Supporting minority communities
Edition 11 – Wednesday 3 June
#BlackOutTuesday – a short reflection
Jane Ide, the Chief Executive of NAVCA has written a blog. I think it’s worth reproducing in its entirety, so I have…
“This may be the shortest blog I’ve ever written. I’m writing it at the end of the day, Tuesday 2nd June. Today was #BlackoutTuesday – a day which was interpreted in different ways by different people and organisations but which to me seemed fundamentally to be a day in which white voices were tasked with getting out of the way and allowing black voices to speak more loudly and more clearly than they are usually given the space to do.
Most women know what it is like to be the voice in the room that doesn’t get heard, that is not given space or airtime to share their thoughts or opinions or experiences. Those of us with the privilege of status also know what it is like to be the woman in the room who tries to carve out space for the other women there, the ones who have something really worthwhile to say but who don’t have a loud enough presence to interrupt the conversation and say it.
Maybe that’s why today I just don’t want to hear from my white colleagues and friends about their response to #BlackoutTuesday. There’s lots for us to discuss about what we must do differently, but we will always have that airtime given to us. Today is not the day. Let’s give up our space for the voices that don’t get given their space so freely.”
The Sikh Network’s Covid-19 Impact Report
The impact of Covid-19 on the Sikh community is captured in the latest report from the Sikh Network
This report provides insight into how the Sikh community perceives the government handling of the Covid-19 crisis and lack of Sikh community engagement. Over 1,500 people responded to the survey and the responses seemed to ask questions of the governments’ reaction and management of the pandemic over a range of areas.
Public Health England has published a review of data on disparities in the risk and outcomes from Covid-19.
This review confirms that the impact of Covid-19 has replicated existing health inequalities and, in some cases, has increased them. The largest disparity found was by age, people who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40. Risk of dying was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in BAME groups than in White ethnic groups.
The NHS Confederation and NHS England have confirmed the creation of an NHS Race and Health Observatory, which will identify and tackle the specific health challenges facing people from BAME backgrounds.
Edition 10 – Thursday 28 May
Ensuring disabled people are at the heart of your charity’s recovery plans
The disability charity Purple has created a 7-part e-tutorial on the disabled customer experience and etiquette for organisations to share with their staff. The modules cover issues such as: top tips on disability language and etiquette, top tips for front-line staff, and top tips on website accessibility.
Working with people living with mental health issues, learning disabilities and/or autism
NHS England and NHS Improvement produce a weekly bulletin for people working on Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism.
This bulletin provides colleagues working in organisations across health, care and support systems with a round-up of the new guidance, communication activities and information coming out of the NHS England and Improvement Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Covid-19 cell. It is recommended for staff members in social care, the voluntary and independent sectors and the NHS. You can sign up for the Bulletin here
Rural Track and Trace
The Rural Coalition has called on government for locally led Covid-19 track and trace. In a letter sent to Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The Coalition argues that a one-size-fits-all solution managed centrally from London will not serve rural communities well. Instead, there is a hope that a more locally driven approach to managing the pandemic can be adopted in the countryside.
The letter coincided with the announcement of £300 million additional funding for Local Authorities to develop locally tailored outbreak control plans, working with their local NHS and other stakeholders.
Supporting children and young people impacted by parental imprisonment
Children Heard and Seen is a charity supporting children, young people and their families who are experiencing parental imprisonment.
In response to Covid-19, Children Heard and Seen is offering online support for families during lockdown, helping them to stay connected. This has included cooking classes, family fitness sessions, and online discussions with other families affected by parental imprisonment. One-to-one support is also available.
They are also encouraging parents to get in touch and take advantage of their services at this difficult time.
Edition 9 – Wednesday 20 May
Winchester Go LD are still offering a Go LD star service “ They’re in our living rooms in exercise and disco gear!”
Winchester Go LD offers free support to adults with learning disabilities; and nurturing strong and meaningful relationships is key to all aspects of their work.
Helen, mum to Go LD member Jon says “When this all first started, Winchester Go LD, immediately started a WhatsApp group, they got everyone to put rainbows in their windows and they have stayed in constant contact. Jon’s just done a Low Level circuits session with them. Visually seeing his friends is important as well as keeping the routine going. Seeing everyone else at home also deepens his understanding of what we’re going through. They have hardly been off video conferencing, making Jon’s life just a little easier, but, importantly, making us feel that there are people out there who understand our situation.”
