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 targeted our voluntary and community organisations operating in Slough and surrounding areas working directly with and supporting, families and children.
The aim of this programme is 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 is 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 façade. 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.
In late March 2022 we completed our first course, celebrating the achievements of eight local people who qualified and will now be able to train others. Through this process our relationships were strengthened which will also benefit local communities.
With continuous monitoring and feedback throughout the course we have identified areas for improvement and where we can offer extra support. We are excited by the interest and enthusiasm that has been shown towards the course and look forward to sharing more with you as we progress.