Latest CS news Collaboration leads to 70K boost to address health inequalities Published 30 Nov 2021 £70, 000 boost for Black and Minority Ethnic community groups to pioneer projects addressing Health Inequalities. Two influential Southwark networks which we facilitate, Race Equality and Cultural Heritage (R.E.A.C.H) and the Latin American Network, both working to increase voice and representation for their communities, have secured a much-needed collaboration with Partnership Southwark* to help address health inequalities for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities who live in Southwark. The is a ground-breaking collaboration which will see approximately £70,000 of funds from Partnership Southwark go directly to the networks for them to develop a grant programme, manage the funds and make decisions on who will receive the grants from this funding pot. Doreen Sinclair McCollin, vice chair of R. E. A.C.H, is more than excited about this initiative and sees it as a big step forward, “This initiative will put BME voices at the centre of addressing health inequalities and provide an opportunity for us to share the news more widely of the complex and inspiring work being done in the community by grassroots BME groups” The Latin American community is the fastest growing ethnic minority community in Southwark. Jhon Marulanda who chairs the Latin American Network says that, “our community knows full well about how health inequalities especially around linguistic services for example, makes it difficult for Latin American residents in Southwark to access general health care. He sees the intention behind the new programme”, as a great way of making sure that bodies like Partnership Southwark first check in with the BME community and listen to what they have to say and support the solutions we come up with. Everyone can learn and benefit from what works and what doesn’t, in our efforts to help reduce poverty and harm to BME communities. Programmes like this have the potential to be the catalyst for ending systems of health inequalities” Wendy McDermott, Programme Manager, for Partnership Southwark values the opportunity to work in partnership with Voluntary and Community Sector organisations. She says, “for the benefit of our communities as a Partnership that spans health, care and the VCS we are focused on improving health and well-being outcomes and addressing inequalities for Southwark residents. Partnership Southwark have recently agreed funding to test a new grants programme with the Southwark R.E.A.C.H and Latin American Network. This is an exciting development for our communities, and we are delighted to be working as partners with the VCS sector to support community informed and co-produced initiatives that tackle the known inequalities for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities”. A panel made up of representatives from both networks and from Partnership Southwark will be set up to make decisions on grant applications to the pot.