Winchester Go LD have drawn together “Lockdown stories” from some of their members, which you can read on their website. Any Winchester resident with learning disabilities can become a Go LD member by emailing or by calling 07949 093341 or 07534 838102
Covid-19 Summary of published guidance and support for vulnerable groups
A round-up has been published of much of the guidance and support for vulnerable groups. It has masses of resources collated within one document, so whether you are looking for an ‘easy read’ guide to Covid-19, asthma guidance, or resources for sex workers, you’ll probably find it here
Update on gambling addiction services available
GamCare – the charity which supports those with an addiction to gambling – has posted a blog outlining which of their services are still available during the lockdown. Their helpline is open 24/7 plus they have online forums and chatroom sessions to provide additional support. Treatment services are being done over the phone – click here to see the full details of their support
Edition 7 – Wednesday 6 May
Concerns over councils ‘rushing to free themselves’ from Care Act duties
Eight local authorities in England (none of them local to us) have become the first to take advantage of new emergency powers that allow them to reduce their duties under the Care Act.
The emergency powers were introduced as part of the government’s Coronavirus Act, and mean councils – if they need to take advantage of the easements – no longer have to carry out detailed assessments of disabled people’s care and support needs, and no longer have a legal duty to meet all eligible care and support needs.
This is understandably causing concern among disability charities. Svetlana Kotova, director of campaigns and justice for Inclusion London, said “This will have severe consequences for disabled people as their legal rights have been suspended. Consequently, disabled people will be at risk of not getting the support they need, and it will be tough to challenge this. We understand local authorities are in a difficult position, and that implementing the easements may seem like an easy solution.”
National Voices is looking for more people with physical and mental disabilities to share their experiences during the pandemic
National Voices is a coalition of 150 charities supporting people with physical and mental health problems and disabilities, and those who are facing inequality or discrimination. On the website you can browse other people’s experiences and leave your own. To get involved, click here.
Gypsy and Traveller communities
The Minister for Communities, Stephen Greenhalgh, has written to local authority chief executives to highlight that some members of Gypsy and Traveller communities are likely to be particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. They may need support in accessing basic facilities such as water, sanitation and waste disposal, to enable them to adhere to public health guidelines around self-isolation and social distancing during the outbreak.
RNIB launches new online library for people with sight loss
The library offers people with sight loss instant access to thousands of free books in formats they can read. The new platform already has more than 26,000 titles, making it the UK’s largest online library of Talking Books. To sign up to the online library, click here, or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999.
Guide Dogs – new phone line
Guide Dogs have launched a new phone line for people with sight loss and their families, to help support them during the coronavirus outbreak.
They can help you identify ways to continue living actively, independently and well, refer you to their other services or help you access services by other providers. Please call 0800 781 1444 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday or visit their website to find out more. Guide Dogs staff can also arrange to contact you regularly by phone to provide individual support through the social isolation period.
Mencap has launched an online video channel hosted on YouTube. It is designed to provide fun and instructional videos for the 1.5 million people at home with learning disabilities, many of whom will have lost access to support and services because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mencap has also created a wider hub of accessible resources including easy-to-read versions of official government guidance, activity planners and templates to help combat anxiety, loneliness and maintain routine, which is important for some people with learning disabilities. All the videos posted on Mencap TV feature someone with a learning disability or people who support them. Mencap TV is available here
9 out of 10 small BAME charities could close within months
Almost 90 per cent of BAME micro and small voluntary and community organisations could face permanent closure within a matter of months if the coronavirus crisis extends into June, a report from the London-based charity the Ubele Initiative has warned.
The report, Impact of Covid-19 on the BAME Community and Voluntary Sector, analyses the results of two sector surveys carried out by the Ubele Initiative at the end of March and early April. They found that slightly more than two-thirds of micro BAME charities (those with annual incomes of less than £10,000) and small BAME charities (annual incomes of less than £100,000) did not have any reserves, and fewer than one in five (19 per cent) had reserves that would last three months.
Edition 6 – Wednesday 29 April
Ramadan At Home
Messaging and materials to support people staying at home during Ramadan.
Stay Home for your Family
New BAME materials to encourage the public to Stay home for your family. Don‘t put their lives in danger.
Young BAME social
Anyone can catch it, Anyone can spread it social assets for younger people and BAME communities.
