Last week saw Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2021 week where we celebrated our progress made whilst acknowledging that there is still work to be done to ensure that carers are recognised and supported, regardless of their background.

 

Becoming a carer or young carer is a true universal part of being human: anyone can find themselves having to support a child with a mental health condition, a partner following a stroke or a parent with dementia. Caring, therefore is blind to race, religion, sexuality, or any other label than can divide us.

 

As a local charity who supports carers, we are privileged to speak to thousands of carers who open their hearts to us to tell us their hopes, fears, and family pressures. Because of this it is vital that we understand all our communities and what concerns they may have. Over the past twelve months we have heard in particular from our Black and Asian communities about everyday challenges and frustrations. As an organisation, we are listening and responding to these experiences as well as from other groups, not just to 'virtual signal ' or chase social media likes but because we feel that by doing so, we become better equipped to support all carers regardless of background

 

We have already built upon existing links with different community groups and will do more; we will improve how we measure our impact across different groups; and we will not be afraid to challenge preconceived views or ways of doing things. Behind the scenes we are working with partners to deliver more localised services whilst reducing health inequalities and to ensure that the coronavirus response and vaccination roll out leaves no community behind.

 

As Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week closes and we look forward to Volunteering Week and then Carers Week, it is worth reflecting that this trilogy of raising carer awareness, celebrating volunteers and being open for all are core to what we do as a local charity in supporting those we serve. Carers from all backgrounds face difficult challenges every day. We are here to support all carers regardless of the colour of their skin, religion or sexuality and will do so by continuing to listen, learn and act.

 

Some specific work undertaken by us.

  • We have recruited 2 new Trustees from Protected characteristics backgrounds.
  • We have continued to work with Northamptonshire Rights & Equality Council (NREC) on diversity within our services.
  • We have built specific work with diverse communities into recent funding bids.
  • We have played an active part in the vaccine programme and access for hard-to-reach groups.
  • We have been working with partners to consider issues of access and support in new transformation service provision.