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Roma Support Group: Sharing best practice


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The conference "Universal Access to Healthcare in the Age of Migration" hosted a world cafe session where host speakers and delegates shared best practice methods in engaging migrants communities in healthcare services. This presentation is a piece by the Roma Support Group.

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Roma Support Group: Sharing best practice

  1. 1. Roma Support GroupWorld Café Session23 September 2011Access to Universal Healthcare in the Age of Migration Conference<br />
  2. 2. World Café Session - What we will focus on:<br />RSG’s Health Projects, methodology of our work and models of good practice<br />Communication and dialogue with the Roma community<br />Information on health-related issues, customs and taboos<br />
  3. 3. Roma Support Group<br />RSG The Roma Support Group is a community organisation working with East European Roma refugees and migrants since 1998;<br />The RSG was established by the Roma people and it is led by them today;<br />We are now working with over 900 Roma families in London offering a variety of services, mobilising the community through advice and advocacy volunteering schemes and promoting an understanding of Roma culture in the UK.<br />
  4. 4. Methodology<br />The key to our work with the Roma community is:<br />Trust built over many years <br />Respect <br />Unconditional positive regard<br />Empowering community members through projects, such as: a/ focus groups; b/ community meetings; c/ recruiting Roma staff members and volunteers;<br />Holistic approach<br />
  5. 5. Holistic approach<br />Advice and Advocacy<br />
  6. 6. November 2008, RSG Annual General Meeting and 10th Anniversary Celebrations<br />
  7. 7. Rationale of the RSG Health Projects<br />Short life expectancy<br />Main health Problems<br />Lack of information about the Health System and how to access services<br />Language Barriers<br />
  8. 8. Health Awareness and Advocacy Project 2005 - 2008<br />Aim <br /> To improve the health and well-being of the Roma community in London. <br />Activities<br /> Volunteer Health Advocacy Scheme and Newham PCT PALS Link Scheme.<br /> Organising health awareness trainings, events and activities.<br />
  9. 9. RSG Health ProjectsRoma Health Communication Project<br />This project started in May 2009 and is a part of Newham NHS DH Pacesetters Programme<br />Aims & Objectives:<br />Facilitating access to services; <br />Raising awareness of health services available to the Roma community in the L.B. Newham;<br />Increasing awareness of health needs of the Roma community within the health sector.<br />
  10. 10. RSG Health ProjectsRoma Health Communication Project<br />Main activities:<br />Work with individual clients (e.g. GP registration); <br />Provide information about services available;<br />Training for health professionals delivered with our NHS partner.<br />Organising health awareness events;<br />
  11. 11. November 2009, RSG Roma Health Awareness Day<br />
  12. 12. RSG Health ProjectsRoma Mental Health Advocacy Project<br />The Roma Mental Health Project started in August 2008 and is funded by the King’s Fund<br />Project aims:<br />To provide 1-to-1 advocacy to empower Roma, who already use or have expressed an interest in using mental health services.<br />
  13. 13. RSG Health ProjectsRoma Mental Health Advocacy Project<br />The Project Co-ordinator and Mental Health Advocates facilitate access to mental health services by:<br />Offering information on available services and choices; <br />Supporting Roma beneficiaries to recognise their mental health needs; <br />Empowering Roma service users to speak for themselves and ensuring that they can communicate their issues, questions and experiences; <br />Working with mental health professionals to increase knowledge of Roma culture and customs. <br />
  14. 14. February 2009 RSG office, Young People Focus Group<br />
  15. 15. RSG Health ProjectsRoma Mental Health Project<br />This project started in September 2009 and is a part of East London Mental Health Trust DH Pacesetters Programme <br />Project aims:<br />To increase awareness of the health needs of the Roma Community within the mental health sector;<br />To raise awareness of mental health issues within the Roma community.<br />
  16. 16. RSG Health ProjectsRoma Mental Health Project<br />Main Activities:<br />Training for mental health professionals;<br />Exploring mental health and wellbeing issues through focus group meetings with the Roma community, rehearsals and forum theatre performance.<br />
  17. 17. February 2010, Exploring Mental Health and Wellbeing issues, Rehearsal for Forum Theatre Performance<br />
  18. 18. Young Roma Refugees’ Advocacy and Campaigning Project<br />One-to-one advice and advocacy for young Roma in the fields of health, welfare, housing, debts, employment<br />Local and regional advocacy and campaigning to:<br />Achieve recognition of Roma children’s needs and barriers to integration;<br />Achieve and oversee implementation of changes in policy and practice; <br />
  19. 19. Roma Support & Engagement Programme<br />The Roma Support & Engagement Programme is our response to a growing need amongst service providers to ensure specialist and cost-effective interventions for Roma families across the UK. The Programme offers the following services to statutory and voluntary organisations working with Roma refugees and migrants: <br /> training<br /> expert advice<br /> regional forums<br /> capacity building workshops <br /> resources<br />
  20. 20. Recommendations<br />1. Engaging the Roma community in informing and shaping health services<br />Methods:<br />Group consultations <br />Focus groups <br />Individual face to face meetings <br />Organising health information events<br />Involving Roma individuals and community organisations such as Roma Support Group in the role of Cultural Awareness consultants.<br />
  21. 21. Recommendations<br />2. Improving Roma experience of using NHS service<br />Methods:<br />Employing bilingual health advocates and interpreters who have a good understanding of Roma culture and customs and taboos related to health,<br />Producing information leaflets and DVDs in community languages <br />
  22. 22. Recommendations<br />3. Enhancing understanding of Roma culture and barriers, which they face in accessing health services<br />Methods:<br />Cultural awareness training for NHS staff<br />Providing written material for NHS staff about Roma, their culture and health-related customs e.g. articles, quizes etc in internal newsletters, websites, information leaflets and learning packs.<br />
  23. 23. Facilitators<br />Gabriela Smolinska – Poffley<br />Roma Support & Engagement Programme Leader<br /><br />Aleksandra Hall<br /> Young Roma Refugees Advocacy project Co-ordinator<br /><br /><br />