Every Mind Matters
Translations of the new Now more than ever mental health “10 top tips” Twitter and Facebook assets are now available in Polish, Russian, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Romanian, Roma and Somali.
Edition 5 – Wednesday 22 April
Hugging the left shoreline
We interviewed Madeline Close, a guide dog user, who told us about the realities of life for a blind person under lockdown. A key takeaway message is that sighted people need to take responsibility for keeping their distance from blind people [feels very odd to write that – Ed] because “I won’t see you until it’s too late”. And remember that guide dogs don’t understand social distancing. They are trained to walk on the left in a shop etc, so sighted people should go to the opposite side.
Support line for people with sight loss
Guide Dogs are launching a Covid-19 Sight Loss Information Line in response to an influx of concerns raised by people with sight loss, and their friends and families. Some of the most common concerns have highlighted the difficulties of staying safe during the pandemic and practising social distancing without being able to see. These include: food shopping, social isolation and care of guide dogs. For more information you can ring 0800 781 1444
COVID-19 BAME Resource Hub
Fed up of seeing how BAME people have been hit hard during the pandemic, Ishita Ranjan built a resource hub to help BAME people dealing with issues resulting from COVID-19.
Coronavirus advice in other languages
Leeds City Council have produced 3 videos in a variety of languages
The videos are:
- Spot the signs (of coronavirus)
- Handwashing advice
- Essential advice (what to do in your home if there is a possible coronavirus infection)
The videos are in Polish, Romanian, Urdu, Arabic, Czech, Punjabi, Tigrinya, Farsi, Slovak, Kurdish Sorani and Bengali.
SignHealth has a wealth of Coronavirus information in British Sign Language. Content is updated daily, and the government’s daily briefings are summarised on their website
Ramadan starts on Thursday
The Muslim Council of Britain has published online guidance to help people cope with the #Ramadanathome during lockdown. Ramadan is a month-long Muslim observance which this year begins on the evening of Thursday 23 April and ends at sunset on Saturday 23 May. During this period most adult Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. This year, people experiencing Covid-19 symptoms are likely to be exempt from the obligation to fast, as are other people who are ill and women who are pregnant.
Edition 4 – Wednesday 15 April
Burial guidance and religious practice
Information about burial guidance and religious practice during COVID 19 can be found here. It includes guidance on burial practices and provision of care for a range of faith groups.
Edition 3 – Wednesday 8 April
We have all heard in the media that incidents of domestic abuse are increasing during these troubled times. In response, Stop Domestic Abuse are extending the operating hours of their Advice line, and introducing a service so victims can make contact via Messenger (for trial periods).
Virtual Drop-in Service
Victims of domestic abuse that cannot access a telephone due to isolating with a perpetrator will be able to contact a worker via messenger 9.30am – 11.30am, 3.00-5.00pm, 6.00-8.00pm Monday – Friday. Facebook
Victims and perpetrators (not professionals) will be able to call the advice line 9.30am – 5.30pm Monday – Thursday and 9.30am-5.00pm Friday. For professionals, the Advice Line opening hours remain: 11:30am – 14:30pm Monday – Friday.
Please note that refuges are still open and continue to be available 24 hrs by calling 033 0016 5112 and following the answerphone instructions.
COVID-19 advice is available in a number of different languages, including easy read
“Stay at home” guidance
Social distancing guidance
Shielding and extremely vulnerable people
Coronavirus information (Doctors of the World)
Service user advice (Doctors of the World)
General advice focussed on languages spoken by refugees and asylum seekers
Sign Health provides BSL videos of the guidance published by the NHS.
You can watch these on the SignHealth website
People living on traveller sites
Covid-19 advice and guidance for supporting people living on traveller sites, unauthorised encampments and canal boats
Reporting hate crime
Unfortunately there have been reports of hate crime resulting from ignorance and misinformation related to Coronavirus. Please continue encouraging people to report hate crime to the police, either directly to the Police or through the True Vision website, where you can also report anonymously.
Disable people accessing care during Coronavirus
Disabled People’s Organisation In Control has produced a webinar with disability rights lawyer Steve Broach of Monckton Chambers about how to access social care during the Coronavirus crisis. You can view the video here
Disabled people and employment issues
In Control has also run a webinar about employment issues for people on Direct Payments via a personal budget or personal health budget. You can view the webinar here