What an inspiring, informative and thought-provoking day in Bradford.
This morning we were kindly hosted at QED Foundation where Founder and Chief Executive, Dr Mohammed Ali and Deputy Chief Executive, Adeeba Malik spent the morning briefing us on QED’s work delivering training and employment services to disadvantaged communities in Bradford, and the issues inhibiting British Asian communities from entering employment and reaching their full potential once employed.
We then went on to visit the Khidmat Centre, which delivers services to vulnerable members of the local community with a particular focus on health and education. Ishtiaq Ahmed and Sofia Buncy of The Muslim Women in Prison Project (MWIP) shared with us their extensive experience of working with poor, British Asian, young people across West Yorkshire – they deliver both a “doorstep” approach to supporting the transition from education to employment and supporting Muslim women in prison resettle back into their communities in a meaningful way.
Despite being in the middle of Ramadan, QED were kind enough to supply lunch, during which Professor Peter Wells and Elizabeth Sanderson from Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research took us through their evaluation of the National Lottery Community Fund’s Talent Match programme and their key learnings from both the programme itself and how to best conduct an evaluation of such programmes.
Finally, we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of PWC’s new Bradford Assurance Centre and listen to a fascinating panel discussion on social mobility and how best to connect businesses with local talent.
Thanks to everyone for giving their time to help us better understand a part of the country that is crucial to us delivering on our mission, and particularly to Ali, Adeeba and colleagues at QED for hosting us so considerately!
As ever a day is never long enough, but we’ve certainly left with a much deeper understanding of the issues facing young people in Bradford as they seek meaningful and fulfilling employment.