Bashir Uddin has been successful in securing funding from the National Lottery for Bangla Housing Association’s COVID advice project.
The Bangla chief executive secured £50,000 in funding from the National Lottery COVID Recovery Plan, meaning two Bangladeshi-speaking health advice project workers will now be able to deliver COVID advice to up to 10,000 Bangladeshi households in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
The Bangladeshi Community in London is recognised as one the BAME communities most at risk of fatalities, given the statistics published by Public Health England in its report on the disproportionality of the impact of COVID-19 during the summer.
Bashir stated: “We must get the message out effectively because with the right advice we can save lives.
“We don’t know anyone in the Bangladeshi community who does not know somebody who has died as a result of COVID – it’s clear that the messages about how to stay safe have not been getting through.
“This funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund distributed from the National Lottery Community Fund will help us reach those who are vulnerable and at-risk in the Bangladeshi community in East London – and get them to realise how serious it is to protect yourself against COVID-19 and how serious the consequences are if you don’t.”
Working closely with Spitalfields Housing Association – another member within the BME London Landlords (BMELL) group – the Bangladeshi COVID advice project will produce a COVID Advice video in Bengali and provide literature in Bengali.
The two workers employed for the programme will also network with NHS provision and Hackney and Tower Hamlets local authority to target the Bangladeshi community beyond just Bangla HA and Spitalfields HA residents.
It was at July’s director’s meeting of BME London Landlords that Bashir made a call action to his fellow BMELL members for an urgent response to the number of deaths in the Bangladeshi community during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anticipating the second wave, Bashir sought support from the group, stating that many organisations in the collaborative group had Bangladeshi tenants and that something urgently needed to be done because lives were at stake.
The group gave full support sponsoring Bangla’s application to the National Lottery recovery fund, which focused on getting clear messages out to the Bangladeshi community in their own language – not a method yet being used to provide targeted advice to the at-risk community on how to protect itself from the risk.
Since Bashir’s of Bangla HA’s call for action was mobilised among the BMELL group, BME London Landlords has been exploring further ways to get targeted messages to other BME communities at risk – and how the group can use its influence to become more of a community enabler.
Tamil Community Housing Association has led the BMELL group in this area by facilitating 10 Tamil Community organisations to submit funding applications to provide frontline services to residents and the wider community.
A number of funding applications have already been successful.
Bangla HA’s COVID advice project starts at the beginning of October and runs for six months.
Main image: Bashir Uddin, chief executive, Bangla Housing Association
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