Working with Black and Minority Ethnic
This toolbox module draws together a range of information, advice and guidance to help
inform the everyday contacts that you make, develop and maintain within your local
Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. It focuses on the practical facts of getting
fire safety messages to all parts of the local population to provide some basic
information on how best to work with a wide range of different cultures and faiths.
Obviously, because of the geographical distribution of different groups, some of you will
have a greater level of first hand knowledge and practical expertise to build on than
others. Make the most of this knowledge; do not hesitate to get in touch with other local
teams when beginning any new campaigns and contacts and draw on their experience,
lessons learned and ideas.
This document should be read in conjunction with the additional information on cultural
awareness – this has details of the main faith groups that you might encounter in the
More detailed information is included in this toolbox. Go to:
Before You Start in Getting Started, in particular Community Partnerships (1.3)
Where possible, references have been included for you to follow up. For further
information, contact the Fire Kills Media Campaign.
Setting the scene
In the 2001 census, just over 4.6 million people – about nine per cent of the UK's
population - classified themselves as non-white. This figure reflects a great diversity of
ethnicities in terms of origin, culture, location and language; Indians form the largest
group, followed by Pakistanis, those of mixed ethnic backgrounds, Black Caribbean,
Black Africans and Bangladeshis.
The largest proportion of people from (non-white) minority ethnic groups live in London,
though there are other important centres of population, such as Slough, Leicester,
Birmingham and Luton.
What the Census does is provide a basic framework for understanding the range and
depth of different black and minority ethnic groups and the way people perceive
themselves. What it does not do is show the complexities that lie behind why people
categorise themselves, nor of the individuals that fall within a particular grouping. It does
not include information on how strongly people identify with the category or share
cultural characteristics. As a report from the Home Office - Improving Opportunity,
Strengthening Society (published in 2005) – stresses, such a complex picture merits:
'…….more sophisticated, tailored approaches to meeting the specific needs of different
minority communities…rather than treating all minority groups as disadvantaged or
having the same needs. This is the time to move on from one-size-fits-all approaches to
meeting Black and Minority Ethnic needs.'
It is vital to stress the importance of making the time and effort to build knowledge of
local BME groups. Remember - even community and voluntary groups working with the
same community in an area may have a very different ethos and ways of working. Do
not make assumptions or take anything for granted when making plans to work with
Why is it important to work with black and minority ethnic groups?
There are three key reasons why the FRS needs to work with BME groups:
Fire Service Core Values
At present, official fire statistics do not provide information on the extent to which Black
and Minority Ethnic communities experience fires in the home, or on fire deaths and
injuries, because information on the ethnic origin of fire victims is not collected on the
Some information is available from the 2005/05 Survey of English Housing (published
by Communities and Local Government - Fires in the Home: findings from the 2004/05
Survey of English Housing). It found that in the previous 12 months, the proportion of
households reporting fires for the three main ethnic groups was:
1.5 per cent of white households
1.7 per cent of black households
0.9 per cent of Asian households
In previous years this information was available from the British Crime Surveys (1996
and 1999). For example, in 1999, the incidence of household fires for the main ethnic
groups was as follows (1996 figures in brackets):
White: 4.4 fires per 100 households (4.4)
African-Caribbean: 4.3 fires per 100 households (3.7)
Asian: 3.3 fires per 100 households (2.7)
Both surveys suggested that Asian families had the lowest number of fires per 100
households, and the 1996 survey noted that:
'Although Asian households tend to be larger, which is associated with higher fire risks,
they actually have lower risks than white households when the household size and
other factors are taken into account. Afro-Caribbeans also have lower risks than whites,
but the difference is not statistically significant.'
The figures from both surveys are, in reality, relatively similar but other factors suggest
that people from BME groups are at increased risk. For example, the same report found
BME households had higher odds of not owning a working smoke alarm; with
Asian households the least likely to do so.
Households from multi-ethnic and low income areas were most likely to have
suffered a fire in the previous 12 months.
In fact, evidence shows that multiple deprivation is a key factor in the increased risk of
fire and people from BME groups are more likely to experience poor housing, low
incomes, ill-health and disability.
