Through their extensive 15-year history working with Derbyshire County Council's Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Forum, Links CVS determined that there was a severe lack of a service that catered to vulnerable members of the diverse communities within the BME Forum. The people who benefit from this service are vulnerable adults living with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities and their carers from the diverse BME communities. The difference our project aims to make will be far-reaching in relation to the social and health inequalities faced by these people. They tend to experience poor quality of physical health and mental well-being due to being not knowing how the "system" works (often due to language and cultural barriers), not knowing how to apply for welfare support, being socially isolated, as well as being victims of racial injustice and discrimination including race and religion hate crime. With regards to the COVID-19, we know statistically that BME communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
To support carers by sitting with the cared for person in their own home, making sure they are comfortable and safe.
To provide the carer with an opportunity for respite within or outside the home.
To give a listening ear to carers
WHY US, AND WHY NOW?
This service is unique in its cultural specificity and the provision of care that is holistic - not only through standardised qualifications but also through the careful selection of sitters to suit a varied gamut of cultural needs.
We at Links CVS have established rapport and relationships with the BME groups in Derbyshire that has facilitated the setting up of the service.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has laid undue stress on carers, making their duties complex as well as chipping away at their mental and physical health.
Now is a crucial time in which to provide support and care towards these vulnerable members of our communities.
We need to assist their re-entry into a post-Covid world, after a year-long isolation from what used to be 'normal' life.
ACCREDITATIONS, QUALIFICATIONS AND SELECTION PROCESS
Our sitters have been handpicked from the BME community for the BME community. These sitters have the compassion and culture of care that is the cornerstone of this programme. The sitters came forward to help within their own communities, seeing the BME sitting service as a way to build and develop professional skills while also providing much need respite to members of their own community.
In partnership with the Derbyshire County Council, Job Centre Plus and Joined Up Careers (Step Into Work Project), the sitters went through extensive training in 12 areas of vocational skills and education. These include: Coronavirus - Dignity in Personal Care, Falls Prevention Awareness - Direct Care Workers e-learning (FC), Infection Prevention and Control - Nov 2020 (FC), Mental Health Awareness – Adult Care (FC), Moving & Handling Core Skills (FC), Safe Movement Principles (FC), Tissue Viability E-Learning (FC), An Introduction to Safeguarding unborn babies, children and/or young people.
Our sitters were chosen specifically to suit the role which they would take up. By nature, they are caring, empathetic individuals who have a history of caring roles in some capacity, either in their own homes or in the community. This was and is the only requirement at a basic level before they attain their qualifications and undergo enhanced DBS checks and more.
The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Forum supports the development of an infrastructure that enables BME community groups to be actively engaged with us and provide feedback on policy and service developments.
Derbyshire County Council works with communities to ensure our services meet their environment, education, social, family, leisure, transport and economic needs and expectations.
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