On June 9th, the Greater Manchester and Manchester BME Networks held their first ever online event – a webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities. 45 attendees joined via Zoom for an engaging 2 hour session; looking at the national picture, hearing from local communities and reflecting on the impacts of covid and the recovery ahead. The event was hosted by Atiha Chaudry ( Chair of GM BAME Network), with a range of guest speakers giving both a national and Greater Manchester perspective.
Kunle Olulode (Voice for Change England) joined to give some reflections on the Public Health England review findings into the disproportionate impacts of covid on BAME communities, to update on some of the responses from national campaign groups and also taking the opportunity to share some thoughts on the Black Lives Matter campaign following the death of George Floyd.
Looking at a Greater Manchester level, attendees heard about the impacts of covid on BAME communities across GM from Circle Steele (Wai Yin Society), Khadija Tilly (KYP), Charles Kwaku-Odoi (Caribbean & African Health Network), Davine Forde (Manchester BME Network) and Dr Safina Islam (Ananna/Bangladeshi Woman’s organisation).
There was a live poll on some key questions and issues:
42% of responses said they or a close family member or friend had caught Coronavirus- view poll
89% of responses felt the government had not managed the crisis well - view poll
88% of responses felt BAME communities are not well-informed about covid-19 - view poll
On the topic of funding, 3 out of 5 responses (60%) said they had applied for emergency covid-19 funding but had been unsuccessful - view poll
5 out of 7 responses (71%) felt the main barrier to accessing the many funds available is 'capacity', followed by 'experience' (4 out of 7) - view poll
There was also time to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of BAME-led VCSE organisations who this year received Queens Awards for Voluntary Service; Ehinor Otaigbe-Amedu (Wonderfully Made Woman), Hasina Chowdhury (Ananna/Bandladeshi Women’s Organisation) and Ruqia Allana (North Manchester Black Health Forum). Paul Griffiths, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, joined to say a few words of congratulations to all.
Mark Nesbitt (Manchester BME Network CIC) wrapped things up with a presentation on some of the emergency funding available for organisations in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Watch a recording of the event:
To find out more about the GM BAME Network, please visit our web page.
For our dedicated COVID-19 support page for BAME organisations and individuals, please follow this link.