Together with low ownership of smoke alarms, other factors affecting risk among BME
the use of hot oil and naked flames in cooking;
low fire safety awareness; and,
high rates of smoking in some communities.
"The available data demonstrates that, while there is much variation within and between
different ethnic groups, overall, people from minority ethnic communities are more likely
than others to live in deprived areas and in unpopular and overcrowded housing."
Source: Minority Ethnic Issues in Social Exclusion and Neighbourhood Renewal: A
guide to the work of the Social Exclusion Unit and the Policy Action Teams so far,
Cabinet Office, June 2000.
According to the Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Unit:
"Minority ethnic communities experience a double disadvantage. They are
disproportionately concentrated in deprived areas and experience all the problems that
affect other people in these areas. But people from minority ethnic communities also
suffer the consequences of racial discrimination; services that fail to reach them or meet
their needs; and language and cultural barriers in gaining access to information and
Using data on BME groups for campaigns and communication
Translate the national facts and figures into local information and data to create an
informed perspective for your own campaign and communications planning. For
London Fire and Rescue Service carried out research to evaluate the impact of fire
safety campaigns on the behaviour and attitudes of people of Bangladeshi origin,
where smoke alarm penetration was lower than the London average. The research
found that smoke alarm ownership increased (from a fifth to a third of households),
but that people from the targeted groups needed to be assured that the smoke alarm
message, and fire safety actions in general, were a priority for everyone, not just
home owners and those who speak English.
Research for the Fire Kills Campaign, which was carried out as part of the April 2000
Fire Action Plan pilot campaign in the Yorkshire TV region, highlighted the marked
fire safety differences between white and Asian samples covered by a tracking
Issue White Asian
Have smoke alarms 75% 56%
Have an escape plan 37% 7%
TV advertising recall 53% 21%
Qualitative research on the Fire Action Plan leaflet, carried out among Urdu
speakers (Pakistani) and Gujarati speakers (Indian) in Bradford, showed some
awareness of fire safety issues and recent fires in the community, but that this was
coupled with a lack of knowledge and motivation to plan what to do if a fire did occur.
FRS Core Values
The FRS core values underline the importance of work with specific groups by:
emphasising a commitment to serving all parts of the community;
recognising that diverse needs, expectations and risks need diverse solutions; and
fulfilling responsibilities to people, communities and the environment.
The Race Relations Act 1976 (RRA) outlawed discrimination in employment and
training, the provision of good, facilities and services, education, housing and certain
other activities. It enabled individuals who had been discriminated against to bring
proceedings and claim damages and it provided for the establishment of the
Commission for Racial Equality.
The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 strengthened the Race Relations Act and
increased the coverage of the Act to include the police. It outlawed discrimination (direct
and indirect) and placed a general duty on specified public authorities to have due
regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote equality of
opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups in carrying out
Working with, and identifying the needs of, different faith communities, is receiving
increasing attention. Even so, the 2001 Census found that the most common self-
recorded religion was Christian - over seven out of ten people placed themselves in this
category, with as many as 15 per cent saying that they followed 'no religion'.
Some six per cent of the population followed other religions. The most common were
Muslim - three per cent; Hindu (one per cent) and Sikh (just under one per cent).
London has the highest proportion of Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Buddhists.
For many members of Black and Minority Ethnic groups, their faith community and
place of worship are influential aspects of community life. Even so, it is useful to
remember that simply because a person is from a specific country or region it does not
mean that they will necessarily follow the dominant religion.
"Multi cultural communities are often multi-faith communities and this should be fully
recognised in policies aimed at promoting diversity. Fostering understanding and
respect between different faiths is vital in practically implementing community cohesion
strategies’’ – Communities and Local Government
Most churches, mosques, synagogues and temples are a good source of information,
advice and guidance on working with the local community and will have a broad
spectrum of membership from the surrounding community.
Be aware of, (and possibly attend where appropriate), religious, cultural and social
events in your area, such as festivals, inter-faith and joint celebrations:
Some of the main events are included in the Fire Kills Media Campaign Year
Planner. Contact the Fire Kills Media Campaign.
