WSREC Annual Report 20-21

Page 1

Hello There! West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC) is working towards a fairer society where people can live, learn and work free from discrimination or fear. WSREC has 50 years of experience in engaging with some of the most diverse communities in Scotland.

Our Aims • To work towards the elimination of discrimination in all forms in the West of Scotland • To reduce inequalities and promote a culture of human rights • To promote good community relations between all people of all communities living in the West of Scotland

Our Vision An equal and human rights based society, where everyone is valued and can take an active role

What We Do At WSREC we have a diverse range of projects promoting good relations, reducing isolation and challenging discrimination. We run a drop in service and advice surgery for the Central and Eastern European residents. Through our training and consultancy we offer tailor-made community engagement packages, research in diverse communities within the West of Scotland and bespoke training on the Equality Act, diversity and human rights. A number of diverse organisations have accessed these services and highly praised the professionalism, quality of information and friendly staff.

Contents -

Board Members 2020/21 ..........................................................03 Board Members in Action ........................................................04 Executive Director’s Report.....................................................05 Chair’s Report...............................................................................06 Treasurer’s Report.......................................................................07

Projects - Equality: Mainstreaming Anti-Sectarianism ......................09 - Good Community Relations Project - Hate Crime ..........................................................................10 - New Migrants.......................................................................11 - Renfrewshire .......................................................................12 - Cook, Grow, Sew - Branching Out..........................................13 - New Moves ......................................................................................14 - Living Equality................................................................................15 - Minority Ethnic Super Surfers ..................................................16 - Qurbani Food Initiative...............................................................17 - Equality Performance Observed in the Workplace .........18 - Shine Bright ....................................................................................19 - Roots Scotland ............................................................................20 - Staying Connected ......................................................................21 - Digitally Connected ....................................................................22 - Connecting Scotland..................................................................23 - COVID 19: Training on Emergency Funding ......................24 Other - WSREC Training and Consultancy.........................................25 - WSREC User Statistics...............................................................26 - SAREC Report...............................................................................27 - WSREC Admin Report...............................................................28 - Community Jobs Scotland Report .......................................29 - Volunteer Journey.......................................................................30 - Photos Through the Years ..................................................31-32 - Previous Annual Report Covers .............................................33 - Coronavirus (COVID 19) ............................................................34 - Office Move.....................................................................................35 - Future Development...................................................................36 - Healthy Working Lives...............................................................37 - Quality Standards........................................................................38 - WSREC Core Staff.......................................................................39 - Project Support Workers & Volunteers...............................40

3 Board Reports

Board Members 2020 / 2021

Cllr Hanzala Malik

Dr. Malcolm Green

Harriette Campbell

Sharon Schlesinger





Syed Jafri

Cllr Anne McTaggart

Cllr Rashid Hussain

Onkar Singh Jandu

Dr. Javed Gill

Co-opted Members

Sheela Mukherjee

Antony Kozlowski


Haroun Malik

4 2020-2021 Annual Report

Board Members In Action

WSREC Board and Staff Away Day 2019

WSREC Board and Staff Away Day 2020


WSREC staff and Board at the EFQM Self Assessment Workshop

WSREC Emergency Board Meeting 2020

Treasurer Harriette Campbell being presented with 15 years long service award

WSREC Personnel Committee Meeting

5 Board Reports

Executive Director’s Report 2020-21 has no doubt, been one of the most challenging years in WSREC history. The challenges of the EU exit and its’ complexities for our diverse minority ethnic groups was difficult, however, the unprecedented global pandemic has highlighted further inequalities that our communities face on a daily basis. The pandemic led to national and international lockdowns, resulting in WSREC altering its services as the need grew. The safety of our staff and communities was our utmost priority. WSREC offices closed at the end of March 2020 and will remain closed until government legislation changes. Our main challenge was the shift from an office environment to working from home. I was impressed with how our team adapted and managed to move WSREC project delivery to 100% online from onset. Moving our systems to cloud based applications, staff were able to access files and resources to continue delivery where it was needed. Our projects have altered their delivery methods from face-to-face to online, virtual, via telephone/zoom/teams, and through social media etc. As usual, WSREC staff have exceeded expectations of the Board and service users through their swift response and dedication to delivering equal opportunities and basic human rights during this period. The brutal murder of George Floyd in the USA sparked the Black Lives Matter protests throughout the world. Communities came together to highlight the institutionalised racism and inherent discrimination that has been underlying for centuries. The movement resulted in conversations, sparked discussions, and raised more awareness of the role that WSREC plays in reducing inequalities. We also found that black and ethnic minorities in the UK were disproportionally affected by Covid 19 including higher covid infection rates and deaths due to many factors including health, poverty, poor housing, low financial attainment, lack of awareness and discrimination. The vital work of challenging inequality has never been more essential, and more importantly there is a need to hold key decision-makers to account. It has been an extraordinary year, with much of the above taking centre stage. However, as an organisation, we continued to deliver existing projects and developed new initiatives to fill the gap in services. WSREC, like many other voluntary sector organisations, adapted to meet the needs of our community and, for the first-time, purchased, arranged, and distributed food parcels and digital devices to those in need. We also increased our support to provide additional training on the use of smart phones and digital devices.

Through ongoing consultations, our Board and staff have conveyed further data to local councils and the Government on how the communities and equality groups were suffering health and other inequalities which became apparent in the early days of the pandemic. Staff and Board members have continued to represent WSREC and participate in a broad range of fora and networks which has enabled us to be a voice for our communities, raising awareness of barriers and participating in positive action that can be taken. WSREC has been consistently, and at every opportunity, raising awareness of equality issues at grassroots and strategic policy level, such as local councils, and Scottish and Westminster Governments. This has also been clear as members of GCVS Review Group, the Scottish Alliance of Regional Equality Councils (SAREC) and through the Scottish Government’s Cross Party Groups on Racial Equality (providing secretariat this year) and Tackling Islamophobia. Further being represented on the Boards of Glasgow Kelvin College, Central Glasgow Citizen Advice Bureau and Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector. With this backdrop, we introduce this year’s annual report, highlighting a snapshot of the essential work that WSREC delivered. WSREC projects have collectively provided 3461 individuals with advice and information through group chats, WhatsApp, Zoom and teams. We have also provided community engagement workshops, training, information sharing, partnership referrals through our social media platforms reaching 10,000 individuals from diverse communities. A breakdown and analysis o f advice and information is on page 26 of the annual report. It is a privilege to work with such talented and dedicated staff and volunteers, without whom the work that we deliver for our communities would not be possible. Finally, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors, our many funders, partner organisations and individuals for their support and assistance in making it through what has been a challenging year.

