Individually tailored and culturally sensitive employability support for disadvantaged BAME women in London.

The BBO project has received £1,480,800 of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit

The participants of the Women at the Centre project were mostly residents of Camden, City of London, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster. They were drawn from the following ethnic groups: Arab, Asian (Bangladeshi and Pakistani), Black African (incl. Somali), Chinese and Roma and Irish Travellers. The two main delivery partners were Hopscotch (lead partner) and Refugee Women’s Association, and the other partners that provided specific support to participants were All Dimension, Gateway, Women like Us and Working Men’s College.

The Women at the Centre project took participants through a structured journey of individualised, culturally sensitive and multi-lingual support. We expected to work with most women for a two-year cycle.  At the same time, the project engaged with employers across all the targeted boroughs in the following specific sectors: Retail, Catering and Health & Social Care. We worked with employers to encourage them to develop part-time and flexible jobs and to raise their awareness regarding the positive aspects of employing a diverse workforce, more representative of the various local communities.

PresentationOur outcomes were focussed on improving the life skills of disadvantaged BAME women, increasing their ability to access sustainable employment opportunities, increasing employers’ awareness of the barriers they face and enhancing well-being and resilience simultaneously at a personal, familial and community level. The project was delivered in community centres, children’s centres, training organisations and on work premises in the nine boroughs.

You could join the project if you are:

  • female
  • from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background
  • unemployed (out of work, available for work and actively seeking work; usually are registered as unemployed and may be in receipt of unemployment benefits, e.g. JSA)
  • economically inactive (not in work and are either not seeking work or not available to work).
  • resident of one of the following boroughs: Camden, City of London, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster
  • legally resident in the UK and able to take paid employment

If you were a participant on the project, and need to get in touch with us, please call on 0207 388 8198

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