About Us

WE ARE NO LONGER OPERATIONAL

HIBBERT COMMUNITY REGENERATION AGENCY

 

Who we are

 

Hibbert Community Regeneration Agency was established in 1995 and delivers a comprehensive range of activities designed to engage and empower men and women, and young people from BME and migrant backgrounds to help them to integrate better into society. We are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The organisation is managed by a Board of Trustees with representatives from local grassroots organisations, the local primary school, as well as professionals from local businesses.

 

Manager Hanif Alli was one of the first Indian / BME elected members / local councillors in the history of Bolton, and has over 25 years experience working within local communities with past roles including outreach co-ordinator for Bolton Youth Service, project manager for NACRO, and project manager at Bolton Community College. Currently we have one member of staff, but have historically operated with a core team of a manager and 2 support workers.

 

We also have 17 regular volunteers who provide an average of 5 hours a week.

 

 

Our Aims & Objectives

 

The aims of Hibbert Community Regeneration Agency are to:

 

  • Engage and empower people from BME / migrant communities and provide them with the confidence, knowledge and skills to be able to access services, become active in the community and move into education, training or employment;
  • Support young people who are at risk of disengaging from education, employment or training and those who are engaged in anti-social behaviour to engage in positive activities which lead to positive progressions;

 

  • Improve community cohesion between different communities;

 

  • Support the development and capacity of local organisations who work with people from BME / migrant communities.

 

We deliver these aims by:

 

  • Undertaking outreach activities within our target communities;
  • Delivering a range of activities designed to secure engagement, build confidence and self-esteem and raise aspirations, including arts activities, cupcake design classes, community gardening, community choir;
  • Running coffee mornings and other events designed to support people to socialise and feel less excluded, learn / practice their English skills informally; and undertake taster sessions;
  • Running a food bank, using volunteers from the community, to support people suffering from food poverty, as well as providing cookery / healthy eating / ‘eating on a budget’ classes;
  • Providing basic health advice (e.g. accessing health services, using condoms, raising awareness around health screenings, blood pressure testing etc.) in conjunction with Bolton CVS;
  • Providing workshops and one-to-one advice and guidance to support people from BME / migrant communities to understand their rights and responsibilities; to access public services; to access welfare advice; to open a bank account; and budget their money effectively;
  • Running a range of UK Online courses from our ICT suite to support people to increase their literacy, numeracy, life and employability skills;
  • Raising ICT skills by running basic ICT / ECDL courses and drop-in sessions;
  • Supporting people to develop job search and employability skills through a combination of workshops, general advice (including job search, preparation of CVS, helping clients to get NI numbers), work experience / volunteer placements run in conjunction with Job Centre Plus;
  • Running a range of outreach, engagement and prevention activities with young people who are engaged in gang and knife crime;
  • Undertaking evening outreach / youth work and supervising the all purpose sports pitch located adjacent to Hibbert Community Centre;
  • Supporting young people who are, or who are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) with employability skills and volunteering opportunities;
  • Providing mentoring and support people to participate in local decision-making / leadership activities;
  • Providing mentoring, support and capacity building to grass-roots organisations wishing to work with BME / migrant communities;
  • Working with key statutory agencies at a strategic level, to help them to deliver their services in a way that makes them accessible to people from BME / migrant communities.

 

 

Who we work with

 

We mainly work with men, women and young people (particularly those who are NEET / involved in gang crime) from the Asian, Somali and Eastern European communities within the most deprived wards in Bolton. Our service users face a range of barriers which prevent them from participating in education, training, volunteering and employment, most notably, a poor grasp of English (47%) which limits their ability to understand their basic rights; and to identify and access benefits, healthcare and other public services.

 

Based on recent consultation with 148 service users, the ethnic breakdown of our service users is Indian (36%), African (27%), Eastern European / Gypsy / Roma / Traveller (24%), Pakistani (13%), and Bangladeshi (1%). This is broken down by gender into Asian Women (30%), Asian Men (20%), Somali Women (13%), Somali Men (14%), Eastern European Women (14%), and Eastern European Men (9%). We work with a range of age groups. 37% are 18-25, 34% are 25-40, 24% are 40-60 and 7% are 60-65.

 

 

 

Our Track Record

 

We have an 18 year track record of using grant and other funding from a range of sources to support people from BME/migrant communities who do not or cannot access support to move into training, education or employment from mainstream agencies.

 

We know from our experience and from recent consultation with our service users and stakeholders that our approach is effective and leads to achievable positive outcomes.

