The Local Minority Population
The 2001 Census found the non-white population of Portsmouth to be 5.26% with just under 10,000 people. The other 3 boroughs of South East Hampshire had a considerably lower proportion so that across the four boroughs the non-white population is 3% with around 15,000 people. However, in the Portsmouth City Council Autumn 2007 Statistic newsletter “Experimental Figures from National statistics for 2005 suggests in Portsmouth’s population in non-white ethnic groups shows 15,900 or 8.1% of the population” Working at grass root level PRENO estimates that the local BME community is steadily creeping up towards 16% but await the 2011 census data.
In Portsmouth, the largest ethnic group is the Bangladeshi community with around 8% of the local population. Other minority groups include the Chinese, Vietnamese, African, Caribbean, Asian, Arab, etc. The minority community is characterised as being a small proportion of the population and spread across a considerable number of ethnic groups.
Consequently, these minority communities do not have the level of impact on the local cultural life of the area as is often the case in other conurbations.
Bringing Together Two Organisations
Portsmouth Race Equality Action Group (PREAG) was formed in 1986 and provided a forum for local agencies concerned about race equality issues.
Portsmouth Minorities Communities Forum (PMCF) was formed in 1999 as an umbrella organisation which aimed to facilitate closer links between all ethnic minority community organisations.
In 2001 a series of open meetings were arranged to which all of the members of both PREAG and PMCF were invited.
This led to the decision to establish a new joint organisation and at a general meeting on 14 July 2002 the new joint organisation was formed and the Memorandum and Articles of Association were adopted.
Work to Date
Since the initial General meeting on 14 July 2002, PRENO has held regular General and Committee meetings. General meetings involve a social and networking element and are used to inform members of current topics of concern as well as to discuss issues of common interest.
In October 2004 PRENO held a Race Conference, bringing together BME communities and local public/statutory agency services to look at issues within provision. You can see the conference reports part 1 and 2 if you go to the download section of this website.
Newsletters have been produced and published. PRENO has had information stands at a number of events including the annual Portsmouth Multicultural Festivals 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
In June 2007 the Portsmouth Interfaith forum was incorporated into the PRENO remit to bring race and faith issues together.
PRENO is actively involved in race relations legislation with a number of local statutory agencies and was commissioned by the Government Office for the South East in 2005 to carry out ChangeUp re:- specialist support for BME, faith, asylum seekers/refugees and traveller groups. PRENO is also a partner of the Diversity means Business project; promoting diversity and Race Relations to small to medium businesses in the private sector. The ASP programme also connected PRENO with 19 other ASP programmes across the South East and PRENO has been instrumental in developing UNI (Punjabi for 19). UNI is the South East regional BME network comprising of BME Organisations, Race Equality Councils and Councils of Community Services with a remit to developing BME local networks where there are none.
PRENO was also funded by HM Prison Service to manage a Prison Race Equality Community Liaison Post to engage the local BME community in the process of improving race equality in local prisons in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.
PRENO also completed its Big Lottery BASIS project in 2011 and an Adult Social Care project in 2012. Copies of these reports can be found in the downloads section.
The committee/trustees are as follows:
Mr Abdelkarim Hamad (Chair)
Mrs Tunde Bright-Davies (Secretary)
Mr Junior Davis (Treasurer)
Mr. Rumal Khan
Mr. Hamid Samiy
Mr. Lorenzo Trail
Mr. Wahida Rahman
Ms. Aysegul Epengin
Mr Kayembe Mbobo
Mrs. Hazel Britton
Mr. Tunde Salami
Mr. Steve Glennon
Ms. Aysha Rahman
Mr. Roger Batterbury
Mr. Burchili Salah