-Inclusive Finalist Award from the Learning and Skills Council for its GET IT ON! project.

BSCMS has received recognition at local, regional and national level, having won the ‘Best Community Organisation’ award in the UK, and was invited to Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Sandringham Castle in 2012. In 2018, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Community Foundation recognised BSCMS with the ‘Working Together Award’ and, in May 2018, when HRH Prince Edward visited Ipswich he praised BSCMS’s ‘wonderful’ work.

A year later, BSCMS won the ‘Suffolk Voluntary Organisation of the Year’ award from Suffolk Community Foundation. BSCMS work has been promoted locally and showcased at the national level, including in the House of Commons. The High Sheriff of Suffolk recognised BSCMS with ‘The Suffolk Award’ for its outstanding service during the COVID-19 pandemic and now BSCMS has been awarded the prestigious The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for 2022.

Boshor Ali, Chairman of BSCMS, said, “I am delighted that BSC Multicultural Services has been recognised. Congratulations to our trustees, staff, volunteers, service users, funders and well-wishers! For more than 24 years now, BSCMS has been serving our communities with dedication and commitment and I am very happy to receive this accolade. Well done to all my colleagues and let’s keep up the good work.”

Mahbub Alam ‘Shamim’, Treasurer of BSCMS, said, ‘Over the last two decades, BSCMS’s trustees, staff and volunteers have worked diligently to make Ipswich and Suffolk an inclusive, tolerant and prosperous place for everyone to live and work. Our work has not only had a positive impact on BME communities, but also the wider society as a whole. I am delighted that this has been finally acknowledged by none other than Her Majesty the Queen. This is a fantastic achievement for the whole team at BSCMS!’

EADT article



BSC Multicultural Services’ award-winning Supplementary School organised its Sports Day on Sunday 6th March at Suffolk New College Sports Centre and Goals. The Supplementary School, now in its 10th year, has grown over the years and expanded its activities, helping hundreds of children of diverse background to achieve their full potential in life. In addition to a Saturday School held at St Helen Primary School, Homework Club at Northgate High School, the project also runs sports clubs, regular educational trips and outings, and an annual Sports Day to encourage children to engage in sports, and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Due to Covid pandemic, BSCMS was not able to organise any of its community events and activities. The Sports Day was therefore one of its first events and it attracted more than 200 children and their families. A variety of sports and recreational activities were on offer including football tournaments (adults outdoor and children indoor), bouncy castle, table tennis, soft ball, assault course, basket ball and soft play area. All the children were given a goodie bag (containing snacks and drinks) and the winners of the football tournaments received trophies.

There were many guests and community leaders in attendance including Cllrs David Ellesmere and Carole Jones, Mahbub Alam Shamim, Treasurer of BSCMS, Sally Samson from Northgate High School, Omar Ali, Chair of Suffolk Kurdish Society, and Fotik Miah, Chair of Ipswich Mosque, among others. Cllr Ellesmere handed the trophies to all the winners and thanked BSCMS for proactively promoting social integration and community cohesion in Ipswich for nearly 25 years.

Mohammed Mainul Alam, Centre Manager of BSCMS and organiser of the Sports Day, said, “This has been a great event with so many children and their families in attendance. After two years of no major events or activities, everyone was really looking forward to this Sports Day and the feedback we have received from children and their families suggests they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
He added, ‘I would like to thank all my colleagues for their support and co-operation. Suffolk New College Sports Centre and Goals deserve our appreciation and special thanks to BBC Children in Need, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Community Foundation and the Lottery Community Fund for their continued support. Thank you.’

sports day

sports day

sports day

‘The Suffolk Award’ for BSCMS and nomination for ‘The Queen’s Award’

BSC Group

During the last two years of the COVID-19 crisis, BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) played a proactive role in supporting some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Ipswich and Suffolk, especially those from the ethnic minority communities including refugees and asylum-seekers. Some of its work and activities during this difficult and challenging period included the following:

  • Prepared and distributed 100s of emergency food parcels to local individuals and families.
  • Established a Hardship Fund with the support of Suffolk Community Foundation to help individuals and families that were struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than £20,000 have been distributed.
  • Prepared and distributed 100s of winter and special packs for the homeless in Ipswich (consisting of blankets, socks, gloves, hot water bottles, tea, coffee, toothpaste, etc) and other vulnerable people.
  • Through the Support Services, BSCMS continued to help and support 100s of clients via telephone and limited numbers of urgent face-to-face appointments from our office in 19 Tower Street. This was done in a COVID-secure way to protect staff and clients alike.
  • More than 150 hot meals were distributed to the homeless in Ipswich in partnership with Ipswich Soup Kitchen. This was really appreciated by the recipients after a long period of being offered only cold food.
  • 100s of health and wellbeing, sanitary and dry food packs were also distributed to local individuals and families, in addition to stationery packs to children to help them with their learning and school work. Around £5000 worth of vouchers were distributed to families with children to help them cope during the repeated lockdowns and thereafter.
  • More than 700 BME people were offered vaccinations, thanks to proactive outreach undertaken by BSCMS in the ethnic minority communities.
  • BME Befriending Scheme, Supplementary School, Carers and other project’s continued to support children, elderly and other clients via telephone or participation in other appropriate activities, etc.

In recognition of its outstanding contribution and achievements during this unique and unprecedented period, the High Sheriff of Suffolk offered BSCMS ‘The Suffolk Award’. More recently, BSCMS has been nominated for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is a huge honour for this small but very active local charity. Mr Boshor Ali, Chair of BSCMS, thanked all management committee members, staff and volunteers for their dedication, commitment and selflessness.

Mr Ali said, “BSC Multicultural Services is now approaching its 24th birthday and in April 2023 we will reach a huge milestone, a quarter of a century! We have achieved so much during this remarkable period. As one of the founders of BSCMS, it has been an honour and privilege for me to serve as its Chair and see the charity carry out so much good work, despite many ups and downs.”
“This fantastic journey”, he added, “would not have been possible without the wonderful and talented team we have at BSCMS! We hope to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this organisation next year! I want to thank Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Community Foundation, Lottery Community Fund, Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, Henry Smith Charity and Suffolk County Council, among others, for their continued support.”

Mr Mahbub Alam, Treasurer of BSCMS, said, “Many of our colleagues took a calculated risk to help others during the repeated lockdowns and distributed 100s of emergency food packs at a time when other charity’s and organisations were not sure how to respond to the unprecedented emergency we faced at the time.”

He added, “Well done to the BSCMS team for rallying around and supporting our most disadvantaged and vulnerable clients during a very difficult time for everyone. Keep up the good work.”

BSC Group 2

Press Release – Celebrating Educational Achievements!

Educational awards

BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS), a multi- award-winning charity and community organisation based in Ipswich, held its 5th BME Outstanding Educational Achievement Award on Wednesday 9th June from 6 to 8 pm at 19 Tower Street. Organised by its Supplementary School, now in its 10th year, the event was held outside this year due to existing COVID-19 restrictions and more than 25 winners and their families turned up at their allocated time to collect their awards.

Prominent guests and judges included Cllr Elizabeth Hughes, the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, Mr Dale Banham, Deputy Headteacher, Northgate High School, and several community and faith leaders. This event was a combined one as last year’s event was cancelled due to lockdown and related restrictions. The highest achiever in the GCSE category was Zakaria Al-Mamun with 6 level 9s, 3 level 8s and 1 level 7; for A-levels, Raydwan Miah achieved 4A*; for undergraduates, there were 3 first-class degrees, and 1 postgraduate qualification obtained by Mahdiya Khan from Cambridge University.

Mohammed Alam, the manager of BSCMS Supplementary School, was delighted with the way the event went and he praised all the young people who received an award. ‘I was impressed’, he said, ‘by some of the entries we had received for GCSE’s, A-levels, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. At one time children from BME background were underperforming at schools across Ipswich, but thanks to our project, we now have BME young people going onto study at some of the top universities in this country including Cambridge and Oxford.’

Boshor Ali, chair of BSCMS, said, ‘I am delighted that the event went very well under the current difficult circumstances, but it was important to acknowledge the outstanding educational achievements of all the students who have, one way or another, benefited from our project over the years. Well done to everyone involved for making the event a great success.’

If you are interested in attending the Supplementary School’s events and activities (such as Saturday School, Homework Club, Sports Clubs, Sports Days and educational trips/outings), please contact Mohammed Alam on 07932 644466, email hidden; JavaScript is required

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

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