Introduction and background to the bureau
Ynys Môn is a rural Bureau, with 65,000 residents on the Island. We offer a face to face drop in service in at least one of our Bureau or outreaches Mon-Thurs. We can offer Polish, Romanian, Mandarin and Welsh language interpretation at interview. Client profile indicates main users are still White British, but we are seeing a slight increase in ethnic minority users.
The approach you adopted to mainstreaming race discrimination advice and why.
Limited race discrimination advice is given where issues are identified. In some areas, such as for employment issues clients usually do not want to take it up because they fear losing their jobs. Advisers have undergone training to encourage them to ask the relevant question and we now ensure that it is noted in the case notes that race discrimination could be part of the issue, but that the client does not wish to follow it up.
What difference has the project made
The main difference is the raising of awareness of discrimination by the advisers and the importance of noting it. The project has helped with the printing of bureau opening times in Polish which have been distributed in areas that we are aware have large populations of Migrant workers, thus increasing the number through the door
What is the role of community development in the project
The project has helped support another EHRC project, the first thing that was noted was the high level of race discrimination – particularly in some of the public sector organisations. The project helped with the with the development, printing and distribution of a ‘Myth busting Leaflet’, which has been widely distributed on the island, through schools, colleges and GP surgeries. We have also held Diversity and Discrimination workshops at the local further education college and also secondary schools
How sustainable is the work
The work would only be sustainable with the help of further funding
Do you think CAB services are accessible to BAME communities in your rural area?
We try to make them as accessible as possible, we now offer an early morning appointment to facilitate workers coming off shift or before starting work, there was also a Saturday morning drop in/ appointment service offered under the Additional Hours of Advice project, however this finished in March. We now have a telephone service on a Saturday. We also have 2 trained Polish speaking advisers available for appointments on a Monday and Wednesday
What local training was provided and by whom
Both paid staff and Volunteers underwent race discrimination training carried out by our Specialist Support Unit
We also held a multi-cultural day, were peoples from different races, religons etc came in and discussed their cultures and customs, they were all very frank and open. It proved to be a very interesting day and actually resulted in a South Korean lady joining us as a volunteer. Awareness was raised about various cultures – not holding eye contact is a sign of deference in some cultures – not rudeness or shiftiness. Muslim men are unlikely to want to shake hands with a woman and so on. This training was facilitated by ~Helga Ukermann