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Needs assessment for ethnic minority people

Meeting: 03/10/2023 - Equalities Panel (Item 17)

17 Needs assessment for ethnic minority people pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Helen Crowther (Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer)

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Helen Crowther, Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer, provided an overview of findings of a needs assessment of ethnic minority people in Cambridge that was commissioned by Cambridge City Council and undertaken by Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum in 2021. There were 132 responses to the needs assessment. Information on the ethnic background of respondents was shared and other characteristics of respondents. Key findings shared were captured in the background report for the Panel meeting. In addition, Helen also shared emerging recommendations based on key learning from the findings, including to:

·      Raise awareness of what happens when hate crime is reported to encourage increase in reporting.

·      Raise awareness of support available through public services for groups with highest needs for public services, especially for those who may be less likely to access them. (Louise Tan from Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum added the importance of raising awareness of the Racial Harassment Service of Cambridge City Council too.)

·      Look into current opportunities for ethnic groups and organisations that support them to feed into the development of policy.

·      Explore the potential to work with employer networks to connect business to ethnic minority communities, especially Black communities, to provide greater employment opportunities that match levelsof educational attainment.

·      Explore how to tackle difficulties in accessing health services with the Integrated Care System (ICS) and Health Equality Partnership.

·      Further exploration with communities of findings from this research to get further context.

Whilst Helen was presenting, Eddie Stadnik and Louise Tan added clarifying comments relating to the findings. Comments included:

·      Findings around poverty for South Asian people in the survey are consistent with national statistics indicating housing costs and food poverty is especially an issue for Bangladeshi and Pakistani households.

·      Issues in accessing health services for ethnic minority groups have also arisen in other health projects that the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum has worked on with other partners like the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service and Cambridge City Council with the Integrated Care System. This is especially a concern as Covid-19 has further exacerbated health issues.

·      25% of East and South East Asian people were not confident in using IT in the survey despite educational and financial status.

·      For the indications of social exclusion for survey respondents, there was an increase of between 10% to 15% after Covid-19.

Comments and questions were shared by Panel members, including:

·      One member expressed that they were disappointed at the low response rate to the survey and questioned whether the findings of the survey were sufficiently representative to be used by the Council to inform future decisions. They  felt that using council resources for research with a low response rate was unfair to ethnic minority communities.

·      Another member shared that they felt the response rate was a very large sample for a qualitative piece of social research and therefore was robust.

·      How many replies were from students?

·      What was the proportion uncomfortable applying for jobs with businesses?

In response to the questions and comments:

·      Helen Crowther shared that 4 people completing the survey were in full time education or training and that people were not explicitly asked if they felt comfortable applying for jobs in the business sector. They were asked about comfortableness applying for jobs in specific public sector organisations, the voluntary and community sector and areas of transport, leisure and recreation and training.

·      Eddie Stadnik shared that the main intention of the research was to collect information from seldom heard communities who needed more prompting and support to undertake the survey. The 132 respondents were responding on behalf of their households too, which meant they reflected the experiences of far more people than the 132 individual respondents. Moreover, the findings mirror that of other research (local and national), so it is likely that with a larger response rate the findings  would still be similar.


Meeting: 04/07/2023 - Equalities Panel (Item 6.)

6. Needs assessment for ethnic minority people pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Helen Crowther (Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer)

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