Click here to view a comprehensive religious calendar
Other useful contacts are:
The Inner Cities Religious Council (ICRC), which works with government and
policy makers to ensure that the views of faith communities are represented and
taken into account during the formulation of policies. It includes members from
the Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities. At local level, faith groups
are encouraged to be involved in regeneration and neighbourhood renewal
projects and fire prevention is just one of the community safety issues that might
be included in the development of such networks and partnerships.
The Inter-Faith Network for the UK, founded in 1987 to promote good
relationships between people of different faiths in the UK. Its member
organisations include representatives of a wide range of faith organisations. It
has produced a useful publication on inter-faith understanding - Building Good
Relationships with People of Different Faiths and Beliefs - which includes
guidelines for inter-religious encounters and dialogue.
Faith communities will obviously benefit from help and advice in ensuring the
safety and protection from fire of their own places of worship. There are nearly
50,000 places of worship of all denominations and religions in the UK, attended
by over 6 million people. National Churchwatch is a network which provides
organised links between places of worship in particular areas, to provide security
advice and information, including arson prevention.
The Home Office produced a useful Brief Guide to Major Religious and Cultural
Observance in the United Kingdom, which provides general background about the
major religions and cultures. More comprehensive information can be obtained from
sources such as the Multi-Cultural Matters Yearbook.
Or look at Cultural Diversity: A resource booklet on religious and cultural observance,
belief, language and naming systems.
More guidance is also available in Religions in the UK: A Multi-Faith Directory,
University of Derby in association with the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Contact the
University of Derby on 01332 592026 or visit the Multifaithnet website.
Community Engagement: a 'whole community' approach
The most effective way to embed fire safety into the community is by using activities
which create a relationship between the fire and rescue service and the community.
These activities come under the umbrella of community engagement. The key aim is to
encourage a two way conversation with communities, acknowledging them as equal
partners and working with them to develop and plan work.
As with other aspects of your community fire safety strategy, specific campaigns,
community outreach and involvement need to be based on local knowledge and issues:
What Black and Minority Ethnic communities are there in your area? How much do
you know about them? Have you made contact with them? How much contact do
you have with them? Are your contacts the right ones, and up-to-date?
What risk assessments have been done for those areas and communities? What are
the emerging fire trends and priorities? Have there been specific incidents?
What opportunities are there to engage with local groups? Do FRS staff have
sufficient confidence and experience to do so?
If your local demographics show that your community is pretty homogeneous, beware of
assuming diversity is not a priority. Often smaller and more secluded communities do
not have access to established services and structures, such as those in larger urban
areas such as Birmingham and London, and are, therefore, most in need of support.
Understanding and engaging with local residents is key; identify individuals that can
help you identify the support needed and use that knowledge to plan your approach.
Before You Start under Getting Started, in particular Community Partnerships
A community audit is simply a term for the systematic collection of information on the
make-up of the community in a particular area.
It is important to get information about the communities in your area. Key factors include
location, size and characteristics (families, family size, ages, languages, faith, and
customs). Much of the information will be available from organisations which are already
working with BME communities, such as the local authority. Use their web site as an
initial starting point. More hints and tips on sources of information and contacts follow in
the rest of this module.
While doing your audit, also collect information on the issues affecting the community.
This might be housing quality, income and employment issues, smoking rates, views on
state services, and general health issues. There are a number of ways to do this,
attendance at local events aimed at the community you want to target;
meeting with people who work with the community;
reading relevant publications; and,
talking to local businesses.
UPDATE YOUR AUDIT ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. Populations change and move. For
example, the ONS website points out that, since the late 1990s, net international
migration into the UK has been an increasingly important factor in population change.
Most migrants arrive in the UK for work or to study.
