How to reach Ethnically Diverse Communities

Communities across the UK are diverse, multicultural and when you ask questions, communicate, and interact with others they are not as you would always expect!

Smart is the go-to provider for consulting with Somerset’s diverse communities.  We work alongside Somerset Diverse Communities as part of the big CCS family to ensure that we consult far and wide.  We have unrivalled reach into ethnically diverse communities delivered by a team with lived experience.  Somerset Diverse Communities are trusted and respected by a vast range of ethnically diverse communities and understand how diverse Somerset is, even if that diversity can sometimes seem hidden by some.

We are currently delivering a consultation for Somerset County Council who recognise the pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.  They want to understand how that looks locally.  We are therefore conducing County wide research to examine this for them.

We are also working for Sedgemoor District Council about the issues BAME communities have accessing Council services.  This is being done by questionnaire, as well as with interviews with key stakeholders.  We will issue a final report on this next year, to support the Council to understand these issues, particularly as we all transition into a Unitary Authority.

We are currently working with Westlands and the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, to help them understand how they can continue in their drive to become more inclusive spaces.  We are able to quickly get insight from a huge range of ethnically diverse communities because of our work supporting local initiatives on a day to day basis.

As with all communication during the pandemic everyone had to change their approach. Somerset Diverse Communities part of CCS were reacting like the rest of the country with translations, sharing information and trying to bridge the gaps to ensure no one was excluded or left feeling vulnerable.

With COVID-19 forcing online communication as the main format for contact now is the time to try and connect with as many people in your communities whilst the interactivity has increased. People have upskilled and new relationships have been formed. Make sure you take the time to contact, question and engage with those in your communities.  We are also still meeting people face to face, to help ensure people can connect in a way that is right for them.

Sharing and connecting in as many formats as possible has been key to our work:

Streaming LIVE online – a new but great format to reach a variety of ages groups. Our organisation uses Stream Yard (Link to the programme) alongside Facebook, YouTube and audiences can connect and watch for FREE. Keep as many formats of communication open as possible.

If you’d like to discuss how we can support your organisation or community group become more inclusive and reach Somerset communities that you realise you are missing – please come and talk to us.  Contact kate@somersetrcc.org.uk