A Bit About Us
At BLESST CIC, we are committed to enhancing the lives of members in the community through our wide range of activities and events. Over the years, we have been recognized as the leading community center and go the extra mile to make sure our members are happy with our services.
Ever since opening our doors to the community in 2000, we have provided members the chance to get together and experience what we’re all about. Our mission has always been to provide a cultural and educational experience for members of the San Francisco community — and we’ve done everything we can to achieve this goal to this very day.
COMMUNITY LEADERS — HERE TO SERVE YOU
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
In 2020 Caprice Bound graduated from Birmingham City University with a 1st Class degree in BA Black Studies (Hons). Caprice joined the Blesst team in 2017 and has focused on building the Youth Leadership Advisory Board (YLAB) up until 2020. Within this role YLAB created and delivered workshops for young people and practitioners who work with vulnerable youth. Caprice found herself growing very passionate about being a voice for the youth as young voices and contributions are often overlooked and ignored. This led to Caprice engaging in intensive training / placement with Citizen’s U.K to further develop her community organising and leadership skills. This was an impactful opportunity for Caprice to develop her knowledge of how to achieve tangible change within our communities and how to negotiate with power.
The skills, knowledge and experience attained within 2017 – 2020 provided Caprice with a boost in self-belief and self – confidence in her abilities to connect with all people. This progressed into Caprice developing a youth creative empowerment workshop with her colleagues Richard & Rami. A key element of the workshop is the education of self. From self – discovery to self-worth we value and hold high importance on the process of loving thy self, in all areas of our life. Caprices’ aspirations are to inspire and unlock the inner leader in all people, young or old. Caprice was able to change her life and free herself of the mental shackles which kept her in a state of lack. Lack of self – worth, lack of belonging, lack of confidence E.C.T. However, my journey has proved to me that we are limitless and the change we wish to see in the world starts with us.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT LEADER
Rami accomplished his BA in Black Studies and Sociology (Hons) in 2020. This created opportunities and a platform for Rami to create impact through his passions. Black studies and sociology gave him the tools to empower community through education as his final project tied looked into how social enterprise can impact mental wellbeing within young Black men. Rami and 2 others started The Progression Company (mental wellbeing organisation creating conversation through young Black men’s experiences), with aims to eradicate health inequalities’ and stigmas around the topic.
Blesst has been pivotal in Rami’s development as an organiser and leader as it has provided him with the space to platform what he has learned into what he feels is needed in community. The start of his Blesst journey showed signs of where his responsibilities and roles would lie in the future, taking on the role of YLAB (Youth Leadership Advisory Board), designing workshops based on creative education and realizing the importance of empowering the youth. His placement with Citizens UK provided structure around his knowledge and awareness with mental health as things like power analyses, negotiating skills and 1-1s helped Rami impact the community on an even bigger scale.
Also taking on the role of YLAB (Youth Leadership Advisory Board), designing workshops based on creative education. The more recent roles of Youth mentor and project co-ordinator alongside Caprice Bound flourishes in what Blesst is all about, creatively building leadership workshops for young people based on empowerment, education and mental wellbeing. Taking into consideration contemporary problems that the youth of today are going through such as gang violence, drugs, depression and loneliness which led to topics like safe spaces and belonging in the program. As was ingrained by his predecessors Richard Campbell and Martin Glynn; legacy is a key ingredient for a sustainable future and Rami see’s the importance of building a good foundation with the youth of today
RICHARD CAMPBELL - FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
MA (Masters) Youth & Community, guest lecture at Newman University. (PTLLS) BTEC Level 3-4 Award in Education, Training & Assessors, NVQ 3 Chartered Institute of Housing Homelessness Frontline, NVQ3 Heath & social care.
Richard Campbell worked as a support worker for young people 12 years ago with mental, behavioural and learning difficulties. Richard worked extensively with the youth offending team, residential care homes, homelessness, and supporting lodge. Richard went on in 2011 to pursue his academic career and became a peer researcher at Newman university while studying his Masters in youth & community.
Richard became involved in the Touch EU project investigating young people and street violence across Europe. Richard went onto capture and recorded significant pieces of data for the book and film documentary young people and street violence, while enhancing is academic skills around qualitative research, research design, data analysis, coding, Ethnography, informal and formal learning, educational pedagogy and holistic approaches.
Richard went on to develop a passion for democracy and became part of citizens UK Birmingham after completing his citizens 6-day leadership program in community organising and community empowerment, Richard ran a number of campaigns with citizens over the years. He was also part of citizens manifesto in parliament at the same time receiving mentorship by Dr Martin Glynn in how we learn in a modem society.
Richard and Dr Glynn went on to produce some new ways of learning that had reach and impact with in a number of sectors. Richard is applying his role as an educational creative specialist using different models of learning with hope to pursue his PHD in this field; hence the transformation of BLESST was formed (building learning education safe space transition.) So that active learning, self-development, youth leadership, heathy wellbeing and legacy can be obtained and passed on in our communities and family lives.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Malieka Selassie started working in community in 2016 by volunteering for a local chess club, assisting in organising chess tournaments, and school holiday programmes, with the summer holiday a particular highlight.
Malieka found that being part of a team that was dedicated to the positive development of children and young adults, brought to light the challenges that young people and their parents living in the inner city of Birmingham were facing.
Observing these challenges lead Malieka to apply to BCU in 2017 with the vision of obtaining a degree in Black Studies, which subsequently introduced her to the Blesst Group in 2018,firstly serving as a member of Ylab and then moving on to become a company director of Blesst C.I.C.
Malieka has co- produced a number of workshops and parenting programmes, taken part in listening campaigns with Aston University and the NHS, aquiring the necessary skill set required to engage with community.
Being part of the Blesst Group ignited Malieka’s passion for community reform and community development alongside bridging the gap between Academia and Community.