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

6 2020-2021 Annual Report

Chair’s Report This is the second year that Covid 19 dominated our lives, as well as issues of Brexit and Black Lives Matter. The pandemic has understandably and undoubtedly been centre stage for all of us this year, however the West Scotland Regional Equality Council continued as much as it could to focus on tackling the inequality and challenges faced. Covid 19 has clearly laid bare, that we live in an unequal society whether that be economically, educationally, socially and any other measure one wishes to utilise. Brexit was creating headlines of mistrust between the UK and the European Union in relation to the covid 19 vaccine and its ‘unequal’ distribution. While poorer countries looked on with little chance of any sizeable number of vaccines reaching their populations, the World Health Organisation was not able to get the message across to rich countries that we cannot come out of this pandemic without supporting the poorer countries vaccinating their citizens. I suppose that message is not much different from inequality as it does not allow the unlocking of the full potential of people, countries, and the world. There was a sigh of relief when the Police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with the murder of George Floyd after the Black Lives Matter protest shook the world in 2020. There have been some positive verbal steps towards change, but I will not hold out my breath. The UK Government promised to set up a Commission on Race and an Ethnic Disparities Commission as it felt that the UK needed to consider important questions about the state of race relations today. The Government released the full 264-page report in March 2021 and immediately received total rejection from equality groups and right across the UK who called it a ‘whitewash’. It has been widely criticised, including by UN human rights experts who said it tried to “normalise white supremacy” with at least 20 stakeholders credited in the report distancing themselves from its findings. I could not agree more with the UN human rights experts. I am pleased to commend this annual report to you containing WSREC’s achievements in the past year. Even with restrictions and lockdowns our staff have been delivering crucial services to its communities thus making sure that WSREC’s vision of ‘An equal and human rightsbased society, where everyone is valued and can take an active role’ is delivered by supporting different work and

new programmes that focus on; the role of women, the environment and climate change, housing, education and tackling hate crime amongst others. Once more WSREC’s Board of Directors and our team of staff have taken great satisfaction in the achievement of the successful delivery of our existing and new projects. These achievements reveal the positive result of ‘teamwork’ involving WSREC’s Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, partners and WSREC affiliated organisations. In conclusion, I thank the WSREC Board of Directors, staff and volunteers for their commitment and arduous work. I do not take your efforts for granted and without your contribution we would not have achieved all that we have.

Hanzala Malik WSREC Chair

7 Board Reports

Treasurer’s Report This is my twelfth year as treasurer, and the Covid 19 pandemic has made a ghastly entrance into everyone’s lives with some terrible consequences and lockdowns. This resulted in funders dispersing short term grants to support communities during the pandemic. WSREC was successful in accessing these short-term grants, however, it was to the detriment or the absence of long-term funding opportunities. Nevertheless, I can report an income this year of £476,044 from £475,452 last year this is a slight increase of £592 (1%). We have maintained relative financial stability by securing funding for some ongoing and new projects. The income and expenditure statement shows income for the year as £476,044 whereas total expenditure as £461,893. Staff salaries and related costs account for £376,877 (82%) of total expenditure with the balance of £85,016 (18%) being administrative and running costs, this represents a decrease of £31,778 (27%) from £116,794 last year. This decrease is mainly due to the Covid 19 pandemic with staff working from home and majority of WSREC activity being delivered online. WSREC successfully completed its first year of the 2-year grant from Climate Change Fund totalling £198,560 (2020-2022) for our Cook, Grow, Sew - Branching Out project work. And once again, the Equality Performance Observed in the Workplace (EPOW) £13,978 for 3 months by the Scottish Governments Workplace Equality Fund to work with mainstream private employers and their employees to improve knowledge, skills and practices to address employment inequalities within the workplace, whilst creating a more inclusive working environment. Also, our existing EMAS (‘Equality: Mainstreaming AntiSectarianism’) project received funding of £20,000 for further one year.

This is the 2nd successive year that WSREC has not been subject to a ‘full audit’ of its financial accounts due to its income threshold of having annual income below five hundred thousand pounds. I also wish to report that WSREC continues to be fully compliant with auto enrolment legislation for pensions. I am delighted to note the support of WSREC’s Board and our staff in seeking improved and better avenues of support and development to maintain the organisations financial position.

Harriette Campbell Treasurer Summarised Statement of Financial Activities for the Year End 31st March 2021 Income Grants Other Income

2021(£) 465,752 10,292

2020(£) 474,669 783

I am pleased to advise that we were successful with grants for several small short-term projects to support communities during the Covid 19 pandemic, some are noted below.

Total income



Expenditure Charitable Activities



Distributed food parcels to vulnerable families and digital devices to the neediest.

Total Expenditure



Supported elderly in utilising their smart phones and digital devices to access social media, to obtain beneficial services and to reduce isolation.





54,529 3,680

36,732 54,529

Set up an online VOIP platform, enabling our services to become more robust and easier to access for our staff and service users.

Supported BAME groups and organisations to access their local Community Foundation and secure National Emergencies Trust (NET) funds.

There are a number of live applications awaiting decision. The organisation is always looking at ways to improve and expand our funding base, as is required for a progressive organisation like WSREC.

Net Movement in Funds Actuarial gains on defined benefit pension scheme Funds Balance brought forward Balance carried forward

Abbreviated Balance Sheet at 31st March 2020 Fixed Assets



Current Assets





Current Liabilities Net Current Assets Less: Pension Reserve Fund Net Assets/(Liabilities)



(78,000) 3,680

(13,000) 54,529

9 Project Reports

Equality: Mainstreaming Anti-Sectarianism (EMAS)

Mainstreaming Anti-Sectarianism

EMAS provides mainstreaming anti-sectarianism training and advice as part of broader equality or hate crime sessions so that it is “treated routinely alongside other equalities, good relations and human rights issues” (Morrow 2017). Our training and advice assists organisations to:

Discrimination Training •

understand different types of discrimination;

understand ways in which sectarianism manifests itself in Scotland today;

understand how anti-sectarianism is embedded in the equality framework;

be equipped with specific actions they can take to: (a) prevent sectarianism, (b) identify and respond to sectarianism, (c) “positively promote equality, not merely avoid discrimination” (EHRC).

Over the past year we provided training and / or advice to:

16 organisations

6 local authority areas

Examples of feedback from participants include: “Just thanks for informative, concise and interesting training.”

“The trainer was great and sparked discussion within the group.”

Hate Crime Training •

understand what hate crimes aggravations are, why they exist and how they operate;

understand ways in which sectarianism manifests itself in Scotland today;

understand how anti-sectarianism is embedded in the hate crime framework;

be equipped with specific actions they can take to: (a) identify hate crime, (b) support people affected by hate crime, (c) help build a picture of issues and trends which can be used to inform wider efforts to tackle those issues.

Funded by

“Thank you very much, I found this informative and useful in terms of practical information! Much appreciated!”

Ben Williams Training and Consultancy Manager

10 2020-2021 Annual Report

Good Community Relations Project Hate Crime

The project provides advice and advocacy covering hate crime and related discrimination; designs and delivers workshops / training on hate crime; and informs wider policy and practice based on case studies arising from its casework. Over the past year:

Examples of feedback from service users include:

23 “I really appreciate all the support you’ve given me. Thank you.”

individuals have been supported with advice and / or advocacy;

67 community members have participated in workshops about understanding hate crime, challenging hate crime and support for victims of hate crime;



“I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your time and effort over these last few months.”

5 organisations have participated in hate crime training covering the same areas (in collaboration with WSREC’s EMAS project);

“It was a really great session, so grateful for your insight and knowledge. Thank you for being so open and welcoming!”

we carried out an online marketing campaign on hate crime and how to report it; we drafted and submitted a response to the Justice Committee’s call for views regarding the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill based on a case study from our casework. This focused on a call for increased anonymity for victims of hate crime during the court process; we have continued to actively participate in the Scottish Alliance Against Prejudice and Hate Crime (SAAPaHC), the Hate Crime Working Group (HCWG) and the Third Party Reporting Network.





