Please note: some photos and videos used in these case studies were taken before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Black Health Initiative
Black Health Initiative is a community engagement organisation that works with partners to address inequalities and inequities of access and services in education, health and social care. They work in partnership with larger 3rd sector organisations, statutory bodies and private sector for diverse communities who are often marginalized and excluded.
They provide factual information and support helping people to make informed decisions. Heads Up is one of their programmes. It supports people living with dementia and memory loss.
An afternoon tea in summer allowed many to reminiscence about yesteryear. Relatives, friends and colleagues came to the event where they listened to Caribbean music, with some in their best ‘church hat’. It was an afternoon of fun and laughter with a serious message alongside factual information.
Dementia and memory loss is an issue which is often not acknowledged or accepted amongst the community.
Black Health Initiative helps to break down the stigma by supporting carers and those living with dementia and memory loss in their understanding. They connect people, who often feel excluded, to support services from various cultures by providing service information.
Building Community Connections in Calderdale
Covering Ovenden, Mixenden and Illingworth, Warley and Park Ward, the health inequalities funds will be targeting communities from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and other vulnerable / disadvantaged groups and communities experiencing health inequality.
The aim is to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the inequality in life expectancy through greater connectivity. Community researchers will be trained to gather stories asking people from target communities via their peers ‘What makes a good life for me’. This will help to identify four areas of work which will be co-designed and delivered with communities to facilitate new social and practical health and wellbeing approaches enhancing connections for local people experiencing health inequalities.
Interventions will achieve greater peer to peer and better connection with existing communities and health and care services to promote greater community health and wellbeing across the area.
- Creative Minds
- Christians Together Calderdale
- Halifax Opportunities Trust – Staying Well
- Healthwatch Calderdale
- Healthy Minds
- Himmat Calderdale
- North Halifax Partnership – Staying Well
- St Augustine’s Centre
- Women’s Activity Centre
- Calderdale Council
- Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group
- Community Foundation for Calderdale
- South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust
What success will look like
It will include improved connections between communities; peer to peer support, improved access to services that promote health and wellbeing; improved emotional health and wellbeing and importantly communities influencing and shaping future service delivery models.
Video case study: Feel Good Factor
Keighley Healthy Living - working for a strong and thriving local community
Keighley Healthy Living is a charity which supports the health and wellbeing of the local community.
The vision of the organisation is to develop ‘a strong and thriving local community that is resilient, capable and healthy and where people are well connected to each other.
The charity provides various projects related to health and wellbeing to help deliver its vision. Weekly groups include a young parents group, ‘Art 4 All’, exercise, IT and cookery classes. Breastfeeding support, a Games Café, luncheon clubs and a Wellbeing Café are also available.
As part of the Keighley Connect Project partners engaged with the community in a number of projects including having doorstep photos taken during lockdown, it provided a good opportunity to connect with people and everyone enjoyed having a professional photograph to keep. The photos provide a snapshot of the community during Covid-19.
Leeds City Council
Leeds City Council BAME colleagues’ network has responded to various Covid-19 issues in various ways, including increasing its engagement with BAME colleagues across the organisation.
The network has held sessions to understand how Covid-19 has affected BAME colleagues so the council can improve colleague’s experience during this difficult time.
Over 100 colleagues joined a virtual engagement event to discuss the impact of Covid-19.
Following this, the BAME colleagues network joined a working group, alongside HR, health, wellbeing and safety and trade union colleagues to further strengthen the risk assessment approach reflecting BAME colleagues concerns.
This led to an improved risk assessment tool, the launch of a new peer support group; creating a safe space where BAME colleagues can discuss and be open about mental health, and working closely with other networks such as the Council’s Healthy Minds Group to hold specific sessions for BAME colleagues.
Good practice and learning has been shared with neighbouring councils.
Leeds GATE is a community members’ organisation for Gypsies and Travellers in Leeds and Wakefield and other areas across West Yorkshire. They provide advocacy, mental health support, community development and youth work.
A vibrant and brave grassroots organisation with an award winning track record of community activism, they have a strong reputation for getting things done on behalf of their members. Gypsies and Travellers have some of the worst health outcomes in the UK.
From the Partnership’s Health Inequalities Fund, the organisation will be employing a full time advocate who will be supporting Travellers on sites, in houses and on the roadside across the district - working with them on health and wellbeing and wider determinants of health, such as money, homes and safety.
Members will be participating alongside representatives from local health commissioning on a steering group which will build stronger relationships between members, who are often marginalised, and those who commission services. Relationships will motivate a system wide approach to inclusion, helping members’ voices to be heard.
Local Maternity System
The Partnership’s Local Maternity System is supporting the adoption of the Saving Babies Lives care bundle to achieve the ambition in reducing stillbirth and perinatal loss.
