News

BAME Mental Health Online/Telephone Support Project

Thanks to funding from Welsh Government, the BAME Mental Health Online/Telephone support Project was created in December 2020 with the purpose to provide support to vulnerable Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people across Wales who required mental health support during the current COVID – 19 pandemic. 

This project aims to promote and improve digital inclusion whilst reducing social isolation as due to the pandemic, many services have now moved to online platforms. The project also aims to improve individuals’ mental wellbeing to reduce the likelihood of people accessing primary services.

The project will be managed by Tubasum Munawar, who is highly experienced working in this field, and she had this to say about the project:

I believe this project is essential to improve peoples’ knowledge and understanding in using digital tools for communicating with others but also the knowledge to access digital services such as apps that could help with various aspects of life. There are many apps available that could help with improving mental wellbeing, which could be beneficial. I believe this project will not only improve mental wellbeing but also boost confidence when accessing online services.

To get more information about this project, or to get involved, email tubasum.munawar@diverse.cymru. 

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Recovery Partnership

Hafal and Diverse Cymru have come together to work in direct partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) to support service users across Gwent in their transition from secondary care back into the community. Hafal and Diverse Cymru Recovery Workers will be embedded within multi-disciplinary mental health teams working closely with team members to ensure that service users are fully supported into the next stage of their personal recovery journey.

The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm and will respond flexibly to both client need and service demand, providing services in the evenings and/or weekends where appropriate.

Diverse Cymru Joint Chief Executive Zoe King said: “It’s a pleasure to work closely with Hafal and ABUHB to deliver meaningful support to those who need it most, and to help them progress through the next steps of recovery.”   

Recovery Workers will provide 1:2:1 and group support. The role of the Recovery Worker is to…

  • Support service users following the ending of a regular interface with NHS services.
  • Provide tailored, recovery focused and time limited support (8-12 weeks).
  • Enable service users to engage in and sustain mainstream activities, in community
  • Partnership work with a wide range of community groups and
  • Promote recovery and community
  • Empower service users to achieve their own goals
Self-management courses

To help individuals achieve their goals, with a range of self-management courses, including:

  • Hafal’s Recovery Plan
  • Anxiety Management
  • Confidence Building
  • Healthy Eating
  • Creating Positive Memories
  • Stress Management
  • Developing Personal Outcomes
  • Assertiveness
  • Accessing the community
  • A Keeping Well Plan

To get in touch about this service, please email Diverse Cymru at info@diverse.cymru, or contact us on 029 2036 8888, or contact Hafal at chloe.meyrick@hafal.org.

Opening hours over Christmas 2020

Diverse Cymru’s offices will be closed from midday on the 24th December until the 4th January 2021.

In regard to Direct Payments, if there is an emergency, contact the Cardiff office number (029 2036 8888), and press 1 for on-call support. 

The Advocacy Gateway is closed from the 24th December to the 4th January.

For emergency mental health support in Cardiff and Vale health board area, this out-of-hours service is available:
Monday-Thursday, 5.00PM-8.30AM
Friday 4.30PM until Monday 8.30AM.

Contact telephone: 029 2078 8570.

Samaritans works to make sure there’s always someone there for anyone who needs someone – 116 123 / jo@samaritans.org. 

Draft Equality Objectives (Social Care Wales)

We are inviting you to take part in engagement on Social Care Wales’ draft Equality Objectives 2021 to 2026.

Please share this invitation with both community groups and organisations working around equality and with your members or diverse individuals.

What this engagement is about

This engagement is your chance to tell us:

  • what you think about Social Care Wales’ draft Equality Objectives
  • anything you think should be changed
  • anything you think is missing from Social Care Wales’ draft Equality Objectives
  • what actions Social Care Wales should take to achieve the Equality Objectives – what would make a difference to you

Online engagement events

We are holding online engagement events about these Equality Objectives in late November and early December.

Each event will be 2 hours long, including a break in the middle.

The events will be held on these dates:

If you cannot make any of these dates please let us know. If several people cannot make these dates we will set an extra date for online engagement events.

How to register

If you are interested in taking part in these engagement events you can register by:

  • clicking the links above to register on Eventbrite
  • emailing research@diverse.cymru or maher@diverse.cymru
  • calling 02920 368888 and asking for Shelagh Maher or Georgia Marks
  • by post to Engagement and Policy team, Diverse Cymru, 307-315 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF5 1JD

Please only register for one of the dates and times. Each event is the same. We have several dates and times so that everyone who wants to take part can.