Funded by


Ben Williams Project Co-ordinator

11 Project Reports

Good Community Relations Project New Migrants

Brexit Information Session

The Good Community Relations Project supports migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the West of Scotland. This past year has been especially difficult for EU migrants, as on top of the global pandemic we have seen the end of the Brexit transition period on 31/12/2020. Marking the date by which individuals have had to have been resident in the UK to be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This also means we now have different types of EU migrants in Scotland, with different types of entitlements to benefits and housing. GCRP is staying on top of all the information but keeping a close relationship with the Citizens Rights Project and attending trainings organised by the Child Poverty Action Group. Dealing with housing, benefit and debt matters is often difficult and stressful enough, the added barrier of technology has been tricky for some of our service users for whom face to face surgeries offered one of their only social interactions. GCRP workers have done their absolute best to accommodate the needs and requirements of our service users. GCRP has continued to have a positive influence, in the year 2020/2021.

Natu re of Enqu iry 174


Over the past year:



Bills 19



Debt 7

Dis crimination


Employment 25

Energy Advice/ Savings

Nature of Enquiry

“We are so grateful for the help and advice received with our benefit claim, we now understand more about what we are entitled to and receive our full entitlement. We speak some English but not good enough to understand all this technical language. The system is hard to navigate, and we would not have managed without the kind and helpful support of GCRP.”


Finances 1

Fuel Poverty


Hate Crime


Health Care

10 2

Hous ing 29

Immigration 6


individuals have been supported through advice and information in Polish and Lithuanian


Legal Matters 36



Pens ion 9

Self Employment



enquiries have been received in relation to housing, welfare, benefits, debt and money

Funded by





T otal

Mira Waligora Project Co-ordinator

12 2020-2021 Annual Report

Good Community Relations Project Renfrewshire

Community Cafe event hosted at St Ninians Church hall

Good Community Relations Project Renfrewshire has operated successfully despite the setbacks and challenges posed by the pandemic. It was a challenge to have to adjust to supporting service users virtually but the project managed to achieve and exceed its targets in supporting minority ethnic communities in and around Renfrewshire. GCRP seeks to address the current imbalances in representation in all aspects and levels of public life including education, employment and civic participation to better reflect the composition of the Renfrewshire community. This year GCRP managed to directly support 68 individuals with diverse needs, including employability support, modern apprenticeship opportunities, enrolment to ESOL classes, volunteering and digital access to mention a few. The highlight of GCRP Renfrewshire project work was an employability cafe held in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and Modern apprenticeship employers. This attracted a younger group of service users than we normally support. This event highlighted the need to discuss the ideas on how diverse marginalised communities could be supported to have more opportunities to engage within their communities as well as supported towards entering into world of work. The employers who came to support the session were Diageo, Carousel and Balfour Beaty Engineering company.

Skills Development Scotland presentation at our Community Cafe

Group from Next Step Initiative explaining their answers and ideas

Funded by

Over the past year

68 individuals with diverse needs have been supported, including employability support, modern apprenticeship opportunities, enrolment to ESOL classes, volunteering and digital access

Staff and Board at Equality in Practice Workshop

Johannes Gonani Project Co-ordinator

13 Project Reports

Cook, Grow, Sew - Branching Out

Foraging Walk

The project completed its 6th year of work through Climate Challenge Fund/Keep Scotland Beautiful. The project supported individuals from minority ethnic (EM) communities including asylum seekers and refugees across Glasgow, Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire to find enjoyable and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money. Over the past year, the project has achieved:

2,056 people actively engaged with the project

398.5kg of household items diverted from landfill (Covid-19 restrictions)

51 applications for Warm Home Discount, Saving £7,140.

81 workshops / sessions in the Year

1,694 likes / followers on Facebook

EMAS Case Study cgs-fashion-showbrochure

The projects increased awareness of climate change and supported EM individuals through their environmental journey. This year, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the majority of workshops and one-to-one support was delivered online. Some workshops, where possible, were delivered with social distancing in place, with a limited number of participants. The majority of workshops and activities moved online this year to adapt to the pandemic. We have not let it stop us, in fact, we have managed to reach many new service users we may not have otherwise. Energy Efficiency: Support given over the year was via home visits and oneto-ones, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. As mentioned earlier, workshops were delivered online with several groups. Home visits and one-to-one support was delivered through virtual visits via phone / video call. One-to-one support was provided with Warm Home Discount and the Emergency Single Parent Fund proided by a third party organisation, to help families living in fuel poverty. 51 households saved £7, 140 over the year with Warm Home Discount applications. Due to the current financial situation, project staff helped families with low income and those living in fuel poverty. Waste: Several courses were delivered for participants to learn upcycling, recycling and reusing. Sewing upcycling courses were over six weeks at beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Initial workshops were delivered face-to-face with social distancing in place, then moved to online delivery. Refurbishing course was delivered over six weeks in partnership with ‘Rags to Riches’. The course enabled participants to learn upcycling furniture skills by reusing old wood and other materials, Funded by

learning basic refurbishing skills. The project delivered its initial Swap Shops for the community - the first two were successfully delivered with social distancing in place. Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, there was low response with 43 community members and saving of 398.5kg from landfill. Food: The project delivered six-week course ‘What’s In Your Fridge’ and ‘Zero Waste Cooking’ sessions. Through these sessions’ participants learnt how to reduce food waste and use leftovers to cook new dishes. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, some strands could not be delivered, therefore, will be moved forward to next project year. Young People Programme: This year, the project delivered 2 different courses. The first course was delivered to 11 young people on climate change and making short films around environmental issues. The second course delivered with young people was an upcycling hand stitching course. There was 10 young participants who took part in the course over the five weeks, learning hand stitching techniques using recycled fabric to create phone covers etc.

Maymoona Awan Project Co-ordinator

14 2020-2021 Annual Report

New Moves Volunteering and Training

New Moves

SQA and SDS Session

New Moves – WSREC’s volunteering and training project (started June 2020) - has been supporting people from all minority ethnic communities to enhance their prospects within the world of work. Over the past year:

862 individuals in Glasgow were made aware of volunteering opportunities within diverse work sectors

61 individuals attended soft skills training on applying for opportunities.

54 individuals took positive steps towards volunteering placements, employment, and advocacy support

41 individuals benefited from attended the fortnightly Zoom café

15 individuals successfully completed their SQA Employability Award at levels 3 and 4

4 volunteers were supported for capacity building from diverse communities

The project works with people who are economically inactive, with a particular focus on Roma community members, asylum seekers, refugees and minority ethnic individuals who are disabled. The project also worked strategically with a range of partners including universities, local colleges, charity shops, schools, and regeneration agencies to support the pathways of target beneficiaries through provision of training, work, and volunteering placements. Through partnership working with Glasgow ESOL Forum and Skills Development Scotland, New Moves successfully delivered its SQA Employability Course (Level 3 & 4) to 15 individuals. This included building Employability Skills, learning about Modern Apprenticeship opportunities, ESOL support and was supported by Skills Development Scotland’s career advisory team for future pathways. The project held 2 Employer sessions to provide awareness of Modern Apprenticeships opportunities for service users. The project delivered numbers of sessions by working in partnership with Pachedu and GCRP on several areas including: •

