We continue to develop our popular “BMCS Community News and Events Newsletter”, which is emailed to over 3000 individuals or organisations. The newsletter informs our subscribers about access to services by BMCS and our partners including events that may be of interest and opportunities or initiatives that are available for community members and service users to take advantage of in order to enhance their lives.
To ensure that BMCS reaches a wide audience, we also include key information via our Facebook page. As an organisation, BMCS is consistently exploring new developments available through social media to increase our audience and service users, and as well as collating real-time feedback to improve our services
BMCS also publishes an additional newsletter service, at the request of family members, to alert subscribers to funeral prayers taking place in the community.
Muslim Support Network
BMCS initiated the development of the Muslim Support Network (MSN) in 2008 in response to the growing number of new Muslims as well as a service for established Muslims in need of faith based support. Support workers, who are all volunteers, are converts to Islam and British born Muslims. The aim of the Muslim Support Network is to create a warm, friendly and safe environment where all service users will feel at ease and comfortable discussing their needs and required support with MSN group members.
All members are provided with a introductory pack with books and videos about prayer, fasting, manners etc. BMCS offer follow up support to ensure that the needs of new Muslims are met as well as regular social events to allow members to meet and network with other Muslims. MSN is a valuable project in identifying issues in regards to common misinterpretations and misunderstandings about the Islamic faith.
Counselling Course in Mental Health
BMCS part-hosted a counselling course in Mental Heath focused on Muslim individuals. This course was aimed at developing skills to provide counselling and to enable attendees to assist people working through problems not requiring therapeutic intervention. The course was attended by local Imams, scholars, community leaders and professionals who are active in the their communities. The course was funded by the National Mental Health Development Unit.
"I would like to thank BMCS for all their help and support in making this possible. I would like to be able to meet with you all to discuss the outcomes and potential next steps, as I believe it is imperative that work within the community is complemented and supported by each other” - Faiza Khaliq, Inner City Mental Health Team NHS
Development of Staff
At the outset of the global economic crisis, we understood that the difficulties being faced by the UK were likely to lead to challenging times ahead for the third sector. Therefore, we invested in the long-term future of the organisation by equipping our staff with necessary training and development to ensure our growth and stability. BMCS development training included the Common Purpose Meridian Programmes as well as the Social Enterprise Lively Leadership Programme.
The Social Enterprise Lively Leadership Programme included observing one of the largest social enterprises, in Finland, to learn enterprise initiatives used to support valuable community development. The programme also supported our staff by allowing them the opportunity to shadow and receive mentoring support from business leaders.
The Common Purpose Meridian Programme is a leadership course for established leaders. Staff attended three full days and as a result, gained new skills in dealing with and solving complex problems, building and developing relationships, encouraging collaboration and the ability to understand and take responsibility for issues outside an organisation’s control.
In addition, BMCS has continued to support employees through secondment thus showing our commitment to long term development, whilst building our regional networks through sharing the organisation’s depth of expertise and knowledge. BMCS also implemented a structured programme, which ensured a fair and consistent application of all BMCS policies and procedures in regards to the organisational operations thus, improving staff performance by adopting a universal approach in all aspects of BMCS’ work.
The ongoing training within BMCS has allowed staff to develop existing skills as well as offering an improved service provision to the community.