Previously known as the Bangladeshi Support Centre, BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) was established in 1998 by volunteers with just a small grant of £250; it has helped thousands of people over the last two decades.

It provides help to people from all faiths and backgrounds with programmes like the supplementary school run on Mondays and a befriending scheme which supports vulnerable elderly people to stay fit, healthy and independent. It has also delivered hundreds of food parcels to some of the town’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. During the pandemic, The Ipswich Society has been unable use its spare copies of the Newsletter through networking, at events and via the now-closed Tourist information Centre. We were therefore delighted to provide two batches of recent issues to BSCMS, a copy to be included in each of their food parcels.

BSCMS celebrated its 20th anniversary in November 2019. As well as planning and delivering dozens of projects in Suffolk, including training and education, cultural understanding and cohesion, the charity has also organised several major annual events in Ipswich (for example, the One Big Multicultural Festival, and the Suffolk BME Business Awards – the latter organised with the University of Suffolk). It aims ‘to highlight Ipswich as a role model of social integration and community cohesion in the east of England, if not the whole country’.

BSCMS has excelled itself during the pandemic and has been working closely with Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and local ethnic minority groups and communities to organise vaccination sessions from a bus which visits localities; this is aimed particularly at the disadvantaged and the vulnerable. As a result, 500 people (and rising) of Asian, African, Chinese, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Eastern European backgrounds have already been vaccinated. This initiative was important for both ethnic minorities and the NHS as Covid-19 has affected members of these communities more than the wider population.


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