The Batook Pandya Award for Inclusion
This award, in memory of Batook Pandya MBE, director of SARI, is for an organisation or group that recognises, promotes and celebrates diversity and inclusion.

This award will be decided by a judging panel.

The winner will be announced at the Voscurs Awards Ceremony on Thursday 30 January 2020. Click here for more information and to book your place.

Props | Bristol Refugee Rights | Bristol Dementia Action Alliance | Bristol Community FM - BCfm | Bridging Gaps | WECIL |  Golden Key


What does this organisation do or has it done?
At PROPS we passionately believe that everybody has the right to meaningful work, and that acquiring the skills of the workplace is an important part of adult life. We support adults with learning disabilities to gain work skills and put them into practice within a number of our projects and enterprises.

How have they brought people from different communities together?
Our mission is to support adults with learning disabilities to achieve their full potential in our community. We achieve this by providing access to practical learning, skills development and worthwhile, accessible work-based experiences.

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
All our activities are accessible and adaptable to meet differentiated support needs. Based at the fully accessible Vassall Centre in Fishponds Bristol PROPS provides day opportunities for 49 weeks of the year.

Bristol Refugee Rights

What does this organisation do or has it done?
Bristol Refugee Rights (BRR) is the largest provider of services to asylum seekers, refugees (ASR) and vulnerable migrants in Bristol.  BRR is a place of welcome, solidarity and trust.  They prioritise well being, equality and safety.  The services they provide include a social drop in, education, early years provision, advice, a young people's project, volunteer interpreters, 'Pride without Borders' project, and public speaking training.  Their services are unique but they work alongside other services to prevent homelessness and destitution, and to coordinate services for ASR across the city through the Refugee forum.

How have they brought people from different communities together?
In 2018-19 BRR welcomed 1,147 ASR , including 428 new members from 46 different countries, providing a community hub of appropriate services to those most in need.  As a result ASR have their human rights promoted and protected, are better integrated into Bristol, have improved well-being and a reduced impact of poverty and destitution.  Through the public speaking project over 1,000 people head a BRR member speak about their experiences of claiming asylum in the UK, and members also spoke to the media for campaigning and fundraising purposes.

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
BRR strives to be a member led organisation, reflecting the diversity of its members in every aspect of the organisation and its work.  Over a third of Trustees are of ASR or migrant background, and a Member (beneficiary) consultation group are consulted each month on governance and operational issues. 61 Members volunteered with different BRR projects during the year - through volunteering Members are able to make new friends, improve their confidence, learn new skills, improve their English and gain experience that will help them get a job, as well as gaining the satisfaction of participating and 'giving back' to the BRR community.

Bristol Dementia Action Alliance

What does this organisation do or has it done?
BDAA aims to make Bristol THE Dementia Friendly City of the UK, by running Dementia awareness sessions to businesses, groups, faith groups and those from other cultures. BDAA was asked in 2019 to run dementia workshops for people working with (or intending to work with) people living with dementia in the community. BAME representatives were present at the last workshop. BDAA is passionate about Bristol becoming a place where people living with Dementia can live, work or visit knowing they will be treated with common courtesy and respect. 
It does this because: 
• Dementia can affect ANYONE, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, faith and culture. Bristol is a diverse city containing all of these groups, so they need to be included in our mission as they are ALL human beings 
• Many people don’t know what Dementia is, don’t recognise the symptoms and they often don’t know how to support people with Dementia.

How have they brought people from different communities together?
BDAA employed freelancer Subitha Baghirathan to develop and deliver community education tailored specifically for multi-faith communities, in partnership with other organisations that provide health and wellbeing activities. She started initially speaking to Hindu and Sikh communities and gave talks to a total of 327 people, over the course of ten Dementia Information Sessions. She also featured on two radio programmes during the project: 
• Radio Ramadan (15 May 2019) 
• BBC Radio’s Manny Masih show (8 Sept. 2019). 
She was able to: 
• help demystify and explain the diagnosis pathway in Bristol; 
• demonstrate that it is possible to live well and be included in everyday life after a dementia diagnosis; 
• identify dementia risk factors; ways to minimise risk etc. 
This increases: 
• opportunity of self-care 
• awareness of including people with dementia in community life, 
• inclusion in their preferred religious establishments.