Understanding of SCQF Level

Modern Apprenticeships

Understanding Financial budget

Home & Car Insurance •


The project successfully set up a fortnightly virtual café to support minority ethnic individuals who were or had been shielding through the Covid-19 Pandemic. A total of 41 Indviduals joined these sessions. Staff members gave regular updates on the pandemic, had discussions on different topics, entertainment and provided various workshops. The purpose of the café was to keep individuals informed of the pandemic and to help reduce loneliness. Subject areas covered were reducing food waste, how to register for a postal voting, scam prevention, looking at hate crime, looking at civil participation and women’s day. When it came to entertainment, the project had remote food demos from our lovely Janet Woodburn from WSREC’s Cook Grow and Sew Project, remote chair exercises from our amazing Mohit, to even our talented vice chair Dr. Malcolm Green singing Burn’s poem and to the sweet Fiona (Gaelic Development Manager from Glasgow University) giving up her free time to sing some lovely Gaelic songs for St. Andrew’s Day. Our biggest achievement was on how popular our zoom cafes were. We are hoping to continue this service to help combat isolation during these difficult covid 19 pandemic lockdowns. Funded by

Anana Kayani Project Co-ordinator

15 Project Reports

Living Equality MEWPP

MEWPP Session Unconcious Bias Online Zoom Session

The aim of the project is for “Diverse Minority Ethnic Women across the West of Scotland to have increased opportunities to access democratic processes and civic life.” The project’s success:

16 new members have joined

44 English Conversation Sessions were delivered with 5 experienced MEWPP members cascading their learning to 64 other ME women online

4 network partnerships were developed with NL Consortium, R.K. Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire. P. A., Glasgow interfaith, The Electoral Commission-N.H

37 MEWPP members received mentoring and coaching to build their confidence to actively take part in civic and democratic settings

4 MEWPP members joined management committees and boards

The project continued to provide support for ME women through the Covid-19 pandemic, and carried out its work in accordance with the government safety guidelines, to enable women to engage in Civic Participation and collaborate with other projects. During the first phase of lockdown, the project embarked on a mission to assist ME women to build their skills in how to get familiar with online learning encouraging women to become accustomed to technology, should they need to take part in trainings sessions or interact with their colleagues. Digital Training Delivering training on-site became a major challenge due to lockdown, For project participants, using their phones for dayto-day developed into learning how to log onto platforms like Zoom, which became our learning point. Women were also mentored to navigate their gadgets. The project’s social media page and organisation website have also become avenues of keeping participants up-to-date. Building Capacity - New Recruits The project had a few designated individuals who were able to reach out to other members who struggled with their daily activities, such as buying foods and collecting medication from the pharmacy. These individuals reached out to check the general wellbeing of the project members around them. With this gesture, isolated women were reached. ME women developed many skills through this period. The Living Equality ME women took the challenge of documenting their Covid-19 stories titled the Quarantine Stories, #CovidSheroes

to reach out to them via the virtual platform - Zoom, which further developed into setting up a class and having conversations evolving into English Conversation Session. We adopted a new way to engage ME women through telephone calls and spoke to individuals to help them to overcome their own circumstances in isolation when the pandemic started, thus exceeding project numbers. Capacity Building Sessions The project held 9 capacity building sessions on the subjects like; • • • • • • • • •

Introduction to Civic Participation How to Manage Stress Listening and Understanding Unconscious Bias Hate Crime and Discrimination Intersectionality Emotional intelligence Finding your inner compass - COVID 19 The upcoming Scottish Parliament Election 2021

Media & Communications The Living Equality newsletter was produced delivered every four weeks and the MEWPP Bulletin six-monthly.

Advanced English Conversation Session

New Learning Approach Our new learning approach first set out to help ME women in isolation and loneliness and

Funded by

Bushra Iqbal MBE Project Co-ordinator

16 2020-2021 Annual Report

Minority Ethnic Super Surfers (MESS)

Some of our amazing service users

Last year, thanks to an award from the Digital Participation Charter Fund, we were able to focus on supporting individuals who were over the age of 40 and from minority ethnic backgrounds such as South Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Caribbean communities. Our funding from the Digital Participation Charter fund ended last summer, with that fund we were able to continue on building capacity through digital skills development in several areas including employment, welfare and overall health & wellbeing. It was important to address the areas of exclusion experienced by these communities such as language barriers and lack of access. Staff and volunteers provided support in various languages and utilised some of their tried and tested materials for training, workshops and 1-2-1s. The MESS project has also worked to reduce isolation and depression within older people, and we were able to set up workshops and coffee mornings to bring people together. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we had to cancel all face-to-face interactions, such as the vital workshops and coffee mornings. When the pandemic hit, we saw a dramatic swing towards online shopping and social networking – with a particular focus on Zoom – as our key areas of activity. With most of our members having to self-isolate, the project shifted towards creating YouTube tutorials on buying food online and guides on how to use Zoom. These tutorials were added to our newsletter, social media channels and sent as a text to participants. The focus for MESS was remote 1-2-1 support via WhatsApp, phone calls and Zoom. This approach, which allowed us to maintain regular contact with everyone, used digital skills to help reduce isolation and make people feel less vulnerable. The project co-ordinator stated he could see people’s mental health improving week on week and it gave him so much joy to see confidence levels growing and some of that ‘greyness’ lifting away.

Over the last year:

1500 individuals across Scotland have received marketing and support materials

4 were trained/capacity built and were able to support minority ethnic individuals

80 individuals were supported intensively in developing essential digital skills (including 35 by community champions)

With the fund ending last summer we have still been able to provide some 1-2-1 support at a reduced level, we felt it was still a vital service to provide within this pandemic. Staying connected and being able to access vital online services and information as never be so important. The mantra of the project – “Never too old to learn. Never too old to train.” – holds strong as we move forward, out of lockdown restrictions. “Learning how to shop online has really helped me through this difficult time (COVID 19 pandemic). I am self-isolating and unable to go out and buy essentials but knowing how to shop online has allowed me to shop from home.”

Funded by

One of our volunteers and guest speakers with our Project Coordinator

Mohit Lakhanpal Project Co-ordinator

17 Project Reports

Quarbani (Sacrifice) Food Initiative F O O D I N I T I AT I V E

Glasgow Central MESS team supporting Mosque clients at the Hindu Mandir

The project continued its work with Lodging House Mission (LHM) in Glasgow and Fusion Scotland in Edinburgh to help the destitute communities during the celebration of Eid Ul-Adha “Festival of Sacrifice”. Successfully running for 11 years Glasgow and for 7 years in Edinburgh. “The best of all charities is to feed a hungry person.” Prophet Muhammad

“Peace begins when the hungry are fed.” Mother Teresa

Qurbani means sacrifice in Arabic and the celebration of Eid Ul-Adha commemorates the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son (Ismail) as an act of obedience to God however, found in place a ram which was sacrificed instead. This celebration takes part during the month of Hajj when millions of Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca. The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor.

“You pray for the hungry, then you feed them, that is how prayers works.” Pope Francis

Muslim communities have supported some of the most vulnerable and excluded individuals, with donations since the project begun amounting to:

2690 kilos of meat in Glasgow alone

13,450 meals provided

The project was supported by Diamond Weddings, Awaz FM Asian Radio Station and Adam Razaq, who volunteered during the project. The aspiration for next year is still to continue and encourage the setting up of a similar initiative in Aberdeen.

Stephen the LHM Manger helping Mohammed Razaq to off load the Quarbani meat

“The best meal I’ve had in LHM for years.”

