Bosnia and Herzegovina Community Advice Centre (BHCAC) is the only charity in London providing bi-lingual information, advice and advocacy services and wide and varied range of support to disadvantaged and marginalised Londoners from the 6 western Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Arriving in the UK as refugees in the 1990s following the breakup of former Yugoslavia, they are now British citizens struggling to sustain their independence, continuing to be affected by past trauma and feeling excluded from society.
The Charity also supports the wider Brent community through the provision of outreach Welfare Benefit Rights advice and practical support services at Harlesden and Willesden Green libraries (Brent Hubs) and acts as a local referral agency for Sufra NW London-Food Bank and Ealing Food Bank.
The organisation works with individuals from all community groups by identifying and meeting their needs, providing holistic, person-centred and preventative support, advice and advocacy services to; avoid a future crisis, reduce poverty and distress, increase resilience and access to other services, promotes independence, integration and community cohesion and improve the lives of people it serves.
The Charity is a user-led and membership organisation and has 60 members and around 1200 service users per year. BHCAC does not exclude anyone from membership based on race, religion or any other protected characteristic. The Trustees set the annual subscription for all members. To join BHCAC's membership, please email email@example.com
The organisation employs two full-time equivalent staff and a freelance Casework Supervisor. The Trustees made up of 7 elected members (who are also beneficiaries) manage the organisation.
Around 20 volunteers (6 regular and 14 occasional) (also beneficiaries) are involved in supporting the organisation’s activities. Staff and volunteers take responsibility for day-to-day activities.
Quality Framework and Assurances
BHCAC holds the following accreditations and memberships:
- Advice Quality Standard (AQS) from 2015
- Investors in People since 2005
- Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO) at level 2 from 2004
- Member of Brent Community Advice Network (BCAN) from 2016
- Member of Advice UK from 2006
- Member of Bosnia & Herzegovina UK Network since 1997
- BHCAC is a registered data protection controller and uses AdvicePro for its advice case management, ensuring secure transmission and storage of client data off-site
- Independently Examined Financial Accounts
- Independently Evaluated Reports for larger Projects
- The organisation has Employer's and Public and Professional Indemnity Insurances in place as well as Health and Safety certificates
- Trustees, staff and volunteers hold DBS disclosures certificates
- Core principles underpinning BHCAC's advice work are free, confidential, independent, impartial and effective service
Bosnia and Herzegovina Community Advice Centre
Charity Registration Number: 1085815