KREC supports communities by providing them with information and advice.
As the RBK Strategic Partner for Black Asian Minority Ethnic and Refugees sector KREC works with the Equality Officer at RBK to make communication regarding services more useful and accessible for a number of local groups and organisations in the Borough.
KREC works with local communities by attending meetings, giving talks to organisations and schools who are seeking to work on Race Equalities and Human Rights, Engagement and Cohesion, Faith and Religious belief issues to encourage Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority and Refugee peoples participation.
KREC identifies/ recognises the gaps in provision and works with diverse communities to empower them to develop mechanisms which help them to set up organisations and to support processes to compliment provision by statutory sector agencies; eg Milaap, Refugee Action Kingston, Kingston Chinese Association.
KREC works with other voluntary organisations to promote good practice and develop meaningful networks which help and support our clients:
BAME Projects – setting up specialist access points to facilitate access to services and adequate communication including Interpreting services.
Health Promotion – areas of high need and disease in BAME communities: eg Diabetes,
Inter-community engagement – work done to bring diverse communities together on an adhoc or regular basis such as through arranging joint activities (e.g. “Across Cultures” activities) and plans to arrange joint visits of young people to aid understanding of different communities; organising communities at times of tension and crisis or Critical Incidents; eg London Riots, We Stand Together, attacks on Kingston Mosques, Kingston Synagogue.
KREC as part of its Community Development role identified that there was no organisation which served the needs of the Chinese community in Kingston and the surrounding areas. Attempts to bring people from diverse communities to initiate dialogue and set up an organisation could not get off the ground for a number of years.
KREC went out to make positive contact with three individuals from different background and expertise to help start the dialogue. These Chinese people came from an academic background – a Kingston University Lecturer, a restaurateur – a family business owner with two restaurants in Kingston and a retired self-employed man – former owner of a number of Nursing Homes which he had sold when he retired.
The three individuals at separate meetings stressed they were only available to meet with the KREC CEO on Sundays. When clarity was sort on meeting on Sunday they indicated that they worked throughout the week and only took time off on Sundays to stay with family or socialise. They used some of this time for voluntary work.
Inevitably after individually meeting the people identified an open meeting was set up on Sunday at KREC offices and general word of mouth messages were put out to invite anyone who wanted to take part to attend. This first meeting was attended by twenty five people who wanted to know what can be done to help Chinese people have an organisation which promoted Chinese culture, celebrated Chinese New Year and engaged positively with the Statutory sector as Stakeholders and tax payers.
Other suggestions included charging fifty pounds for membership, securing office space to run the aspiring new organisation and a community centre where Chinese people could meet regularly to share information, seek to interact with other communities and socialise.
KREC worked with selected individuals who took responsibility for various task and within six months of the first meeting Kingston Chinese Association (KCA) was set up with a constitution and a Steering Committee. KREC worked with the Milaap Centre to secure a place where KCA could meet and later during the year an agreement was made between KREC, Milaap and KCA to use the Milaap Centre on Sundays throughout the year.
Over the years a healthy partnership has evolved between these organisations and various communities. KCA membership has increased and the organisation remains one of the strongest Voluntary self-help organisations in the Royal Borough of Kingston.