Bridging Inequalities – Big Lottery Fund

People and Places 2010 – 2013

A 3-year grant of over 180,000 was awarded to the Swansea Chinese Community Co-op Centre (SCCCC) to support vulnerable Chinese people with limited English communication skills, to access local services provided by public, private, and third sector organisations in the Swansea Bay area. The project allowed for the employment of a Project Manager, and one Advocacy officer to promote equality, social inclusion, and justice – but most importantly, to allow for the voices of the Chinese community to be heard.

Aims:

  • Empower Chinese people to speak up on issues which have an adverse effect on the quality of their lives;
  • Advocate the needs of the Chinese community to the local public, private and third sector service providers;
  • Provide the support not achieved by interpretation alone – through a well-rounded advocacy service for the Chinese community which meets their needs on a cultural and linguistic level;
  • To assist local and national statutory bodies, as well as public, private, and third sector organisations collect and evaluate research data to positively influence the impact that policy makers have on our Chinese community.

Key Findings:

  • The key services which required advocacy support consisted of Legal (23%), Health (22%) and Housing (7%).
  • Almost 50% of support provided consisted of translating letters to or from beneficiaries.
  • The majority of beneficiaries did not know where to access different of services

Outcomes:

  • The local Chinese community are more informed of the support available in accessing services available to them through talks and workshops; including Swansea Women’S Aid, Action for Children, Welsh Ambulance Service, YMCA, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea Museum, Police, and Healthcare.
  • Thoughts and concerns of beneficiaries were communicated to a wide array of organisations at a local and strategic level (local authority, local services, government)

Developments:

Since the project’s end in October 2013, the SCCCC has been continuing the work initiated by the BI project on a limited capacity, until new funding streams are available to employ more qualified staff to support vulnerable members of the community. The SCCCC is currently working with Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council for the ‘Voices Have Spoken’ and ‘Minority Ethnic Elders Advocacy Project’ to ameliorate the cultural and communication barriers the community continues to face.