The BAME community has suffered a disproportionate number of deaths and infection of the COVID 19 virus. This is such a pronounced problem that the government is conducting an investigation led by Sir Trevor Phillips. This invariably means that BAME Community Leaders and Faith Group Leaders are under pressure from their communities to provide solutions to financial problems, broken families, bereavement, mental ill health etc.
“Holding On Project” COVID response initiative exists to train 50 community leaders in the Barking and Dagenham area on how to cope with these stresses resulting from COVID 19 by: – Teaching them how to access funding – Advising them on how to better signpost their communities – Providing an online forum to facilitate leaders to share experiences and learn tried and tested solutions from each other.
The peculiarity of BAME is the way they expect their leaders to have solutions to their problems. Some of those suffering the effects of COVID 19 are those without recourse to public funds, immigrants, homeless, single parents and many hard to reach individuals. Without the proper equipping of their leaders with the right knowledge and abilities, many people will continue to suffer. The impact of this could result in further loss of life and a greater demand on the already overstretched and underfunded mental health services.
Delivering the project;
Firstly, grassroots community and Faith Leaders are one of the strongest backbones of our communities particularly their relevance within the BAME groups. Therefore, the “Holding On Project” for Community and Faith leaders is supporting people who are facing increased demand and challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Secondly, by bringing these various leaders together via a weekly online platform group meeting we are connecting communities and supporting communities to work together to respond to COVID-19 through: – Sharing experiences – Supporting each other – Peer mentoring
Thirdly, since these leaders are from varied backgrounds and experiences we are bringing people together and building stronger relationships in and across communities. Finally, by strengthening these leaders they in turn can better manage and strengthen their own followers which mean individuals/families will be empowered to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.
Community/Church Leaders working together:
We have dealt with this group of leaders when we ran a project that reached over 60 Community Leaders under our IMAC Project. As is our practice, we have kept in touch with this group of Leaders. Now we receive almost daily phone calls from many Leaders asking for solutions to the COVID 19 Crisis. Many have requested direct training to cope with the families suffering from bereavement to associated financial issues. They also wanted to know if we were able to set up a forum to air out these matters and find out how others were coping. It was by taking onboard their suggestions and opinions that we have co-designed the “Holding on Project”.
If you are a leader in this Ethnic background or are suffering COVID-19 effects and want to ACCESS HELP please contact us;
Mixed / multiple ethnic background
Holding On Project – COVID Response
Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, has helped us in training and helping people get back to normal. Thanks to the Government for making this possible.