How accessible are EDP services to Ethnic Minority communities?

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How accessible are EDP services to Ethnic Minority communities?

It’s a big and important question isn’t it and it’s one that I’m exploring in some depth. My name is Josh Stunell and I am the Founder & CEO of bthechange, a Black led Community Interest Company that operates across The Southwest of England. We work to improve the outcomes for people who are in the criminal justice system and other related services, with a particular focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion.

We have been asked by Devon County Council to explore the potential barriers that individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds may face whilst accessing Together drug & Alcohol services. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to work with all parts of Together who are a well-regarded and much used drug and alcohol service.

So, what are we doing and how are we going about our fact finding? We are looking at accessibility in a wider sense, we will examine both the face to face and digital offer, whilst also exploring and recommending improvements that can be made.

We are starting with the statistics, how many people identify as non-white when they access the service, how many have consented to being approached for the purposes of research and how many people can we reach? At the moment we are working with a small data set but are hopeful that with the support of service managers and team leads we can extend the study. Once we have identified who we can speak to, we will engage with lived experience volunteers who have agreed to call these people and chat through the following key questions:

Question 1:  How accessible (digitally and face to face) are the drug and alcohol treatment services?

Question 2: What improvements can be made to improve the accessibility of Services, for underrepresented individuals/communities.

I will be spending time in the treatment services, interviewing Together staff, there will be a short survey for both staff and people from ethnic minority backgrounds who have accessed these services recently and I will be running surgeries to explain the project & get feedback.  We will be blogging more on this subject and where we find good practice, we will be bringing this to you along with the barriers that are identified. We will also be asking people who have accessed these services who are from ethnic minority backgrounds to let us know about their experiences and we will be highlighting these by lived experience blogs.

Even though the southwest does not have the diversity of population seen in other parts of the country, there are many people from a wide section of our communities that lead insightful and valuable conversations on this subject and bring valuable learning to play that will affect the way that services are offered and we hope to capture as much of this information as possible by having additional conversations and engagements sessions.

If you’d like to be involved or would like to find out more, please contact me,

Contact Josh Stunell on 0800 0016 521.