In Funding Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage

Project: Provide a safe space for BAME minority women to meet regularly and communicate in Urdu to raise any questions or concerns they have during this Covid-19 pandemic. This was achieved through a series of online courses on subjects relating to Covid-19 taking place over eight weeks and in total offered 480 individual sessions.

Grant: £4,384.00

Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal

The Healthy Living Centre is a community-led health-focused service aiming to build opportunities that support the development of individuals and groups in Buckinghamshire through various face to face social events, meetings or regular clubs and activities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the HLC (Healthy Living Centre) had to close its centre, however, the charity worked tirelessly to continue its commitment to keep in contact with as many people as possible in an effort to minimise the isolation that many are dealing with to help reduce mental health problems. 

HLC covers Aylesbury, Chesham and High Wycombe which are areas with high proportions of multicultural communities and specifically a high proportion of BAME women and is notoriously hard to reach due to religious conformity and language barriers.

 This project was initiated following a pilot programme the HLC was running to support BAME women via support calls. Between April and May 2020 over 200 BAME women were contacted and expressed their needs. The project aimed to grant the women access to information and signposting to additional support services including Bereavement support, Foodbank referrals, Mental Health support services, up to date Gov and Public Health guidelines and signposting for financial support and Furlough processes 

The charity invited all minority BAME women known to them to attend an eight week online Webinar training offering support and information specific to the Covid-19 Public Health and UK Government Advice. All facilitated sessions were held in Urdu enabling the HLC to build trust among their attendees for their opinion on what they would like to hear more information on, what areas of concern they have and provide facilitation of discussions. The HLC then would follow up the meeting with individual calls to any participants who have raised specific issues where they need further support and offer signposting to additional support as many do not always know who to contact during this crisis.