About West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre

The West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre exists to make a positive impact on the quality of life for local people. They work to raise awareness and prevention of health issues that are major contributors to ill health and premature death within the African Caribbean community, focusing on prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension and dementia.

They empower the community to take their health into their own hands, providing information and screening as well as community events, such as health and well being day services, to reduce isolation. They work with older people who are seeking to maintain independence, carers who need a break, and children and young people who need support and motivation.

The work the charity does

An example of one young man supported is Keanu, who attended a Saturday school some years ago that was set up to raise students’ educational attainment. Keanu’s mother recently forwarded pictures of her son’s university graduation, citing the difference that the service had made to him.

Keanu Bartley is a graduate from Northampton University in 2018

West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre and CAF Resilience

The small charity needed support and funding from CAF Resilience to “stabilise finances and diversify income streams so that we become less dependent on public sector grants and contracts". They also sought help to build a sustainable revenue model, develop strategic partnerships and potentially merge with another organisation, and strengthen governance arrangements.

The small charity recognised that their struggles were not unique – in 2016 they produced a report on the state of the African Caribbean charitable and community sector. They found that across the West Midlands region groups were either closing or struggling to stay open. For many the challenge was to seek and retain younger trustees and committee members with the relevant modern skills to take the organisations forward. They also found evidence of disinvestment in African Caribbean led organisations with funding being cut or reduced, leading to the reduction or ending of culturally specific services.

The charity found that early support has helped the board to be clearer about why they exist and who their primary beneficiary group is.

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