‘The Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Voice’ (BAME VOICE) was established in 2016 in response to the need for an independent representative body to look at key local issues and their impact on minority ethnic communities who make up over 35% of Merton’s population. It works strategically to increase the influence, representation and active engagement of all minority ethnic organisations and their communities in Merton in the decisions and policies that affect them. BAME VOICE operates as an umbrella body in particular but not exclusively for functioning BAME organisations in Merton and its environs. It is a resource body for the Merton community as a whole.
- 7 April 2017
- Charity, Children Young People and Students, Community organisations, Health, Social Care, Voluntary Sector
- Local Alliances:
- Merton Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
BAME VOICE has run and will run further dementia awareness workshops/sessions with the BAME communities and other interested residents in Merton and its environs. These workshops have been interactive, listening to the views and experiences of those attending. We also ensure that these meetings offer support for the patients and their carers as well as creating an atmosphere which affirms participants and makes them feel valued members of the community.
We already have seven trained Dementia Friends and will arrange training for further training for other members/volunteers.
Three of our members will shortly be trained as Dementia Ambassadors and one of them will become our organisation’s spokesperson on all Dementia matters/contact with the general public.
As a campaigning organisation, we will ensure that the needs of our communities are communicated to the policy and commissioning bodies so that services meet those needs. We will also be willing to be involved in any research into this area.
As a training organisation, we can offer training to Dementia staff/volunteers in cultural competence and cultural communications.
We will work in partnership with other organisations to share knowledge about best practice and will give publicity to any work we carry out.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
Overcoming the stigma/shame attached to Dementia; the fear that disclosure will change the dynamics within the relationship in a family; the fear of isolation and in some BAME communities, the fear of “outer worldly forces” at work causing the illness.
Diminishing resources have caused a number of organisations working in this field and catering for the needs of these communities, to close down or move elsewhere. Finding inexpensive venues to meet is problematic as is funding activities.
Getting the local Dementia organisation to accept offers of cultural competence /communications training from our organisation, some of our member organisations have been in the field for over fifteen years.