Building contacts and networks
There is no substitute for direct personal involvement with Black and Minority Ethnic
communities; making and sustaining contact, and establishing meaningful partnerships,
is vital. Campaign research, and the views of community workers, shows that FRS
outreach work is most effective when approached in this way. It will also pay dividends
in terms of building the community relationships that are needed for successful
Personal contact and networking can be achieved in a number of ways, but be aware
that building credible relationships and contacts takes time. The most obvious and
immediate link will be people you already know from minority ethnic communities,
including fire and rescue service and local authority personnel. Others are:
local health visitors and community workers - a fantastic source of up-to-date
community knowledge and information;
BME women's resource centres - often hugely popular and spread right across the
country. They may also be a useful platform for fire safety presentations, but do not
forget to obtain advice on who should attend. The centres are used by women of all
ages for varied activities, from learning English to sewing classes; they may be
developed through existing bodies and networks, such as crime and disorder
groups, health alliances, housing and regeneration organisations, and local schools;
local health bodies such as the Primary Care Trusts and GP surgeries;
existing local involvement with area-based initiatives such as Health Action Zones
and Education Action Zones;
local Race Equality Councils (RECs) provide valuable advice and guidance, and
community connections. RECs are managed by representatives of community
groups, voluntary and statutory organisations, and individuals who support their
aims. They operate within local authority boundaries, and provide a focal point for
black and minority ethnic issues in an area, as well as offering a starting point for
finding out more about local communities. A Directory of Race Equality Councils can
be found at the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) website. CRE will be replaced
by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights in October 2007;
the CRE is another potential source of local contacts, as well as information, advice
and guidance. There are CRE offices in London (Head Office), Birmingham, Leeds,
Manchester, Leicester, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Details on the CRE website.
local Councils for Voluntary Service or Volunteer Bureau - many areas have
established community centres for particular minority ethnic groups, covering
different origins, ethnicity's and ages. They are particularly useful for contacts with
organisations for young people and other local networks that exist to support specific
groups such as refugees, asylum seekers and new settlers; and,
local authorities/councils also hold lists of local community and voluntary
As part of the process of auditing and 'mapping' your area, you may find it helpful to
build up a database of the whole range of community organisations to ensure
representative contact and feedback.
Contacts with the community
Once you have made initial contact with a community representative, visit them rather
than asking them to come to you. It is more friendly and positive and suggests that you
are serious about outreach and working with the community. It will also help you learn
about the community you are developing links with. Later, it may be appropriate to invite
members of the local community to visit your headquarters or their local fire station(s) -
part of the continuing two-way opportunity of community contacts and meetings.
Regular and planned meetings with BME groups will develop long-term trust and mutual
For specific campaigns, it may be appropriate to organise talks within mosques and
temples. The Central Office of Information has found that religious leaders welcome
such input and are happy to allow their places of worship to be used to get important
messages across. You will obviously need to liase with the mosque or temple well in
advance, to ensure that the religious leaders are able to offer full support and actively
promote the event to their congregation.
As your range and number of contacts develop, you will be able to get people from BME
communities to support particular campaign messages. This principle of endorsement is
used for many national and local campaigns, whether directed at specific target groups
or not. Case studies might be helpful, if handled sensitively. For example, if you are
aware of a family or individual who has experience of fire, it can be of great benefit to
use them to get the message across to the wider community. This also helps to dispel
the myth that fire is something that will 'never happen to me'.
Do not forget - although fire prevention publicity material is important for raising
awareness of fire safety in the home, literacy may be limited even when material is
translated. To supplement existing word-of-mouth and community networks, a
community information fair may be useful, with the aim of providing face-to-face
information about the range of services available from a wide variety of public and
voluntary sector service providers.
Engaging volunteers to support community fire safety messages can be helpful. For
example, to help develop a trusted and open dialogue with different BME groups, East
Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service has trained volunteers from different local
communities to undertake voluntary fire safety checks in the homes of local residents.
Experience in other areas of community involvement, such as regeneration, shows that
success in involving BME groups often depends on how they are approached and by
whom. This involves sensitivity to cultural traditions, as well as professional but open
and friendly inter-personal skills.