Available evidence has shown that maternal and perinatal mortality rates are significantly higher for Black, Asian, and mixed-race women and their babies than for White women (MBRRACE-UK, 2019).
Public Health England’s recent report ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes from Covid-19, June 2020’ also suggests that mortality involving Covid-19 disproportionately affects those from BAME communities.
Emerging evidence from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (surveillance period 1 March 2020 – 31 March 2021) at Oxford University shows that women from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background make up more than half (56%) of pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 (reported in BMJ, June 2020).
Pregnant women and new parents need to be reassured that seeking help from the NHS is safe. Women are being encouraged that if they have concerns about their own or their baby’s health, such as reduced fetal movements, they should get in touch with their local maternity unit immediately.
The Partnership has acted upon recent NHS England guidance (July 2020) and produced new materials, including clinically assured short films in community languages, for women and colleagues.
These films aim to help pregnant BAME women understand how to keep themselves safe from coronavirus, how to recognise their risk and reassure that services are open to them at all times. A film for colleagues reminds them of the extra risk associated with ethnicity and to be alert to concerns or symptoms in pregnant BAME women.
The Partnership’s co-production and community action project will ensure that women and their families are active stakeholders in the development.
Local Services 2 You
Local Services 2 You are partners in the Kirklees Third Sector Leaders Project. They work to address health inequalities in Huddersfield.
Over the summer (2020) they ran a holiday club for around 90 young people (up to 11 years old).
They secured funding to provide sessions and worked with local schools to identify children and families that would benefit. They were providing healthy food and also lots of physical activity when possible – including engaging with parents. Many families have been stuck inside with limited access to decent outdoor space so they were keen to run the holiday club this year with non-virtual activities.
Chief Executive, Andy Petrie said:
“It’s been incredibly challenging in the current circumstances but very well received. We’re also involved in a project in the Ashbrow ward - providing activities for young people (slightly older - 8 years plus)"
"We’ve secured funding to support a number of local community organisations to do outdoor activities during the summer. We’re also planning walking groups with parents who have babies/very young children as part of the health inequalities work.”
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
One of our Partnership’s organisations, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has strived to make significant progress to support Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues in various ways.
A BAME network was established; with joint chairs Brian Chiyesu, the Trust’s Lead Chaplain and Co-chair Heena Mahmood, HR, Occupational Health.
In response to the pandemic, the Trust facilitated BAME webinars for all colleagues to participate.
There was full support from the chief executive, director of workforce and organisational development with the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard expert supporting delivery.
The network played a key role in developing and delivering a webinar for 130 managers on Covid-19 BAME risk assessments. The Trust wished to do more and intensified their efforts to improve BAME support and representation.
As a result, the chair of the BAME network has now delivered two Trust Board seminars on the topic of equality, diversity and inclusion which all board members have attended (accurate July 2020). In addition, they also have a seat at various executive level meetings reflecting their proactive approach to increase BAME inclusion across the Trust.
Migration Yorkshire provides strategic leadership and local support across the Yorkshire and Humber region. They work with national, regional and local partners to ensure that the region can deal with, and benefit from, migration.
They work with agencies across the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors to help support the delivery of high quality services to migrants in a way that benefits everyone living in local communities.
Improving the health and wellbeing of Sikh Elders
The Sikh Elders Service aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Sikh Elders– by supporting people to live independently, and to live fulfilling lives.
A dedicated Punjabi speaking team, they provide specialised support to address the many issues affecting all elders in the community.
The ageing population is one of the defining changes of our time and it’s a global reality.
Families live further apart, distances and time pressures can make it difficult to travel. They provide new opportunities to connect people of different ages and hold peer support discussions and creative workshops at their Monday groups – where they explore current and future social, cultural, health and economic needs.
Colleagues and volunteers work in a sensitive way which respects values and traditions of the Sikh faith and culture - whilst ensuring privacy, dignity and choice with elders at the heart of everything they do.
During ‘lock down’ they stayed connected via regular phone calls. Asking people how they were feeling with some of the elders taking part in video calls which they loved.
Touchstone’s Sikh Elders Service
Touchstone’s Sikh Elders Service has supported the frail and elderly Sikh and BAME community across Leeds during the coronavirus pandemic.
Calls were made, including video calls, to offer 1:1 support and comfort to service users. The team supported people with health and wellbeing, understanding of government advice, accessing food (including shopping and distributing food parcels), reducing isolation, explaining and installing technology to keep in touch. They ensured that people understood the importance and rationale for shielding during this pandemic.
The weather out in India is generally warm during the British winter months and many of the people who use the service tend to go for a few weeks during this time. Over 3,000 Britons were stranded in India during the lockdown. The Sikh Elders Service supported a number of people during this time.
The team also took part in a London School of Economics consultation, which is carried out on behalf of the UK government.
Team members were identified as key contacts in the Sikh community. The research was to understand how Sikh people who have a loved one in hospital with coronavirus can best be supported in the current Covid-19 situation.
