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

The Women at the Centre project takes participants through a structured journey of individualised culturally sensitive and multi-lingual support and we expect to work with most women for a two-year cycle.  At the same time, the project engages with employers across all the targeted boroughs in the following specific sectors: Retail, Catering and Health and Social Care. We work 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 are about 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 at personal, familial and community level. The project is delivered in community centres, children’s centres, training organisations and on work premises in the nine boroughs.

You can 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

For more information about the project contact the Women at the Centre team on 020 7388 8198.

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