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
Subitha created a faith-based project targeting local Hindu and Sikh communities in Bristol. This built upon BDAA’s existing Dementia Friendly Churches’ Network which launched in summer 2017. We aimed to work in partnership with the four Sikh Gurdwaras and the Hindu Temple to improve understanding of Dementia such as • its many symptoms • the diagnosis process • risk factors • ways to minimise risk. We also wanted to learn from people’s own experiences, so that we could gain more insight into how Dementia is talked about and viewed in some BAME) communities. Dementia diagnosis rates in many BAME communities are low in comparison to estimated numbers of people living with Dementia, both in Bristol and England as a whole. Evidence shows that people with Dementia and their carers who are of BAME origins are more likely to continue going to social groups, faith-based organisations etc. within their own communities rather than health agencies.

Bristol Community FM - BCfm

What does this organisation do or has it done?
Bristol Community FM (BCfm) is a community radio station, broadcasting across Bristol on 93.2fm, DAB and worldwide via their online stream, with a proud record of eleven years of serving the city of Bristol. They are dedicated to representing the many underserved members or groups within Bristol, that don't get access to the airwaves, via an award-winning schedule of music, speech and creative programming. They have over this period worked with over a thousand volunteers with different backgrounds and walk of lives, interviewed over ten thousand guests. Part of their remit is to provide broadcast opportunities to all sections of the community especially those under represented by mainstream radio.

How have they brought people from different communities together?
BCfm is an important part of Bristol life, they inform, educate and entertain the people of Bristol, with an ethos of diversity and inclusivity. BCfm looks at Inclusion and Diversity from different lenses, for instance their work includes broadcasts from former offenders and those with alcohol or drug rehabilitation issues, serving and involving, those under-represented by the mainstream media, including diverse, hard-to-reach and sometimes disadvantaged communities. BCfm broadcasts in nine different languages and aims to represent the whole of Bristol and Bristol life. Broadcasts to the local Somali, Polish and Spanish speaking communities amongst others also feature, which highlights how music and radio entertainment can bring people together from different communities, giving them a voice.

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
To celebrate diversity and Inclusion, they (schedule and capacity permitting) give the chance to anybody to get involved with BCfm, regardless their background, heritage, gender, faith and so on. They have developed a great volunteering framework, which bridges the quality and scope of radio programming with the need to offer support, companionship and, most importantly, a voice to all the Communities in Bristol. One great example of BCfm’s spirit of inclusivity and diversity is a new Local Heritage Inclusive Project Called 12 Communities 1 Bristol, which has just been launched. It aims to gather the cultural traditions, histories of places and events, language and dialect, memories and experiences, industry and natural heritage of 12 communities in Bristol. These communities such as Easton, Knowle West, Hartcliffe, Avonmouth and more, are the least satisfied with Bristol’s offering of heritage and museums, and some of the most overlooked areas in the city.

Bridging Gaps

What does this organisation do or has it done?
Bridging Gaps is a group of parents from Hannah More Primary School who have developed cultural competence training packages, tailored towards the attendees in the room. The training sessions are professionally delivered and support participants to gain knowledge about people from different cultures, become more culturally aware, be more open-minded and be more confident to interact with people from different backgrounds. To date, they have run training at local schools, at the Engine Shed, at Barton Hill Settlement, on a Bristol Ferryboat and even on a train.

How have they brought people from different communities together?
The team at Bridging Gaps are truly diverse! They are from Somalia, Sudan, Jamaica, Poland, Yemen, Senegal, the Philippines and the UK. They bring their personal experience to the training they deliver. This means that participants hear different voices and viewpoints and learn about different cultural backgrounds. The group recently worked with Bristol Ageing Better and LinkAge Network, tailoring the training to specifically focus on the experiences of older people in Bristol. These sessions were attended by over 60 participants from different organisations around the city. We were guided to reflect on our practice and encouraged to implement changes to encourage people from all backgrounds to participate in the activities and services we offer.

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
Prior to these recent training sessions, the group had not specifically focused on the experiences of older people before. They carried out research and interviews to ensure these experiences were accurately reflected in the training. What makes the sessions unique is that participants have the opportunity to hear about people’s lived experiences, directly from those people. Rather than speaking on behalf of older people, they directly included their words in various ways for example via video interview, reading out an interview transcript, and inviting an older person to co-facilitate the training to speak about their experiences directly.


