We held our 19/20 AGM over Zoom, on Wednesday 9th December 2020, under the theme of harvesting success.

We held our AGM online this year with an array of speakers, including contributions from partners and staff, chaired by Trustee Karen Dowman. We looked back at the achievements of the last year as an organisation and sharing the voices of the partner agencies we work with.

We also gave an insight into our work around modern slavery, looking at the implications for victims and how best to support them.

Our two guest speakers;

View the AGM here:

Video contributions from partners

We also featured a series of video contributions from partner agencies, all of which can be found below:

Audio only contributions from partners:

Written contributions from partners


“Women in the criminal justice system are often the most vulnerable and chaotic group. Trying to engage and support these service users’ takes time to win their trust. BCWA have taken the initiative to try and meet these “failed to reach” women which have not traditionally engaged with the probation service with their Enhanced Programme. This has been an immense help and pleasant surprise for me to see BCWA working positively with these women to address their needs which ordinarily we may have never seen. This demonstrates to me that the organisation have a real passion to try and make a real difference to these service users.

BCWA have spoken to PCC, Probation Inspectors and HMPPS to inform them about the issues women service users face in the criminal justice system. They have influenced the future commissioning of the service.

Hopefully BCWA are able to win the new contracts and work with probation service on the new service that will be commissioned. There is a wealth of experience and services that BCWA can share with the women that will be on the orders of the probation service. The New Chance service means BCWA work with non-statutory clients and being able to work with the probation service means that there is some consistency of support in the criminal justice system for these women which I would like to continue.

BCWA have the most challenging geographical area, type of women that want to come into the city and performance targets. They also have had to support the 2 probation services that have existed these past 7 years and that has not been easy. Amazingly, BCWA through hard work, being professional and determined attitude have met and sometimes exceeded their difficult targets which I do not think any other service provider would have been able to do.

A big thank you for that!” Harjinder Singh – Commissioning and Supply Chain Manager for CRC Probation.


“Thank you to Jennifer and all the AEs (especially Jas, Jayne, Randip, Chloe, Ellie including Toni who has left) from all of the BCWA areas (Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell) who have worked closely and really hard with me to get this evaluation completed. You have all been invaluable to us. Please also thank all the CCGs from each of the areas who also helped tremendously, especially Andrew to whom we probably sought the most help. Have a great AGM!” –  Dr. S. Zafar, Research Fellow, Risk, Abuse & Violence (RAV), University of Birmingham.


“My name is Jatinder Singh I am a management trustee of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick. Over the years Black Country Women’s Aid has helped numerous individuals and families. We have recognised the importance of raising awareness of the domestic violence, abuse and other issues which in the past may not have been discussed as openly.

Our relationship with BCWA started few years ago, representatives approached the Gurdwara to introduce BCWA and the great work that they do and services they provide. Since that day I feel that we have developed an ever growing relationship. BCWA is our point of call for signposting victims, individuals and families for help and support.

This pandemic has shown us how important the BCWA support mechanism is. They are also important key workers, not just as a ‘category’ of key workers but in recognition that without this key support network so many individuals, children and families across the borough would be at serious risk.

Earlier this year we had our second ‘go purple’ to raise awareness for domestic violence, where the Gurdwara facade was lit up in purple, a joint press release was issued, this was covered by media in the UK but also across the world as far as India. Being where we are on the High Street in Smethwick, overlooking a very busy dual carriageway the change in colour of the building makes people intrigued to find out the occasion this can be seen on social media outlets.

I have had feedback from people who we have signposted to Black Country Women’s Aid from the Gurdwara commenting that the people supporting them went above and beyond.

As we have seen BCWA have continued to provide support to the most vulnerable during these uncertain times. I believe that the BCWA team are truly unsung heroes and should be commended and recognised for their continual services.

I am proud of our friendship with Black Country Women’s Aid, a friendship which I would like to build on. I wish them success and wish you all the best for today’s AGM.” – Jatinder Singh – Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick

Video contributions from BCWA staff:

Audio contributions from BCWA staff:

Thank you to everybody who contributed videos and audio, who attended and supported our AGM.

Click the image to view the Annual Report