“Thank you to Mohammed Razaq and his team.”

John, Service User

Partnered by

Stephen Mitchell, Manager, LHM

Funded by

Baskets of donated meat

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

18 2020-2021 Annual Report

Equality Performance Observed in the Workplace (EPOW)

EPOW project provides training and consultancy for private sector businesses on workplace equality. Over the past year:

2 private sector businesses have been provided with training and consultancy

20 employees have received consultancy input

1 business has made our training a core part of their offer to organisations

1 web app training prototype has been developed in partnership with another business

1 panel discussion on recruitment was organisation and faciliated faciliated for a business

various wide ranging training materials were created

Funded by

Project input included training for staff and management; advice and support to implement changes; guidance on existing and new policies. Over the past year, this has focused on: • recruitment and workplace progression barriers faced by minority ethnic people, with a particular focus on minority ethnic women • the creation workplaces.



• utilising positive action A key part of our work has been to start developing an online platform for our training, for which we have worked with a business and digital atool. We became a first adopter and worked together to develop a web app training prototype for our workplace equality training. As the app itself is being built we can deliver the prototype / learning pathway through a combination of alternative means, while looking forward to the launch of the app in due course.

Examples of feedback from participants include: “Today was a great session. A reminder that it is better to seek out help and support rather than expect to be able to have a grasp of legislation. What I thought the facilitators did very well today was bring the examples to life; this helped us contribute towards the discussion today.”

“The facilitators share a passion for this work that is inspirational and at the same time opened my eyes to the scale and the enormity of the challenge.”

Administered by

“The session had a big impact.”

Ghzala Khan Project Manager

19 Project Reports

Shine Bright

Oral Health for ME Communities

Display comparing sugar quantities

The project supports Minority Ethnic families/carers of infants in Greater Glasgow to increase awareness in recognising and improving oral health and general wellbeing. As well as increasing access to mainstream services and encouraging them to take steps to good oral habits and change their behaviour. Shine Bright project completed its second-year, supported by the Scottish Government (Oral Health Community Challenge Fund). Staying connected with project participants and increasing the awareness of oral health was our main focus for the year. We managed to reach participants via virtual platforms and social media, as face-to-face work did not meet pandemic guidelines. Using new and innovative ways to raise awareness of the importance of oral health and hygiene.

Over the past year:

Oral health awareness sessions were delivered virtually with our partner organisations. We supported 60 families virtually (one-to-ones) by reading text messages (i.e. appointments) clients received from their dentist, GP or Scottish Government. We assisted clients with booking dental, GP or hospital appointments, as well as helping to complete dental forms, including Covid 19 response forms. Three successful oral health competitions for young participants (aged 4-9) were organised to increase the awareness of good oral hygiene. More than 2000 individuals viewed the competition, and 400 engaged. Through our oral health newsletters, we provided updates on the work carried out by the project during the pandemic, as well as highlighting new topics related to oral health. Videos (via YouTube) were produced and released, discussing a variety of different topics. The project benefited 25 minority ethnic families / carers of infants, allowing them to track their oral health behaviour for 6 months at 3 intervention points after attending the fortnightly activity. Feesback from partners and participants:

“Shine Bright is a really helpful program as they give wonderful support to their clients. I have witnessed that the patients who had been referred by them have been given good instructions for their oral hygiene. Most of the patients, who I always see in my practice, have received help with filling forms, interpretation, arranging appointments with the practice and many more. Patients appreciate finding dentists who speak the same languages as them as it makes communication between them much easier.” “I really appreciate the shine bright service. They are helpful and fast in response to my need.”

“Women thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. they found it very informative and the way you delivered the workshop was amazing”

Funded by

11,039 views were acheived on Facebook

400 enquires were dealth with through one-to-one support

199 individuals registered and were supported

17 oral health newsletters were produced and disseminated

12 online oral health awareness sessions were delivered

3 online competitions were run

“I am so happy to be a part of the Shine Bright Project; I have learned a lot, thanks”

Manal Eshelli Project Co-ordinator

20 2020-2021 Annual Report

Roots Scotland

Project staff attending the HES Corporate Launch in Dunfermline

Ordinarily, the project would work with minority ethnic organisations to engage their communities’ interest in heritage by encouraging site visits, but, as this hasn’t been possible over the past year with the pandemic, we have instead focused our work on building connections within the heritage sector in order to increase opportunities and collaboration. Our online Conversation Cafes have enabled key heritage stakeholders to meet with minority ethnic organisations to discuss how they can become more involved in the sector, build connections and apply for grant support. Key partners have included: • • •

Scottish Civic Trust Museum Galleries Scotland Glasgow City Heritage Trust

• • •

Over the past year:

Heritage Trust Network National Lottery Heritage Fund University of Glasgow

As the prominence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has risen we have seen an increase in stakeholders engaging with our work and seeking our knowledge and experience on how the sector can become more inclusive for people of colour. We have consulted with and been invited as keynote speakers for sessions relating to the topic of race and heritage held by the following organisations: • •

Heritage Trust Network Scottish Civic Trust

National Lottery Heritage Fund Glasgow City Heritage Trust

10 onlline Conversation Cafes have been held

6 key heritage stakeholders have met with ME organisations

32 ME organisations have met with key heritage stakeholders

Funded by

Aneel Bhopal Development Officer

Ghzala Khan Project Co-ordinator

21 Project Reports

Staying Connected

Items included in food parcels

WSREC were successfully funded through the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund over the summer of 2020. The main aims were to deliver accessible activities and meet the needs of disadvantaged communities because of the lockdown and Covid19 restrictions. Over 3 months and working in partnership with North Lanarkshire Muslim Women’s Alliance and Pachedu in Renfrewshire we successfully: •

Distributed 300 food boxes suitable to all communities taking into consideration their religious and cultural diets.

Delivered 12 Zoom classes for community conversations, weekly children’s activities, cooking demos, and exercise classes.

Offered bilingual advocacy support around digital and financial inclusion.

The success of our delivery has been due to the staff and volunteers who came forward to prepare and delivered some of the workshops, deliver food boxes and support the marginalised communities who were in need. We also worked with community led organisations who passed on referrals for participants that needed additional support.

Over the 3 months of the project:

300 food boxes were distributed

12 Zoom classes were delivered Fppd parcels with chapatti flour

Fppd parcels with pasta

Funded by

Fppd parcel content

Ghzala Khan Deputy Director

22 2020-2021 Annual Report

Digitally Connected

Funded through Awards for All, we were successful in running a 6-month program offering bilingual support to diverse communities. The support offered was in Urdu/Punjabi/Hindi, Arabic, Polish and Lithuanian. The main aims for the project were to assist our service users in applying for additional support during the initial lockdown. Services included: •

Tutorials on how to shop online, order groceries and other household items for those shielding and in vulnerable groups.

Bi-lingual support on welfare, housing, furlough, employment, and financial inclusion.

Over the 6 months of the project:

300+ individuals were supported to access wider services and become familiar with technology

In total we supported over 300 individuals in accessing wider services and become familiar with online technology.

