Here and Now conferenceLast Thursday, we held our annual conference at Wolverhampton Racecourse and it was fabulous to see so many ARC members in attendance!

The day had a packed agenda starting with the launch of the findings from the ‘Here to Stay’ project by Dr. Olga Kozlowska, Research Fellow, on behalf of the University of Wolverhampton. It certainly made for fascinating listening. The 5-year research project looked at the experience of people with a learning disability from established ethnic minority communities and new migrant communities in England. From this, 40 statements that the research team believe would greatly improve wellbeing were developed.

These included, for example:

  • “More targeted projects focusing on increasing access and utility of services from ethnic minority and new migrant communities should be commissioned”
  • “Statutory services should work closely with organisations based in communities to build effective networks to access communities”
  • “Services should be more proactive in engaging minority communities to ensure that they meet their needs”
  • “Practitioners should have training in diversity (cultural), equality and legal issues, and in skills for responsive engagement with service users and their communities”

Interesting stuff. The message is loud and clear, the number of people, from minority communities, who access support services is extremely low – for a myriad of reasons. The key thing is what we now do with the findings. We are currently investigating how ARC England can help providers and commissioners practically implement some of the recommendations. The momentum will continue. This issue is not going to disappear, if anything it will gather pace and together we can make a positive change. The final report will be available next month and the Executive Summary is available now. Any comments you may have would be gratefully received.

Photo Here and Now conferenceARC England can support you with cultural awareness training, as well as diversity, inclusion and equality workshops for your staff teams. So just let us know if we can help! Thinking about it, they are key components of the Care Certificate too. Talking of which, our ‘Getting Started with the Care Certificate’ pack is now available. We know that some of you are struggling with the implementation of Care Certificate. We can offer Train the Trainer workshops too. So, please, once again get in touch!

So what next… Going forward ARC England is focusing on a regional events programme so that we can reach more of you, more regularly. It is apparent that although the issues across the sector are similar, the scale of them differs from region to region…. Our events will have national relevance with a regional voice.

We are in the throws of planning 3 small regional events for November regarding the National Living Wage. The idea is that the sessions are a platform to share best practice and to talk with Commissioners and local Councillors to look at practical application of strategies to strengthen market positioning for providers. We will also have a representative from Weightmans Solicitors in attendance with the legal angle. We will keep you updated!

Lots to do and lots to look forward to! As always drop us a line or give us a call on 01246 555 043 if there is anything we can support you with.

Yours,

Lisa Lenton

ARC England Director