A little advance preparation will help establish a positive relationship and a good rapport
with minority ethnic communities. You do not need to become an overnight expert to
take a courteous and informed interest in some of the traditions and beliefs of the group
you are going to visit. When you start to develop an outreach programme use the
contacts you have made with leaders of the community to help to guide you in practical
considerations, such as:
ensuring that dates for meetings do not clash with other events or religious festivals;
awareness of prayer times and routines;
awareness of language and/or literacy needs; and,
whether cultural norms mean that male outsiders initially liaise with male members
of the household.
Some local authorities/councils have sections on their web sites which provide
information on key local communities - languages, faiths, contacts - and will help with
Remember to prepare a briefing for the local community about the FRS and its purpose.
Different parts of the community will have different perceptions of the FRS; some
positive - working in our favour as many people have a high regard for the FRS. Some
groups are less familiar with the FRS, especially those who belong to BME groups.
Most people will associate the FRS with its primary rescue function and have no
awareness of the variety of the other services available.
Be conscious of the fact that some groups find uniformed services intimidating; others
may be puzzled as to why the FRS is interested in contacting/working with them. There
may be cultural differences which create barriers; some people may never have come
into contact with the FRS before. Be prepared to be open, approachable; compiling a
list of frequently asked questions will give confidence and support.
Individual FRS staff may have little or no knowledge of the group they are going to work
with. Talking to, and mixing with, large, and/or unfamiliar groups can be daunting (at
times). This may present concerns such as inadvertently giving offence and/or being
asked questions that are not easy to answer. It is important to acknowledge these
issues and work to increase the confidence and competence of your colleagues. The
more staff know about the work they are being asked to undertake, the better the
chance of success. Again, the list of frequently asked questions will provide a great deal
of support to colleagues when they are out and about.
It is important to have full and frank discussions about any preconceptions that each
party holds to help reduce/remove the barriers on both sides. It is also possible to find
creative ways to lower barriers and create bridges between groups, through sports
activities for example. Participating in joint activities and increasing contact between
parties often helps to familiarise the two groups. Suggestions should be invited from
both the community group and from the staff involved in the work.
For many people fire stations are unfamiliar and intimidating venues, so consider using
local, community venues. Contact community leaders (including religious leaders) and
make them aware of the event. Gaining their support will ensure a good turnout. Find
services that are used by the local community, for example local shops, to display
posters of the event.
To reach the widest possible audience invite all family members and work through
existing groups: for example, training centres, multi-cultural centres and community
centres. For people who do not use community centres, you may be able to develop
further outreach through baby clinics, women's centres, or through co-working with
other community workers and projects. Ask for some time at the end of other activities
they have organised. Develop good relationships with centre co-ordinators, who can
give you access to groups using the facilities.
Other hints and tips follow.
Consult a diary of faith festivals, and keep a calendar handy in your office so you
do not inadvertently organise events at major festival times and thereby exclude
Remember to check the regular days set aside for worship:
o the Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday and ends at nightfall on
o Juma Prayer, midday on Friday, is a special time for Muslims.
o most Christians worship on a Sunday. Some black denominations worship
on into the early afternoon; some keep Saturday as the Sabbath.
Select a neutral venue if you are working with a mixture of different BME groups.
Remember, pubs are not acceptable to quite wide groups of people, including
women and some faith groups. Community centres are often the safest venue.
Ask if people have special needs: some faith groups pray at regular times of the
day and will need a dedicated room. Make sure the room does not have
unsuitable photos, pictures or ornaments. Bear in mind some faiths need facilities
to wash before prayer.
If entering a mosque or temple be advised that both males and females need to
ensure that their heads are covered and all footwear is left on the outside of the
What to eat:
A non-meat meal is likely to be acceptable to people of most faiths and tastes.
Many food traditions are concerned with meat - a non-meat meal enables
everyone to participate.
If you are expecting Hindu attendees, remember to separate the fish and egg
dishes from others. Jewish people may ask for food that is kosher.
Do not be surprised if people ask questions about who has prepared the food
Remember not everyone drinks tea or coffee. Don't forget to check that biscuits
are vegetarian by looking at the ingredients panel on the packet.
Consider if anyone will be fasting.
Asking for just one delegate from a community group could pose real problems.
Invite two people so that the group does not have to choose between their most
senior leader, and their best English speaker.