The questionnaire is available:

  • online in Welsh and English
  • on Diverse Cymru’s website (diversecymru.org.uk) in Welsh and English in both standard and large print as a Word document
  • we can send you a copy by email or post. Email us or phone us to ask for a copy by email or post.

You can fill in the online questionnaire here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/5UOXY3/

Or send your questionnaire or comments to Diverse Cymru by:

  • Email: Research@diverse.cymru
  • Telephone: 029 2036 8888 for assistance to complete the questionnaire or to provide your views and experiences. Please ask for Georgia Marks or Shelagh Maher. We can read the questions to you, explain them, and / or write your response with you.
  • Post your questionnaire or your views and experiences to:
    Diverse Cymru, 3rd Floor, Alexandra House
    307-315 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff
    CF5 1JD

2019-2020 Annual Report – What have we done?

What a busy year! We’re documenting the year with our 2019-2020 annual report, and we have continued on our journey to:
Provide high quality services that reduce inequality and increase independence,
Creating opportunities for participation and development, and
Raising awareness of equality issues and solutions,
to support our aim of Equality for All in Wales.

How have we done that?

Here’s some headline statistics, read on for more.

  • 35 members of staff and 13 volunteers have directly helped over 5000 people.
  • We have directly engaged with over 900 members of the community.
  • Volunteers have contributed over 800 hours to our work.
  • 58 training sessions delivered, more than one session a week.
  • Financial gains for clients due to our interventions:
    £68,946 in payment of arrears and £264,528 in ongoing awards
  • 13 consultations responded to.
  • 7 policy positions and briefings on key equality issues in Wales.
  • Obtained the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark.

What’s changed?

There have been significant changes in this year, including the retirement of Bill Smale, the Chief Executive Officer in September 2019. On behalf of everyone at Diverse Cymru, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill for his work and his commitment to securing a positive future for the organisation. Board of Trustees appointed Laura Armytage and Zoe King as Acting Joint CEOs to oversee the organisation in the immediacy and we continue to work closely with Trustees and staff, maintaining high standards of service delivery and engagement to all our customers.

As you can see from this year’s 2019-2020 annual report, we have delivered positive results in all areas of our operation and we must congratulate all staff for their dedication and commitment ensuring we never lost sight of what really matters, the people who use our services.

Read the whole Annual Report 2019-20 here. 

From our Acting Joint Chief Executives, and the whole staff team, thank you for engaging with us, and working to create a better Wales, a Wales where Equality for All is a reality, not just a slogan. 

Poverty and Benefits – Have Your Say

Diverse Cymru have created a survey on poverty and benefits.

We hear a lot in research, the news and in the press about the increased uptake in the use of food banks, and people not being able to pay their bills. We would like to hear from you.

How are you coping and what is happening in your life?

Maybe you have had to use a food bank or choose between paying a bill or buying food. Perhaps you have coped but it has been difficult with not enough money coming in.

We want to know your experiences and and what could make your experiences better.

Do you claim benefits?
Has the system been easy to understand?
Do you think you have been treated fairly and with compassion?
We would like to know about your experiences.

We would like to hear from you about your experiences and ideas in order to feed that back to people in power.

The survey is available online here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OS8BKW/

A Word version of this survey is here, if you would find that easier to complete. It’s in large print here. You can complete this survey and send it back to research@diverse.cymru by email.

If you need any help or support to complete the survey you can:

Email: research@diverse.cymru

Telephone: 029 2036 8888 and ask for Georgia Marks

Or post to:
Diverse Cymru
307-315 Cowbridge Road East
Cardiff
CF5 1JD

We can read questions to you, explain the survey, or provide other support to help you complete the survey.

Diverse Cymru’s position on Trans inclusion and Intersex.

We have talked to our policy manager, Ele Hicks, about trans inclusion and intersex – read on to hear our position as an organisation on these issues.

As an organisation Diverse Cymru recognise that there are many people who do not identify as male or female.

Whilst the Equality Act 2010 covers men and women on the basis of biological sex, there are many factors that lead to societal discrimination against women, as well as against trans and non-binary people.

The Equality Act 2010 has been a huge step forward in terms of levelling up legal protections in employment, education, training, and goods, facilities and services. However, it is not perfect.

We welcome the recent ruling that non-binary people are protected under the Equality Act 2010. We feel that recognising people’s right to be recognised and treated as the gender they are is vital in a respectful and inclusive society.

This ruling is important, but only addresses part of the issue. Self-identification is about respecting trans and non-binary people and their own identity. The UK Government consulted on allowing self-identification under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Despite the majority of consultation responses supporting a move to self-identification as the basis for gender recognition the changes have been kicked into the long grass.

