|From Exclusion to Inclusion – Collaborative Working with BME Carers in the Community|
Published on 16/04/2012
In the Winter Edition of Caring Matters we briefly described the From Exclusion to Inclusion event and promised further details.
The event was held in October 2011 at the St Oswald’s Village in Gloucester specifically for the BME Carers in the community. The day was planned and delivered with Carers, in partnership with GCC (Gloucestershire County Council), 2gether Mental Health Trust, and Carers Gloucestershire. The main focus of the day was to establish the key challenges all organisations face in engaging meaningfully with community Carers, to highlight gaps, and identify what steps need to be taken in order to work more effectively in providing services that meet actual needs.
A great deal of hard work went in to making the event a success and ensuring that Carers were there on the day. Invitations went out through appropriate means, including word of mouth, face to face invitations in community languages by GCC Community Development Team, 2gether Mental Health Trust Community Development Workers and Carers Gloucestershire staff. Carers were briefed about the event beforehand, with a lot of effort going into the explaining the need for engagement and participation, especially in the present economic climate.
The event was advertised on local community radio GFM targeting Asian and African-Caribbean communities. Individual Carers and GCC Community Development Officers were also interviewed prior to the event, to raise awareness and to promote the event itself.
Community transport was provided for those Carers who needed helping getting to the venue, as well as making arrangements for respite care, where it was needed.
Increasing engagement with BME Carers is a specific action that needs to be supported and it is aimed that a unified BME voice will be developed locally in order to ensure that Carers are able to have their say, to influence polices, and help shape the services they receive.
Plenty of barriers were identified on the day, but solutions were also given, with a lot of emphasis on more collaborative working, for better outcomes for the community.