 

We recently exceeded our Reaching Communities “New Learning Horizons” project targets, supporting 112 women to increase their understanding of the electoral process and become more involved within the community; 52 women to improve their ICT/employability skills; and 200 women to reduce their isolation and improve their communication and life skills. In the past 12 months, we have also drawn in income from the Skills Funding Agency, via Bolton Council to deliver an outcome based contract around supporting young people not in education, employment or training, as well as funding from the Home Office to support young people involved in gang crime

 

 

 

 

Why people use Hibbert Community Centre?

 

68% of the service users we consulted reported that they use the centre because it is safe and welcoming, and they feel supported by staff. This figure rises to 86% for Eastern European men. The same number also said that activities in other centres/available from our key stakeholders are not suitable/accessible to them (e.g. due to cultural barriers) or are not available at a suitable time. This figure rises to 80% for Asian men.80% of Eastern European men and 40% of Somali men say that other local centres are not welcoming.

 

59% of Asian women use the centre to help them to make new friends and reduce isolation.32% of Asian women use the centre to help them to find support for problems they are facing. 36% of Eastern European men also use the centre for this purpose, as well as 30% of Asian men.

 

Overall, 30% of people are unaware of other similar centres in the area, although this figure is higher (40%) for Asian and Somali men.

 

 

 

 

What Impact do we Have?

 

We have an 18 year track record of supporting people from BME/migrant communities who do not or cannot access support to move into training, education or employment from mainstream agencies. We know from our experience delivering similar projects and as a result of our recent consultation with service users and stakeholders that our approach is effective and leads to achievable positive outcomes.

 

On an annual basis, we support approximately 200adults from BME / migrant communities to become less isolated and develop their confidence, self-esteem and life skills; 150 people to improve their literacy, numeracy, ICT and employability skills; 100 people to understand their rights, responsibilities, entitlements and access to public services; and 100 people to move into education, training, volunteering or employment. We also support around 200 children and young people to get involved in positive activities which help to discourage them from participating in gang activities and which help them to move back into education, or to move into training, volunteering or employment.

 

Following recent consultation with 148 of our service users, 77% told us that they feel more confident to get involved in new things (training, education, employment, volunteering) as a result of taking part in activities at Hibbert. This breaks down to 93% for Eastern European men, 86% for Eastern European women, 82% for Asian women, 75% for Somali men, 68% for Somali women and 62% for Asian men.41% of those users report that they are more able to do things for themselves and use their initiative. 43% say that they feel like a bigger part of the community, rising to 68% Asian women and 48% for Eastern European women. 24% feel less isolated after taking part in activities at Hibbert. This rises to 41% for Asian women.

 

We recently exceeded our Reaching Communities “New Learning Horizons” project targets, supporting 112 women to increase their understanding of the electoral process and become more involved within the community; 52 women to improve their ICT/employability skills; and 200 women to reduce their isolation and improve their communication and life skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Barriers do our Service Users Face?

 

We work with people from the Asian, Somali and Eastern European communities within the most deprived wards in Bolton. Our service users face a range of barriers which prevent them from participating in education, training, volunteering and employment, most notably, a poor grasp of English which limits their ability to understand their basic rights; and to identify and access benefits, healthcare and other public services. This is particularly acute for Eastern Europeans (with 36% of European men stating that they do not understand their rights, responsibilities and entitlements). In our consultation, 47% of service users said that they do not understand English very well. This rose to 81% for Eastern European women, 68% for Somali women, and 65% for Somali men. 10% of Somali/Eastern European women are unable to read/write. Our service users also typically have low confidence, self-esteem and motivation (77%), which prevent them from getting involved in development opportunities.

 

The women we work with also have additional barriers, and are drawn into conflict with their spouses and other male family members who do feel that empowering women goes against tradition. Their inability to participate in activities outside the home typically leads to isolation and depression.

 

Our service users also have poor ICT skills, and many service users are unable to use computers, email and the internet, or do not have access to a computer. According to our consultation, 16% of users are unable to use computers, email and the internet, rising to 36% for Asian women and 21% for Eastern European men. 21% of Somali women have no access to a computer.

 

Our service users also have poor life/employability skills and a history of unemployment, although most are interested in pursuing training, volunteering or employment opportunities. 25% of Asian women and 20% of Asian men would like to find work or learn new skills but do not know how to go about it, do not have the confidence, and have no work experience. 39% of Asian women have always been a housewife. This rises to 63% for Somali women and 48% for Eastern European women.36% of Eastern European men say that their qualifications are not recognised in this country along with 17% of Asian men and 10% of Somali men.

 

44% of our services users have not undertaken any training in the past 10 years, with 19% who have never undertaken any training / education.

 

 

 

 

 

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