If you want a mixture of men and women, explain yourself carefully and ask
tactfully. Clarify if women would wish to raise issues in mixed company or with
women only. If you are a man, be willing to leave the room if appropriate.
Ask for advice, help and feedback from those you are inviting. Invite others to
host the event with you, but do not expect them to automatically be able to
contribute to the cost of organising it.
When home visiting:
Introduce yourself and the organisation.
Explain the purpose of the visit.
Give a contact number at the end of the meeting.
Be aware that uniforms can be intimidating and create immediate barriers for some
communities. For example Gypsies and Travellers may view people in uniforms with
scepticism and as part of the ‘establishment’ and yet it is important that fire safety
messages reach them. This can be done by contacting your local authority’s
Gypsy/Traveller Liasion Officer for advice on reaching Gypsy and Traveller groups in
the local area.
Who speaks what?
A huge range of languages are spoken in the UK now. By way of illustration, English is
the second tongue for one tenth of pupils in primary and secondary school pupils. (TES,
4 July 2003).
More than 300 languages are spoken by children in London's schools, making the
capital the most linguistically diverse city in the world. Although English is
overwhelmingly the most common first language, for more than a third of children it
is not the language they will speak or hear spoken at home.
In Leicester, at least 100 languages are spoken in local schools; a similar number
have been noted in Luton.
In 2003, the Central Office for Information Strategic Consultancy Inclusivity team were
commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to undertake a review
of the ethnic minority languages. The priority recommended key minority languages (not
specified in any order) were:
Translating into different languages
Do we have to do it?
It is now generally accepted that there are good practical reasons for translating
information of general interest, and items of specific interest to minority ethnic groups.
Providing such a service can be a good example of activity under the Race Equality
However, before commissioning translated material think hard about the outcome you
are attempting to achieve. Translating information does not mean you have fulfilled the
needs of the community you are seeking to reach. Also, different communities find
different ways of getting reliable information. Some communities do not give a high
regard to written information. This is particularly the case for communities in which there
are low levels of literacy in mother tongues.
The Central Office for Information, a government agency advising on communication
issues has a specialist agency, Informability, advising for BME communications. They
recommend communicators produce:
Summary versions of longer leaflets
Bilingual leaflets rather than translations
Leaflets with strong visual and pictorial element
Audio and video material, in English and Mother Tongue.
It is worth noting that experience and research with minority groups where English is not
their first language has always shown that these communities prefer simple guides
rather then heavy document translated word for word. People reading skills in different
languages do vary and so although they may speak a second language fluently it may
not be the same case when reading and so the golden rule will be – keep it simple!
Guidelines for translated material
Keep clear, short and simple documents
Summarise long documents, break into a series of fact sheets
Use bullet points and short sentences
Give guidance in clear series of steps
Use clear typography and large fonts
Use appropriate illustrations and cartoons
Visually signpost contents
Use bilingual text
What if I have a limited budget?
Check your local authority/council website and speak to local community groups for
ideas of what to do as well as what is essential to do and whether resources are
available to do it. If running a national campaign concentrate on the first six - Bengali,
Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Cantonese - which represent the largest
The Fire Kills Media Campaign is working with Communities and Local Government
Communication Directorate to set up a system for translating additional languages on
request. Contact the Fire Kills Media Campaign for more information.
Language Line is a multilingual telephone interpretation service and has been used by
local fire and rescue services, for example Hertfordshire and Merseyside, to ensure that
emergency callers can get their message through, whatever language they speak. The
service has a network of on-line interpreters available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,
able to translate into over 100 languages. Enquiries: 020 7520 1400.
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) website contains a full listing of ethnic
minority media in the UK.
(CRE will be replaced by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights in
Using different local BME media can be an important way of getting the fire prevention
message over to the community and inform them of what you are doing.
