Who we are and what we do:


York Racial Equality Network (YREN) is a small charity (registered number 1084619) which has been working to improve the lives of people living in York from all cultures for over 25 years.

We aim to:

improve access to services for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people in York, including a focus on reducing health inequalities

enable BME voices to be better heard in York, by advocating on their behalf and by providing opportunities for BME groups to interact with the wider community

improve the knowledge and understanding of the wider community, agencies, businesses and public services on the needs of the BME population and the importance of combating racial hatred, discrimination and harassment.

In order to achieve our aims, we offer the following services and activities:

Our Friendship Project, aiming to reduce isolation and loneliness amongst BME people in disadvantaged areas of the city. We provide a weekly social group, enabling people from both the wider and minority communities to come together and share their cultures, interests and skills.

Our Outreach Service, raising awareness of and improving access to services for BME people in York by providing one-to-one support. We provide information and advice on services in York (including housing, education, health and recreational opportunities), plus individual case work for any BME person who feels they need our support.  Additionally, this service provides information resources for voluntary, statutory and private organisations in York on race equality issues.

Our Voice Project, which recruited and trained volunteer BME community representatives, with the aim of ensuring that the wants and needs of the BME population in York are represented and advocated for at planning meetings and other activities where services are being designed and decisions about service delivery are being made.

York BME Open Forum which provides a platform for BME groups and individuals to discuss issues affecting their lives, and for statutory and voluntary organisations to consult with the BME population in the city.

Hate Crime Reporting and Support Service: YREN is one of York’s designated hate crime reporting centres, an initiative aimed at improving the level of reporting of hate incidents in the city. Working with partners, YREN supports victims of hate incidents, enabling their voices to be heard when an incident occurs, providing moral and emotional support, and escalating where necessary.  This also enables YREN to build up a picture of the level of hate crime in York, passing this on through collaborative work to partners and informing our work.