We also work closely with Account 3, Back 2 Basics Somali Arts and Education, Bromley-by-Bow Centre, City and East London Bereavement Service, Crossroads Counselling Service, East London Asian Families Counselling Service, London Buddhist Centre, Praxis, Quaker Social Action, Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets, The Open Circle and Women’s Resource Centre. Also NHS Tower Hamlets, Metropolitan Police in Tower Hamlets and EPPCIC (Expert Patients Programme Community Interest Company)
Globe Bengali Mohila Shamity (GBMS) is a registered charity operating in Globe Town and Bethnal Green areas of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The organisation was established in 1986 to support local Bangladeshi women experiencing a wide variety of difficulties in regards to education, health, housing, training, welfare, mental health and domestic violence. GBMS emerged out an urgent needs of local Bangladeshi women who did not have direct access to mainstream services because of the language and cultural barriers. Appropriate services for these women were not being provided by the local authority, Tower Hamlets Council, due to a lack of knowledge and full understanding of their needs. As a result the gap of un-met needs widened quite dramatically.
Local Bangladeshi women were increasingly marginalised and isolated. In view of these growing needs and social un-rest GBMS was established by a handful of local Bangladeshi women concerned and determined to tackle both social inequality and inappropriate service provision for Bangladeshi women. This was the main driving force which enabled them to join together for cultural and community activities.
GBMS vigorously campaigned to bring about social change within the area, working in partnership with many community and voluntary organisations for better health and education, employment, housing and socio-economic regeneration of the local area and Tower Hamlets as a whole. For example, GBMS campaigned for more affordable housing, better welfare and training opportunities for women, provision of women-only sports and leisure activities, empowerment and independent living for domestic violence sufferers, etc. We also organised a number of socio-cultural events celebrating multi-culturalism and diversity and promoting racial and cultural harmony for women and children of the area.
GBMS has been an invaluable community resource, providing local Bangladeshi and BAME women with a range of formal and informal opportunities for learning, building confidence and gaining skills for independent living. GBMS offers a place within the local community where they can easily access and find advice and information on various issues affecting their health and well-being. We provide support and practical help in tackling and resolving many difficult social and personal issues from welfare rights to domestic violence. GBMS is run and managed by local Bangladeshi women and has been supporting women in a women only environment, and campaigning to improve women’s quality of life within the local community for over 20 years.
GBMS started as a self-help community organisation and has continued to work at grassroots level, supported by one part-time co-ordinator and several volunteers. For many years the organisation received a core grant from Tower Hamlets Council but when the Borough introduced a commissioning process in 2008, GBMS lost its local government funding. Since that time, GBMS has registered as a charity (in 2009) and focused on raising funds from alternative sources to continue its main services. We have also reviewed the future strategy of the organisation; this business plan is part of the process of securing a sustainable future for GBMS.