On the 16th we attended the CoEMO AGM in Bradford…
Unsurprisingly, coping with budget cuts in the voluntary sector was one of the topics discussed. We’re not talking a little belt-tightening here and there – Coemo’s funding was cut to around 1/3rd its previous amount and 7 staff lost their jobs (Imran Khan, Chair of CoEMO speaks on this in the video).
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This sector is filled with resilient and resourceful people, but with aggressively lowered budgets all round and pretty massive cutbacks throughout the public sector – in many areas whole departments are disappearing. It would be cliche to refer to “swingeing cuts”, but there are cuts and they are indeed swingeing. Bradford is hardly alone in this but with the likes of CoEMO they are at least well organised – and this story is undoubtably being repeated in town and cities throughout the country.
It’s tough and there is even more work to be done with a fraction of the financial resources to do it… but people step forward and help. That’s what they do.
In addition to the formal and technical matters of the Annual General Meeting, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Naveeda Ikram praised CoEMO for its work. A report was presented by researcher Meena Jeewa on the state, needs and care of Musim Elders in the aging population, much of which would be equally applicable to elders in the greater society at large. The report will be made available to interested organisations. Conor Ibrahiem of Arakan Creative spoke of the role of the performing arts in inspiring and moving people and its power to cement people in their sense of place and reinforce cultural bonds and cohesion within society. Its part of how we know who we are, where we belong and relate to others.
The Speakers were:
Imran Khan, Chair CoEMO
Dr. Mohammed Salam Cheif Executive CoEMO
Cllr Naveeda Ikram, Lord Mayor of Bradford
Meena Jeewa, Researcher – Muslim Elders report
Conor Ibrahiem, Arakan Creative
Yusuf Karolia, Secretary CoEMO