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Supporting Voluntary Organisations that work with Families

Slough CVS is a small charity, supporting the voluntary and community sector in Slough, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead and surrounding areas. We are passionate about helping the voluntary sector to work more effectively in the local community as they provide support to more vulnerable people including families and children from many diverse communities.

We applied to the Innovation Fund to allow us to run a Train the Trainer programme which will be targeted at our voluntary and community organisations operating in Slough and surrounding areas who work directly with and support, families and children.

The aim of this programme will be to develop and enhance the skills of particularly micro and small Black, Asian Minority and Ethnic (BAME) community leaders so that they can develop the necessary knowledge and expertise to share and upskill their community volunteers. This Train the Trainer programme will be innovative in that it will focus on supporting the needs of diverse communities, those with different perspectives and from varied cultures.

We see a real need for this programme based on what people tell us. For example the word ‘depression’ is non-existent in many cultures. The shame connected to mental health in some cultures, causes families to create a facade. This is also prominent when faced with other learning disabilities such as autism, dyslexia, anxiety, bi-polar and other mental health issues. We are told that particularly within some Asian families, the misconception is that marriage is the solution to ‘the problems’ faced by those impacted by Mental Health or other learning difficulties and this can prevent people receiving the understand, help and support they need.

We want to help to change this narrative, and this can only be done through the support of people within those communities that can help make an impact. The Train the Trainer programme will be open to the wider voluntary sector as well as those from diverse backgrounds as the idea is to create a group of people from varied backgrounds and experiences who can share best practice and increase awareness of how culture, traditions and the family network play a tremendous part on people’s mental health and wellbeing.