Main Areas of Su pport

7.5 % 30 %

17.5 %

1 .2 1 . 25 % 5% 5 %

15 %

22.5 %


Pen s ion

IT T rain in g / Ad vice

Leg al m atters Hou s in g

In form ation

Food an d Health

Em p loym en t

Funded by

Ghzala Khan Deputy Director

23 Project Reports

Connecting Scotland

During the early days of Covid 19 WSREC was delivering 10 projects and the gaps of digital exclusion were being identified daily. WSREC used to hold fortnightly surgeries through its Shine Bright project, which works with families with infants around oral health, general health and wellbeing and advocacy service. These sessions were well attended, as families could bring their children along with them. Since lockdown, they have moved to online Zoom sessions, with only a 3rd of people able to access these sessions. We were having to call directly, where possible, to pass on information, which took up staff resources and was not ideal given that the sessions included active participation. As we became more reliant on social media platforms to share information, we were aware that this is not reaching everyone. At times we are taking steps to send information via post, which can prove challenging when working from home, not to mention that it takes longer for the information to get to those most in need. WSREC decided to do something about this and applied to Connecting Scotland for digital devices - 15 Chomebooks and 15 MiFis - that could be distributed amongst the most vulnerable individuals and families. This fund also increased our volunteer’s capacity to support and train individuals to use these devices. Through this project, we identified volunteers to provide ongoing digital support in diverse languages lifting barriers. Our approach was as follows: •

Digital Champions assisted the setup of the device and initial support. The individual/family was then referred to one of our volunteers

Volunteers provided weekly support in groups and one-toones, showing them how to set up services, refer to other mainstream services, connect online, online shopping, setting up family conversations through WhatsApp and Zoom, amongst any other needs identified.

As the individual became more digitally included, one-toones changed to fortnightly and then to an ‘as and when needed’.

Individual progress of development areas was monitored and a report was produced at the end of the 6 months, detailing the user’s journey. The report also noted areas such as an individual’s increased confidence and social inclusion as a result of the support provided. This information was carried and shared with the funder. Funded by

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

24 2020-2021 Annual Report

COVID 19 - Training on emergency funding

WSREC was supported by the National Emergencies Trust to deliver a 3-month project to capacity build minority ethnic charities to apply for emergency Covid-19 support. This was courtesy of Foundation Scotland, particularly their Resilience stage of the Response, Recovery and Resilience programme. Between 26th November and 3rd December 2020, we successfully delivered 8 information sessions on Foundation Scotland funding to 26 minority ethnic organisations across 8 Local Authorities. The purpose of these sessions was to provide an initial background into the funding. Between 7th and 10th December 2020, a further 4 application writing sessions were delivered to 11 minority ethnic organisations across 6 Local Authorities. The purpose of these sessions was to provide a stepby-step guide of the application process highlighting the key aspects on how community groups can best put forward their case for grant support. A total of 8 minority ethnic groups in attendance at our sessions applied for Foundation Scotland funding in recent months with 6 successes to note at the end of March 2021 and the vast majority of the groups in attendance praised the sessions with regards to developing their funding application writing skills. Over the 6 months of the project:

12 information sessions were delivered to minority ethnic organisations

37 minority ethnic organisation attended the information sessions

6 minority ethnic organisation who attended the information sessions were successful in their applications to Foundation Scotland

Funded by

Mona Awan & Aneel Bhopal Project Staff

Ghzala Khan Deputy Director

25 WSREC Reports

WSREC Training and Consultancy

Our training and consultancy service has moved online during the pandemic and has developed new materials to accommodate this change to our delivery. We are currently providing training covering: •

Race equality in the workplace


Positive action

Recruitment and workplace progression barriers

Inclusive workplaces

Hate crime

Mainstreaming anti-sectarianism

“Thank you for a well designed day that offered both a good overview of wider issues, as well as offering bespoke context for our specific organisation.” Participant, Scottish Civic Trust

“It made me think in a more focused way how I need to think about this in my role.” Participant, University of Glasgow

“I appreciated the focus on the actual law and an explanation of how to proactively use it, instead of merely complying for the sake of it. Much better than a pandering, tick-box equality and diversity training session!” Participant, Glasgow Centre for Population Health

“Today’s session made me more aware of and consequently more able and willing to deal with the issues around diversity and equality.”

“It was a great and helpful session which made me realise how I can bring changes in personal thoughts and decision making as part of an institution.”

Participant, Glasgow Council on Alcohol

Participant, Market Gallery

Your training package can combine these different areas to meet the specific needs of your organisation or business, whether you operate in the public, private or voluntary sector. Our service draws on a wealth of experience from practice in community development, education and law. We have experience in providing training and consultancy services both across Scotland and internationally. For further information, please contact

Ben Williams Training and Consultancy Manager

26 2020-2021 Annual Report

User Statistics

The data we gather within WSREC looks at how diverse our service users are and how we can improve on engaging with the wider community. Within our data we look at: ethnicity, nature of enquiry, gender, age and local authorities within the West of Scotland. Scottish


Prefer not to say

Central & Eastern European












14% 484







ETHNICITY Middle Eastern


12% 415

The majority of service users were seeking ‘Advice and Information’. This can be attributed to the fact that WSREC continues to run successful projects (Shine Bright, the Cook, Grow Sew project and the Good Community Relations Project) which offer services which include the provision of advice and information to various minority communities withinin the West of Scotland.



As shown in the above graphic, the majority of service users were from either Pakistani, Central / Eastern European or Middle Eastern background. WSREC continues to receive high numbers of enquiries from these groups of people, which can be attributed to the successful projects that we run which support local communities in Scotland.



Advice & Information

Info on External Services


4% 153

Info on WSREC Services



3% 96

Training & Learning

11% 373

24% 822

In comparison to last year (19/20), among individuals who disclosed their age, the 30-44 age bracket was also the most prominent, with the 45-59 age group in second place too.

GENDER In comparison with the last year (19/20), the number of females decreased by 2% from 53% to 51% and the number of males increased by 2% from 40% to 42%.

42% 1453

51% 1765

7% 243





11% (381) Prefer not to say

AGE As seen in the pie chart to the right the highest proportion of service users, of those who chose to disclose their age, were from the 30-44 age bracket, accounting for 40% of service users. This was followed by the 45-59 age age bracket, accounting for 22% of service users.

15% 520

2% (69) 13% (450) >65

4% (139)


8% (277) 25-29


22% (761) 45-59

40% (1384) 30-44

27 WSREC Reports

Scottish Alliance of Regional Equality Councils (SAREC)

WSREC is one of the four founder members of this national organisation. Others include Edinburgh and Lothian, Grampian and Central Scotland. The main activities of SAREC include: •

Offer assistance to individual Regional Equality Councils to ensure they are well resourced and support them in raising funding for specific projects

Influencing policy and establishing relationships with the UK and Scottish Governments as well as with key stakeholders in the public, private and voluntary and community sectors.