For example, a visit to a mosque can be supported by a local respected and well-known
member of the minority ethnic community endorsing your work. Using Bradford as an
example. the message and experiences could be of interest to media such as the
Bradford Asian Eye, Awaaz Asian Voice, Sunrise Radio and the BBC network. These
are all local media outlets interested in local stories.
leaflets in mother tongue
television (e.g. Zee TV, Namaste)
radio (see box opposite)
Radio, in particular, is a good medium to use. South Asian women especially have a
real bond with local radio stations, which offer not only music, but also call-in shows,
drive-time shows and news bulletins.
Call-ins are great for engaging an audience. Many call-ins are broadcast in English and
a second language with a bilingual reporter, so the FRS spokesperson will not need to
speak another language. However, just as a local Birmingham radio station would prefer
a Birmingham spokesperson, the BME stations would prefer someone from an ethnic
BBC Asian Networks dotted around the country and, unlike commercial stations, they
will not be looking for advertising - just good stories! Make use of them!
BME radio stations:
Asian Sound Radio (East Lancashire) - music, news and information for the
Radio Ceredigion (West Wales Coast) - bilingual community station.
Choice FM (Brixton) - soul, dance, R&B, reggae and local news.
London Greek Radio (North London) - music, news and information for Greek-
London Turkish Radio (North London) - programmes for the Turkish and Turkish-
Sabras Radio (Leicester) - 24-hour Asian programming.
Spectrum International Radio (Greater London) - music, news and information for
Sunrise FM (Bradford) - music, news and information for the Asian community.
Radio XL (Birmingham) - music, news and views for the Asian community in the
Club Asia (London) – 24-hour a day commercial station.
In addition to the above, there are now a variety of community stations available on
DAB, and also broadcasting via satellite, including:
Until 10 years ago, the majority of Asian media was created for first generation
communities, in key ethnic languages. Some of these titles still exist and maintain their
circulation among the targeted audiences. However, over the past few years, English
language titles have been developed to meet the needs of second and third generation
Below is a list of the major titles currently in circulation. Very few are ABC (Audit Bureau
of Circulations) audited, although nearly all have a national circulation.
Ethnic language publications
Des Pardes Punjabi Sikh community
Punjabi Times Punjabi Sikh community
The Daily Jung Pakistani community
The Nation Pakistani community
The Pakistan Post Pakistani community
Surma Bangladeshi community
Janomot Bangladeshi community
Potrika Bangladeshi community
Sylheter Dak Bangladeshi community
Notun Din Bangladeshi community
Garavi Gujarat Gujarati community (bilingual)
Gujarat Samachar Gujarati community (bilingual)
English language publications
The Asian Post
The majority of the UK-based websites are designed to target the second and third
generation communities with news, entertainment and celebrity gossip. They include:
Red Hot Curry
Black media has not seen such a prolific growth as the Asian media. However, the
following media do exist:
BEN Black Entertainment Network – has no local programming
ACTV newly launched African television channel
OBE Black general entertainment channel
Premier Christian Radio
Monthly lifestyle magazines
Although there are a small number of UK publications, many of the hair and beauty
magazines available in the UK are published in the US and so have no local UK content
Pride (UK based)
Urban News (UK based)
Black Hair & Beauty
Weekly and fortnightly newspapers
The Weekly Gleaner
Kasmo magazine (Somali)
Black UK online
The Chinese media in the UK is fairly limited, particularly in terms of the traditional
forms of media.
There is one major UK-based Chinese satellite television channel, called PCNE. It is
extremely proactive and keen to include local news stories from the UK.
Many of the newspapers currently available in the UK, whether in Chinese (Mandarin or
Cantonese), or in English are published in China and so have little local community
The main newspaper that is very proactive in the UK is Sing Tao, which is
A new glossy lifestyle magazine called Chinatown is increasing its circulation to
the younger generation.
Spectrum Radio provides a daily programme produced locally for younger
audiences living in London
The online community is a very powerful medium for many Chinese people. There is a
plethora of community, news and information websites that can be used to reach this
British Born Chinese
OTHER MINORITY ETHNIC COMMUNITY MEDIA
Other minority ethnic communities also have media targeting them, both in their mother
tongue and also in English.
