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Council joins with Citizens Advice to research minority community Covid experiences
PR2315/PS/JB - 19/11/2020
Mid Sussex District Council and Citizens Advice are seeking to work alongside local minority communities to improve access to support, information and services.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to ensure all our communities in Mid Sussex have access to information and support services. With increasing evidence of the disparity of Covid-19’s impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the UK it is important to look at the situation locally to clarify and improve timely access to information and support.
Recent research in neighbouring areas found that communication barriers play an important role, perhaps beyond language, meaning translating resources is not enough to get messages across but also to really hear what communities were saying.
The project seeks to find new informal volunteers in our community to be champions; to share information at a community level and to help develop preventative messaging to ensure they are more effective across all of our diverse communities. Many of our NHS and social care workers in Mid Sussex are from a BAME and EU background, meaning they may be at greater risk of Covid.
Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Community commented, “What we are seeking to achieve with this project is to ensure that all of the Mid Sussex community has access to necessary information and resources available during the pandemic and as we recover from it.”
“Many people use Government and NHS information to keep up to date, but there are also local priorities and initiatives which can help, and we want to ensure no-one is excluded from accessing these. Local knowledge on self-isolation grants, hardship payments, fuel vouchers and food support for example can be very relevant locally and we want to ensure people in our communities can speak with confidence and knowledge.
“By partnering with Citizens Advice, we can further develop existing relationships and ensure that we are working alongside the community, helping to strengthen and support the District’s residents now and in the future.”
You can find out more about the project, sign up to be a Community Champion and take the survey at https://www.advicewestsussex.org.uk/mid-sussex-community-champions/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org