What does this organisation do or has it done?
WECIL is a user led organisation that is dedicated to supporting disabled people in all areas of their life. We break down barriers to promote an inclusive society and to provide choice and independence to disabled people.  
Our range of holistic services, provide opportunities to isolated communities that would otherwise be unavailable. We have enabled young disabled people to complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, provided innovative training for anyone that identifies as disabled to support them into employment or education, supported anyone seeking advice around the care assessment and reduced isolation and loneliness by bringing people together through our Peer Support Project.  
The different projects that WECIL deliver all bring together a range different ages from communities across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and BaNES. We support anyone that identifies as disabled, including people with mental health conditions and anxiety. 

How have they brought people from different communities together?
Youth Services - Engages with hundreds of young disabled people each year, providing a fun, safe and accessible environment for young people to participate in activities, trips and training that they would not otherwise be able to access. Our different projects work in some of the most deprived areas of Bristol allowing families with low income to have the chance to access fun trips and groups.  
Access All Areas: Our annual free event provides fun and free entertainment that is accessible for all. All of the entertainment and workshops were provided by disabled people, showcasing the best disabled talent in the local area and bringing people together by removing barriers that usually prevent access to such events. 
Advice and Advocacy: working in the Somali community to provide support and break down stigma around disability.  
Peer Support: provides hundreds of free activities every week, as well as trips for disabled adults, reducing loneliness, isolation and depression.  
Employment Support - Providing free innovative employment courses that are delivered and designed by people with lived experience of disability. 

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
The social model of disability underpins everything that we do, we ensure that disabled people are treated equally and fight for equal opportunities. Not only do we practice what we preach but we are proud to educate other organisations & businesses by providing Disability Equality Training so that we can achieve our vision for a more inclusive society.  
As a user led organisation all of our services are co-produced with disabled people for disabled people.  
To celebrate our diversity we became a signatory partner of the Bristol Equality Charter this year as well as The Voice & Influence Partnership, both partnerships have brought us closer together with other marginalised communities in Bristol so that we can ensure that everyone has a voice. Both partnerships have brought us closer to these communities, allowing us to further develop as an organisation.  
A large percentage of our staff is disabled and all but one of our Trustees are disabled. 

Golden Key

What does this organisation do or has it done?
Golden Key is a partnership of 19 organisations from Bristol. The partnership works to improve services for Bristol citizens with the most complex needs. The work is continuously and independently evaluated so lessons can be learned about how services can be made better for the most vulnerable - not just here in Bristol but across the whole of the UK.  
Golden Key works with clients who have been identified as having complex needs. All of them experience a challenging mix of homelessness, long term mental health problems, dependency on drugs/ alcohol and offending behaviour. 
The partnership identifies where the system could be working better for people and then seek to create system change. Golden Key is bringing about change at every level from the way services are structured to the way the city is run.

How have they brought people from different communities together?
As a partnership, Golden Key represents a number of sectors including mental and physical health, criminal justice, drug and alcohol and housing services, although the range of services used by clients is much broader. The Golden Key client cohort has been selected to represent a diverse group of people so that we can gather a wide range of perspectives on the system. Clients range in age between late teens and people in their 60s, 38% identify as disabled and 23% are BME backgrounds. Golden Key’s client facing team also aims to engage people from groups that do not typically access services. The focus on working with those ‘furthest from services’ is part of the aspiration to make services more inclusive. The nominated piece of work focuses on trans people’s experiences within the criminal justice system, working to ensure that their voices are heard, recognised and respected.

How have they developed their good practice to celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion?
Golden Key has produced a recommendations report; ‘Supporting Transgender People in the Criminal Justice System: Recommendations for Change’. The report was researched and compiled by Golden Key’s Criminal Justice project manager and was part funded from the Ministry of Justice Innovation Award. Trans men and women from eight prisons across England and Wales shared their experiences of being transgender in the criminal justice system. Participants were from a diverse range of backgrounds, at different stages with their transition, and ranged in age from their teens to their mid-seventies. The report includes recommendations on how best to work with, and support, transgender people within the criminal justice system, including strategic and operational actions. The report is sponsored by the Governor at HMP Eastwood Park, who alongside Avon and Somerset Reducing Reoffending Board and partner organisations, will monitor and support the implementation of recommendations.

Further information about each nominee that was provided at the nomination stage will be shared with the judging panel.

This award will be decided by a judging panel.

The winner will be announced at the Voscurs Awards Ceremony on Thursday 30 January 2020. Click here for more information and to book your place.

PDF icon Voscurs 2019-20 T&C's.pdf123.79 KB