The wording ‘gender reassignment’ is also antiquated and implies changing sex. Trans people are being recognised by wider society as the gender they are. Trans people use terms such as ‘gender realignment surgery’ and ‘gender affirmation’ as these terms indicate a person does not change their gender.

For far too many trans and non-binary people life is a daily struggle to be recognised and respected for who they are. There are issues in relation to healthcare, pronouns and titles, social care and other services, as well as discrimination.

Generally[1], cisgender people[2] are not asked what pronouns they use or to prove their gender. They do not have to worry about other people’s reactions and safety before going to the toilet. Transphobia and societal structures and assumptions are a daily lived experience for many trans people. We support the movement to ask everyone’s pronouns and respect everyone’s pronouns. Talking about gender should not be taboo. As a society, we need to embrace talking about gender and asking about pronouns everywhere.

We recognise the right for every human being to be respected for who they are.

It is not about ignoring or overlooking misogyny and the issues that women face in our society. It is about recognising that trans and non-binary people deserve respect and face discrimination and issues too.

Another issue often overlooked is discrimination against Intersex people. Intersex people are invisible in our society. They are often treated as having a medical problem or being defective. Many intersex people have been subject to invasive procedures when they were too young to consent. The Equality Act completely overlooks intersex people by defining sex and a man or a woman.

The binary division of society and expecting people to fit into pre-defined boxes leads to discrimination against Intersex people, as well as trans and non-binary people.

Trans, non-binary and intersex rights are human rights. Enabling one group of people to access their rights and tackling discrimination against them does not diminish or undermine anyone else’s rights.


[1] Systemic and structural discrimination and inequality also affects anyone perceived to be different by society. This includes people of colour, disabled people, people of faith, and lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It should also be recognised that cisgender people can also be people of colour, disabled people etc. as well. The circumstances of discrimination here are some of those most commonly faced by trans, non-binary and intersex people. There is no intention to imply that no other group faces similar discrimination.

[2] Cisgender is the terms for people whose gender identity and gender expression fully reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Further Information

Equality in Wales – further information on our website about equality legislation.
What is discrimination?

The Equality Act 2010 – full guidance on the Equality Act from the Government. 

News – Minority Ethnic Communities Health Fair Thursday [29th October 10AM – 2PM]

This year, the popular Minority Ethnic Communities (MEC) Health Fair, usually held in Cardiff, will take place online via Zoom on Thursday 29 October 2020, 10 am – 2 pm and all are welcome to attend.

The First Minister of Wales Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS will give the Keynote Address at 11.00am at the virtual fair.

The theme of this year’s fair is ‘Covid-19 and Wellbeing’ and people will have the opportunity to join half hour sessions on topics such as Bereavement, Mindfulness for Young People, Diabetes Prevention, Mentoring, Welfare and Finance, and Salsa. There will also be a Question and Answer session with health professionals. Places at the MEC Health Fair can be booked on Eventbrite.

Sujatha Thaladi, Chair of the MEC Health Fair Steering group said, “We look forward to people joining us at our free online MEC Health Fair. This year because of Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to meet face to face but we are delighted to offer this opportunity for people to find out ways of improving their health and wellbeing at our Zoom event. Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on BAME people in Wales; at the event people will also be able take part in a discussion on any concerns they may have around coronavirus and ways to promote health messages to minority ethnic communities.

We would like to thank all the organisations that have worked together to ensure that we have been able to adapt and to hold this important event this year – Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, CAVAMH, C3SC, CCAWS, Diabetes UK Cymru, Diverse Cymru, Hindu Council Wales, Race Equality First, Sight Cymru, The Mentor Ring and Women Connect First”. The MEC Fair is aimed at BAME people but all are welcome to attend.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The Minority Ethnic Communities Health Fair (MEC Health Fair) will take place on Thursday 29 October 2020, 10am – 2pm online, via Zoom.

  2. This is the 11th MEC Health Fair. The fair’s aim is to address health inequality and promote wellbeing through creating opportunities for positive engagement between people from minority ethnic communities and health providers. Each year the health fair has sought to lessen the gap between services and communities.
    The event helps health providers to better understand communities and encourages individuals from different minority ethnic backgrounds to better look after their health. The event also provides opportunities for individuals to raise their voices and discuss their experiences and concerns on health related issues.

  3. Research by Welsh Government and others has found that Covid-19 disproportionately affects BAME people (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) COVID-19 Socioeconomic Subgroup: Report into the factors influencing negative COVID-19 outcomes for individuals from BAME backgrounds. https://gov.wales/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-bame-covid-19-socioeconomic-subgroup-report)

  4. Places at the MEC Health Fair 2020 can be booked via Eventbrite

 

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