Sikh Elders Service were also asked to give opinions on how to deal with the release of bodies from hospitals and how funerals can be conducted to support grieving families.
Touchstone, Leeds - supporting people with mental health concerns
In 2017, Touchstone, a charity in Leeds which specialises in supporting people with mental health concerns did some work with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to collate data on the over-representation of BAME people in acute hospital settings. They discovered Black people were 240 times more likely to be sectioned than White people.
As a result of this work, Touchstone was invited to take part in the review of the Mental Health Act in 2018 and NHS Leeds (clinical commissioning group) have released £100k to fund a senior city-wide post to look at how Leeds can address the over-representation of BAME people in acute hospital settings.
The Synergy Collaborative has also chosen Leeds to develop inclusive and co-produced approaches to addressing mental health inequalities experienced by people from minority ethnic communities, specifically, to take a broad perspective/preventative approach towards reducing mental health detentions.
Solace - supporting asylum seekers and refugees
Solace was one of seven organisations funded through the Partnership’s health inequalities funds. They support asylum seekers and refugees across the area, including in Kirklees and Leeds. The impact of Covid-19 has had a major impact on the lives of those they help and support, resulting in fear and raised anxiety levels, with people saying they felt scared by not having a full understanding of the situation.
Many people were afraid to leave their homes, and there was anxiety arising from hearing the death rate for BAME groups was higher than in other groups of people. This was fuelled by language barriers, not having access to the news and digital exclusion.
Lack of information impacts on anxiety levels because people are not clear on what the risks are, or how to mitigate them. For example a client told their therapist that they were afraid to open the windows in the house because they thought it was unsafe to let air circulate.
Most activities stopped during lockdown. This led to people feeling abandoned and isolated. Solace therapists gave advice about setting a route or a time limit to build confidence for venturing outside. They provided links to walking groups who provided safe routes.
Not having a break from parenting responsibilities, coupled with a lack of understanding of the risks in taking children outside for exercise, also led to anxiety. Some families said they were coping better with family life because they did not have to interact with schools which can be stressful for some parents.
Solace therapists said they were writing more housing appeal support letters than usual due to employment uncertainty, with some saying the contact from their therapist has been a ‘lifeline’.
"As team members we were worried about the people we support, when you speak on the phone you can’t pick up on body language.
We are receiving lots of phone calls asking for help from clients, and also from organisations wanting to refer or ask for advice – there is very clearly a need for help" said Reza, a local therapist.
The funds from the Partnership will be used to increase the provision of therapy throughout Kirklees, and to reduce the stress and isolation felt by refugees and asylum seekers. Often they are not able to access services which are available to other people so the funding will help to train and support other mental health providers in Kirklees so that people who have suffered torture, or have come from war zones and refugee camps are able to get support.
The Community Skills Centre
The Community Skills Centre is a small community learning provider in the heart of a multi ethnic neighbourhood in Huddersfield. Many residents are migrants or refugees and asylum seekers.
The centre delivered sessions to help people keep up their conversational English with funding from Kirklees Third Sector Leaders.
The sessions covered topics including talking about cooking, travel, families and other areas, as well as coping with Covid-19 and lockdown, keeping safe and healthy and alleviating the feelings of loneliness and isolation. The weekly sessions ran from April to July.
They created a WhatsApp group for those who had access, with daily updates of information; created videos to share cooking ideas and methods, growing their own food, gardening, allotments, sharing recipes, with all members taking part and giving feedback.
Those who were unable to use WhatsApp received phone calls from the tutor using Facetime where possible.
Each workshop included revisiting the changing Covid-19 related health advice; information and updates on guidance and local restrictions; wellbeing and healthy eating advice; sharing a healthy family recipe; and sharing favourite celebration recipes at Eid.
Each week, the group discussed a theme, for example, the town where we live, where they would like to visit in the UK, and planning culture and heritage outings and visits to local green spaces post Covid-19.
The use of WhatsApp was very effective, as it enabled people to share news and feelings when they were struggling with lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions. The tutor was able to support people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds.
The Thornbury Centre, Bradford
Charities and many other services people took for granted, moved from being open and accessible to our communities to either closing altogether or operating in a very different way. People went from being able to walk in to find help to only being able to access support online or by phone. Fear, isolation, loneliness increased exponentially.
Everyone across all front facing services sought to help as concerns rose about the people we knew and worked with. Telephone/online contact became the norm, daily calls for some was a must. Our staff and volunteers rallied to the cause.
Locally council staff took to the streets checking in on people, delivering food parcels; ensuring medication was accessed and providing reassurance that they had not been forgotten. GP surgeries set their social prescribers / link workers the task of contacting all the people on their ‘frailty, wellbeing lists. Our C5CP Befriending Network was birthed out of this.