Building effective links between minority and majority communities across all equality dimensions

Partnership: following from last year’s research into ‘hate crime’ and its reporting or lack of funded through Awards for All the report was disseminated widely all over Scotland and was utilised by Lord Bracadale for his hate crime legislation review. SAREC again with the support of Awards for All took on another piece research ‘Experiences of Chinese, East and South-East Asian Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland’ this was completed and distributed in March 2021 SAREC is looking to work towards applying to the Scottish Governments ‘Equality and Human Rights Fund’ to take forward recommendations from both the reports to support for victims of hate crime and for a policy officer that will support the organisation to make positive changes at a strategic level within the Scottish Parliament. The Secretariat function for SAREC has been with GREC since August 2019. `

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

28 2020-2021 Annual Report

Admin Report

The Admin Team consists of the Office Manager, Administrative Assistant and IT Resource and Administration Officer. This year has been very challenging due to the COVID 19 restrictions. WSREC staff have all been working from home since 20th March 2020. The Team made sure all colleagues had the appropriate and relevant equipment to allow them to continue working from home. During this time, the admin team have continued to support projects with their day-to-day work and requirements. Admin has assisted projects with Zoom and MS Teams to deliver project outcomes. The telephone system has recently been upgraded to Avaya Cloud which allows calls to be diverted to the team and redirected accordingly. Majority of the team’s work has continued successfully from home and just some of the tasks are as follows: •

Accounts and Budgeting

HR support including payroll administration in partnership with GCVS

Correspondence and support for WSREC’s affiliated organisations

IT and Website and Network support to all staff

Social media and posting

Digitally produce WSREC’s Annual Report

Provide administrative support for Board of Director and AGM meetings

Volunteers and work placements are always welcome in addition to WSREC’s Admin Team although this has been challenging this past year. The team looks forward to welcoming volunteers and placements soon.

Farrah Rashid Office Manager

29 WSREC Reports

Community Jobs Scotland Report

I started the Community Jobs Scotland post in December 2019 as Volunteer Development Officer for the New Moves project. My main duties included interviewing and referring clients wishing to volunteer, as well as projects/organisations, arranging appropriate support and guidance, maintaining and developing WSREC as the centre of excellence for volunteering. As a support to volunteer-involving projects, actively promote and publicise the benefits of volunteering, update social media platforms to ensure project information is current and relevant and many other things. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, we had to work from home and I, along with others, was provided equipment and training to do just that. We had to make changes to the project delivery methods to suit the need of individual clients. Some of the new support provided was CV writing, completing job application, advocacy and online training programmes. Since starting the job, I have learnt many new skills such as communicating confidently, good customer care, developing good working relationships, the ability to work under my own direction and initiative, create and produce documents using graphics, host online workshops and many more useful skills that will help me in the future. I have really enjoyed the CJS post and would recommend it to others who wished to gain new skills, work with clients, and support them with achieving their goals.

Zain Ahmed Volunteer Development Officer

30 2020-2021 Annual Report

Volunteer Journey

I am Divya Vijayanarayanan and I am from India. I had been searching for jobs and then, I joined West of Scotland Regional Equality Council as a volunteer Admin Assistant within New Moves – Volunteering Project. As a volunteer, I learnt new skills such as arranging Zoom workshops, updating the project database and assisting with online meetings and training sessions / services. I have been volunteering with WSREC since February 2021 and have been truly inspired. I started helping with the employability session for ESOL learners, which helped me gain more experience and skills. I wanted to use my skills in a different way and for people that really will appreciate it, and it has been the best decision of my life. Supporting the ESOL learners to get job opportunities and fulfill their dream is very satisfying. I was totally impressed with the aim of the organisation, which is to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, promote human rights, and promote good relations between all communities in the West of Scotland and beyond. I have also gained good relationship with my colleagues and other learners. Being a volunteer, we are valued and recognised for our contribution to the organisation. I should say that I am very satisfied with what I have been doing and pleased to work with WSREC staff. I have been respected, cared about, and supported the whole time. I believe I have improved my knowledge, skills, and attitude drastically and volunteering has helped me a lot. I must thank Anana Kayani, my line manager, who gave me this opportunity to volunteer at WSREC. These experiences are going to be a huge benefit for my future life, and I’m truly happy to have the chance to meet so many interesting people.

Divya Vijayanarayanan Volunteer

31 WSREC Reports

Photos Through the Years

See these photos and more on our website

32 2020-2021 Annual Report

33 WSREC Reports

Previous Annual Report Covers
















Annual Report & Finances

Page header goes here


Annual Report & Finances


West of Scotland Regional Equality Council Ltd.




our vision... we see an inclusive society free from discrimination






Annual Report & Finances









“We see an inclusive society free from discrimination”

in equalities (1971 - 2016)

We see an inclusive society free from discrimination “WE SEE AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION”

Committed to excellence




years of excellence


Committed to excellence

SQA Approved

SQA Approved







See these annual reports on our website

2018-2019 Fort William



Oban Perth




West of Scotland Ayr





34 2020-2021 Annual Report

Coronairus (COVID 19)

The pandemic COVID19 must be the most unprecedented challenge faced globally in recent times. At the time of writing this report, globally there has been 167 million cases and sadly 3.47 million deaths reported. In the UK, the statistics show that 4.46 million people have suffered the effects of COVID19 and a further 128,000 have died. Breaking this down even further, Scotland’s statistics highlight that approximately 232,000 people have contracted COVID19 and 7,664 have lost their lives to the virus. Very early, it became apparent that black and minority ethnic communities were at a greater disadvantage to contracting COVID19, having long COVID and the death rates in comparison to wider communities were high too. There has been ongoing research to conclude this, and many have stated that these are due to •

Lack of language/awareness of the virus.

Many communities living in poverty or have a low socio-economic status.

Poor housing standards and often crowded due to living in larger families, making it very difficult to isolate.

Types of employment such as frontline workers/transport/care sector exposed to the virus more.

Cultural attitudes to the virus attributes mainly due to misinformation shared.

Underlying health conditions that have resulted in longer effects post catching COVID19.

This has impacted our services users (including children) greater than envisaged and has resulted in, already disadvantaged communities, becoming more vulnerable and isolated and facing extreme levels of poverty. We have found that poor mental health and wellbeing along with financial and digital exclusion has become more evident in the last year and that the effects of this pandemic will continue for years to come. There is a need Nationally to recognise the additional barriers and for grassroot organisations like us and many others to be given additional opportunities and resources to reduce the inequalities that are currently being faced. With the roll out of the vaccination and the easing of lockdown restrictions, there is still much work to do in promoting the benefits of the vaccination and to reduce myths of the effects of the vaccines with certain minority ethnic groups. There is still a lot of work to be delivered to ensure that minority ethnic groups continue to be financially and digitally included and that additional resources be provided to address this. As an organisation committed to equality and basic human rights, we will continue to seek funds and resources to reduce the gap between COVID19 within minority ethnic communities and the wider society.

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

35 WSREC Reports

Office Move

West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC) moved to its present premises at 39 Napiershall Street in 2000. These offices are owned by Glasgow City Council’s ALEO (Arm s Length Organisations) City Property Ltd, who have advised that they will either have the building repaired or sell the property (we feel it will be the latter). Either way, WSREC is required to move out. So, for last 2 years plus, we have been looking for an alternative premises for WSREC offices. In early 2020 three properties meeting WSREC Boards agreed criteria were identified the one with most promise had a building survey carried out with the assistance of Lambert Smith Hampton a leading UK commercial and residential real estate consultancy (pro-bono) providing costs for the work as the building requires substantive repairs before a move can be made. Meeting with Chief Executive of City Property in relation to identified property was undertaken and subsequently with other senior officers at City Property to agree, ‘concessionary rent and a ‘rent free period. This was due to the property requiring substantial repairs to bring it into use and this was to be the responsibility of WSREC. During the latter end of 2020 WSREC and City Property negotiated the ‘Heads of Terms’ for the lease and are in the final stages of signing the agreed lease for the both the new property and renunciation the present one for Napiershall Street. It is hoped that along with existing internal budget being available applications for grant funding being successful to have the repairs carried. It is further envisaged that repairs can carried in phases allowing part occupation of the building after the first phase repairs are complete within 2021. WSREC would like to say a BIG thank you to Aasia Mohammad of Lambert Smith Hampton for her continued guidance and assistance in getting to where we are.