London has its own dedicated commercial Turkish radio station, which broadcasts 24
hours a day:
London Turkish Radio
In places where there are large minority ethnic populations, the media is very aware that
it needs to provide relevant community stories. Where there is a good feature using role
models, case studies or groups and associations that are actively working with the
campaign, the local media should always be targeted to carry the stories.
Fire plan 2000 - Examples of a campaign designed to include as many different
communities as possible. The Communities and Local Government Fire Plan materials
are widely available in bilingual versions.
Fire prevention publicity material
National fire prevention publicity material is available in Bilingual format for local fire
and rescue service use. See the Fire Kills Media Campaign for more detail.
If you need to supplement national publicity material with FRS information, the following
may be helpful:
National research has highlighted the importance of clear presentation, both
for text and for visual design.
Reasonably large print is always helpful, but particularly if many of the
readers are elderly; but remember that translated texts will be typically 15-
20% longer than the English original. Design layouts need to take account of
Languages using the Arabic script (Arabic, Urdu) run from right to left, so the
entire layout of a leaflet has to be reversed.
Complex characters - many non-Roman scripts have complex characters that
may 'fill in' if printed very small; or they may become unreadable against the
Pictures and diagrams are also practical ways of conveying information,
regardless of literacy and language considerations. A visual image of fire
helps to pinpoint the issues in a literal and direct way, engaging more
immediate attention. Culturally appropriate illustrations will also help.
Foreign language typesetting is best left to experts.
Translations should always be carried out by mother-tongue speakers of the
target language who have professional translation experience. The process of
back-translation provides an additional check on the accuracy and usage (the
translation is translated back into English by a second translator and the two
English versions are analysed for inconsistencies and clarity).
Distribution - make full use of the suggested community contacts and other
relevant outlets such as community centres, local authority enquiry points,
libraries, GP surgeries and health centres, and citizens' advice bureaux. A
wide distribution of an initial quantity of material should be accompanied by
your contact details to enable follow-up queries and re-ordering. Tell
community contacts what information is available. In this way you can begin
to build a more meaningful distribution database, based on regular personal
Please also see the Communications and Publicity module of the toolbox. Although
we are referring to specialist media here many of the techniques and do's and don'ts
specified do still apply here.
In addition to the guidance in this module, the section on Evaluation in the Getting
Started Module discusses some of the issues and stages in evaluating community fire
safety campaigns and community involvement.
In January 2005, the Communities and Local Government launched ‘Improving
Opportunity, Strengthening Society’ strategy that sets out the Government’s
commitment to create strong, cohesive communities in which an individual, whatever
their race or ethnic origin, is able to fulfil his or her potential through equal opportunities
rights and responsibilities. In 2006, the strategy was evaluated and a progress report
was published with key findings and challenges for the next year of the strategy. For
more information click here.
Further information on the religions outlined in this toolbox can be obtained from the
Islamic Cultural Centre
146 Park Road
Tel: 0207 724 3363
Fax: 020 7724 0493
The Board of Deputies of British Jews
6 Bloomsbury Square,
Telephone: 020 7543 5400
Fax: 020 7543 0010
Network of Sikh Organisations
165 The Broadway
Telephone : 020 8544 8037
Website : http://www.nsouk.co.uk/index.html
Hindu Council - national body of UK Hindus and their organisations.
Tel: 020 8432 0400
The Buddhist Society
58 Eccleston Square
London SW1V 1PH
Tel: 020 7834 5858
Chinese Information Advice Centre
4th Floor, 104-108 Oxford Street,
Telephone: 020 7323 1538
The Refugee Council
240-250 Ferndale Road
T 020 7346 6700
F 020 7346 6701
For general information on race relations policy, legislation and equal opportunities
issues, visit the Race, Cohesion and Faith page at Communities and Local Government
Other useful addresses:
World Congress of Faiths
London Inter Faith Centre
125 Salusbury Rd
Telephone: 020 8959 3129
Fax: 020 7604 3052
E mail General Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commission for Racial Equality
St Dunstan's House
201-211 Borough High Street
Tel: 020 7939 0000
Fax: 020 7939 0004
Multikulti (provides accessible translated advice and information in community
Last updated: March 2007