Agenda item

Minutes of Last Meeting


Debbie apologised for not having the minutes of the last meeting ready due to lockdown and being separated from her notes.  To be rectified asap.  Notes from Vicki Martin’s input had been circulated. 


Neelam stated that a lot of agencies put in a funding bid that they would meet the need for the BAME community but when women actually approached them, they were not given any support.  This raised the question as to whether something separate was needed.  Northampton should be self-sufficient when it came to looking after their residents and women should not have to go to Southall Black Sisters who were not funded to assist in this area but did so purely out of a desire to help people.

A proposal was made to set up a working group to look at where the gaps were for BAME women and potentially to hold a fund to help those in crisis.  After much discussion it was agreed that Rachel would send out invites and the working group would sit under the Forum, with a standing agenda item.  The working group could be facilitated however people wanted it.  Rachel also reported that Vicki Martin had been about to set NADSA meeting dates and the action plan would be on the agenda.  Rachel would ensure that ethnic minority voices were heard and their needs taken into account.

Both Dawn and Cllr Stone stated that another meeting was currently going on around the same subject and it was a shame that they could not attend both. Debbie to try and ensure meeting clashes did not happen again.

Concerns were raised that the working group should be made up exclusively of BAME women in order to properly represent them and hear their voices.  However, after discussion it was agreed that others culd bring some additional value through their professional roles and contacts. 

Rachel Duncan stated that NDAS now had a BAME worker who was currently working part time and getting to know the local communities and would sit on the working group.  Rachel was trying to get funding to support full time work.  The most difficult thing working with women with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) was the lack of funding to do any work.  NDAS was in a better financial situation now than last year and had secured 1 funded space in refuge for women with NRPF for the next 12 months which was currently filled.  Eve also had 1 space.  The funding however, was not sufficient to cover the requirement and they were looking to fulfil the gap with donations.

Neelam stated that women who were going through a divorce and not in a very good state of mind, found it very difficult to even sign divorce papers and needed a lot of support.  They were currently often signposted to solicitors which they could not afford.  Cllr Stone stated that solicitors were only really needed in a divorce when there was conflict and could be supported through the process.

Dawn informed the group of 2 organisations to support women through legal issues.  Both are well worth investigating.

Rights of Women -

The Centre for Women’s Justice -