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

36 2020-2021 Annual Report

Future Development For a number of years, Board of Directors and staff have gathered to recognise achievements within WSREC’s service delivery and identify gaps that could be reduced further. After putting together an ambitious Business plan 2020-25 this year we concentrated on the following areas. Supporting communities to deal with the Covid 19 emergency and lockdowns by distributing food packs to tackle poverty and low income, and increasing training and support on smart phones and digital devices. Going forward It is important that we maintain our work in areas of climate change, heritage, hate crime & discrimination, training organisations on in equalities, and also oral health, civic participation, and information & advice. The following areas need organisational focus: 1.

An increase in faith related work i.e., tackling Islamophobia

2. Support further victims of hate crime and discrimination 3. Advocacy support 4. Support individuals into employment 5. Support for refugee’s and asylum seekers 6. Become an organisation recognised for volunteer support and enhancement WSREC has worked hard to bring resources to address the above issues. Over the years we had been successful in obtaining some resources to work towards addressing issues mentioned above. In 2020, we have successfully applied for diverse funds to tackle the Covid 19 pandemic for several short-term projects however, grant funding bodies reduced access to long–term funding opportunities to the detriment of core work and organisational stability. It is hoped that grant funders will soon open again for long-term funding. Therefore, this coming year we will concentrate on the obtaining resources for the following: •

Increased / alternative funding for advocacy support

Support individuals into employment

Support for refugee’s and asylum seekers

Support victims of Islamophobia

Market our equality training to a wider audience

WSREC Board and staff remain committed to providing equal opportunities to all communities. We will continue to endeavour to bridge the gap in service provision by meeting regularly and focusing on community needs and barriers. One of the challenges for the last couple of years has been WSREC offices and main venue for delivering our services. After some arduous work, the Board and staff identified a suitable building to house WSREC offices and negotiations for a lease are in the final stages.

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

37 WSREC Reports

Healthy Working Lives

It has perhaps been one of the most challenging years in our journey towards maintaining the Healthy Working Lives Bronze award. The shift from our staff based in the office nearly 100% of the time to moving to working from home was not the easiest task to undertake or get used to very quickly. We had to adapt the way we were working, often in isolation and with life at home getting in the way of a normal working routine. Our staff have been amazing and so resilient at this time of uncertainty. We have pulled together and have become resourceful in how we work. In the main for the award, we had several activities running throughout the year, and this was harder to achieve working from home. We did, however, ensure that all staff were kept up to date with COVID19 updates, offered to each member of staff equipment suitable to their need (e.g., IT equipment, desk, and chair) along with flexible working days to accommodate childcare, healthy home balance, supported staff with information on mental health and well-being at the Away Day and via emails. We now hold an additional fortnightly meeting to have a chat that was not work related. This has helped us stay connected to each other and raise any issues that may be affecting staff’s work/life balance. We look forward to getting back into a routine in the future so that we can pick up our great work towards healthy working lives.

Ghzala Khan Deputy Director

38 2020-2021 Annual Report

Quality Standards Why Bother?

Quality standards are defined as documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines, or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose. Organisations like WSREC turn to standards for guidelines, definitions, and procedures that help them achieve objectives such as: •

Satisfying customers’ quality requirements

Ensuring products and services are safe

Complying with regulations

Meeting environmental objectives

Protecting products against climatic or other adverse conditions

Ensuring that internal processes are defined and controlled

Use of quality standards is voluntary but may be expected by certain groups of stakeholders. Additionally, some organisations or government agencies may require suppliers and partners to use a specific standard as a condition of accessing support. Quality standards are only awarded after stringent independent audits are undertaken of the organisation. WSREC is pleased to report holding the following standards •

Scottish National Standard in Informationa and Advice (SNSIAP) The SNSIAP, supported by the Scottish Government, is designed to help not-forprofit organisations providing housing, welfare, benefits and money/debt advice in Scotland to assess and improve the quality of their advice services. After a rigorous audit WSREC retained its award in 2021.

Investors In People (IIP) at Gold Level The IIP accreditation provides assurance that we are investing heavily in the development, progression and performance of our team. WSREC was successful, not only in retaining IIP for a further 3 years in 2020, but has moved two places from Bronze to Gold status.

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model The EFQM model provides a framework, allowing organisations to determine their current “level of excellence” and where they need to improve their efforts. WSREC was awarded this in February 2019 after successfully completing 3 projects and the audit.

Health Working Lives (HWL) at Bronze Level The principal outcome from Bronze is knowing that everyone in your organisation has become more aware of how their health, safety and wellbeing affects their work. From an employer’s perspective, the principal outcome is the importance of ensuring that the work employees undertake will not adversely affect their health and can improve their mental, physical and social health. This is the 6th Year WSREC has been awarded this quality mark.

Registered centre for Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) WSREC been registered as SQA centre for last five years and has successfully supported a number of its volunteers go through the programme.

Board, staff and clients have been instrumental in WSREC achieving these excellent and sought-after quality standards. And we are looking into applying for the ‘volunteer standard’ in the near future. Well done to all!

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

39 WSREC Reports

WSREC Core Staff 2020/21

Mohammed Razaq Executive Director

Ghzala Khan Deputy Director

Ashleigh Alexander IT, Resource & Administration Officer

Maymoona Awan Project Coordinator

Farrah Rashid Office Manager

Aneel Bhopal Development Officer

Zain Ahmed Volunteer Development Officer

Dr. Manal Eshelli Project Coordinator

Johannes Gonani Project Coordinator

Bushra Iqbal Project Coordinator

Anana Kayani Project Coordinator

Mohit Lakhanpal Project Coordinator

Choi Tine Lee Clerical Assistant

Mira Waligora Project Coordinator

Ben Williams Training & Consultancy Manager

Janet Woodburn Development Officer

40 2020-2021 Annual Report

Project Support Staff

Khadiga Abdelwahab

Umair Akthar

Mais Alhidawi

Shabana Ali

Ghazala Ansar

Suzanne Bingham

Jamilah Hassan

Eva Kourova

Amy Li Man

Jurate Piepolyte

Rabeea Qureshi

Divya Vijayanrayanan

WSREC Volunteers Our work would not be possible without the work of our dedicated volunteers. Volunteers have helped out in a great many ways: assisting our media team, providing translations, liaising with the public on our behalf, and many other tasks. Because of this invaluable contribution, we’re eager to say a big public “Thank you volunteers! We salute you!” to our volunteers - some of whom are listed below. Zain Ahmed Weam Yas Alzaidi Monika Connelly Hazel Jayne Currie Rasa Dalvand Althea Jennifer Dominic Dsouza

Mohit Lakhanpal Divya Vijayanarayanan

Thank you to our Partners & Funders

THIRD SECTOR FORUM The voice of Glasgow’s Third Sector


West of Scotland Regional Equality Council The Napiershall Street Centre, 39 Napiershall Street, Glasgow, G20 6EZ

0141 337 6626

0141 339 2647

Scottish Charity No: SC025038 Scottish Company No: SC292009