Minutes of Gloucester Forum Meeting

Gloucester Voluntary and Community Sector Forum
Wednesday 1 October 2014
GAVCA Gloucester Office,
City Works, Gloucester.
1. Welcome and Apologies
Robin Agascar
Claire Banks
Kate Darch
Peter Guns
Bev Hemming
Shelley Humpage
Howard Hyman
Jane Jarman
Katie Lake
Tessa Liebschner
Lisa Stafford
Alzheimer’s Society
Gloucestershire Boys Brigade
Third Sector Services
Gloucestershire Gay and Lesbian Community
GAIN project, GL Communities
British Red Cross
In attendance – invited speakers:
Haroon Kadodia
Glos County Council, Community Development Support Team,
Deputy Manager
Zain Patel
2gether NHS Foundation Trust
Carena Sharpley
Glos County Council, Community Development Support Team,
Fieldworker for Chinese Community
Carol Sterling
Glos County Council, Community Development Support Team,
Fieldworker for African Caribbean Community
Sarah Culbert
Donna Powney
Kimberley Wall
Nelson Trust
British Red Cross
Relate Gloucestershire & Swindon.
2. Minutes of the Forum meeting held on 4 June 2014 – approved as a correct
record. There were no matters arising.
FORUM THEME – Working with older people in Gloucester.
An opportunity to consider the challenges facing older people and the local groups that aim to
support them/ their carers, especially those who originate from other cultures, as well as to
share good practice in order to ensure that older people are able to remain active and continue
to make valued contributions to their community.
Katie Lake, GRCC In Touch Adviser, outlined this countywide project that supports any
health or social related activity for older people as a means to reduce loneliness and isolation.
The GRCC holds a database of some 400 clubs in the county, which are supported to be legal
and sustainable and are kept informed of funding, health, social and welfare issues via a bimonthly newsletter; this mail out can include advertisements from other organisations for
relevant work or initiatives. Other club support includes free transport to events and a
speakers list resource. The In Touch project explores new partnerships and builds on the
information coming from Village and Community Agents to develop specialist projects that will
enable older people to meet new friends. For example: a knitting club in Stroud linked to the
recent Tour of Britain cycle event; a men’s social group meeting monthly at Kingsholm Rugby
Club, (ideal for those who enjoy reminisce about playing/supporting/watching sport) – always
willing to try new ideas.
Through the autumn months, the project is touring an information event – an opportunity to try
new activities and to talk with local agencies; the Gloucester event date is Tuesday 4
November at St George’s Church Hall, Tuffley.
There is also currently a research project being undertaken around loneliness and isolation for
people of all ages in the county; free post return forms.
Carena Sharpley and Carol Sterling are members of the County Council’s Community
Development Support Team, who work to support and assist people from the BME and
migrant communities. Carena’s specialism is the Chinese community and Carol’s the African
Caribbean community; there are also staff whose expertise is the Asian and the Eastern
European communities; the team’s deputy manager is Haroon Kadodia. Case studies were
outlined to describe the wide range of work undertaken.
The team undertake a range of fieldwork with groups (building capacity and capability) and
with individuals, including casework support where there are barriers to accessing mainstream
services due to language, culture, ethnicity and/or religion. Part of their role is to undertake
care assessments and to advise other staff and services around specific cultural issues to take
into account in planning and service delivery.
An expertise within the team is insight into typical health issues impacting on the differing BME
community elders, as well as cultural sensitivities that need accommodating within residential
care settings (eg diet, personal care, religious customs).
There is concern within the team about the lack of services for older Chinese and about the
vulnerability of many of the smaller local groups / lunch clubs run by and for the BME
communities. There are often funding and capacity building issues.
Zain Patel, from the 2gether Foundation Trust, spoke about mental health issues affecting
older members of the community, their experience of older people services and the impact of,
for instance, dementia on the broader community and resources. It was noted that the Asian
and Afro-Caribbean communities are at particular risk of developing dementia. Zain referred to
a number of initiatives that address these issues, such as:
 BME Dementia Network of front line workers and stakeholders;
 Training provided to NHS staff around the cultural needs of older people, as well as
champion training;
 A Managing Memory team;
 Dementia Friends model – in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society;
 Dementia Link scheme.
In the course of the general discussion about the challenges faced by many elderly care home
residents with specific cultural or religious needs, the plight of elderly members of the LGBT
community was also highlighted; described as a ‘timebomb’, many gay care home residents
are having to ‘go back into the closet’ to protect themselves from prejudice and are again living
in a state of fear.
The speakers from this themed session expressed interest in exploring more partnership work,
for example to support the sustainability of some of the smaller BME voluntary groups or to
improve awareness in the voluntary and community sector of the wide range of services
available to older people. It was agreed that Jane will organise a follow up meeting to involve
all speakers and GAVCA.
Social Prescribing by GPs – update from Jane Jarman
Following from the March Forum meeting’s focus on Social Prescribing in Gloucester, GAVCA
assisted the Clinical Commissioning Group to organise a consultation event on 15 July. This
was very well attended by the voluntary and community sector, as well as by local GPs,
Clinical Commissioning Group representatives, the City Council and Gloucester City Homes.
The event took the format of a presentation highlighting local data and outlines of other pilot
programmes around the county, followed by discussion groups. The outcome was the setting
up of a working group to progress the pilot in Gloucester, based on cross-city GP practices
and all adults (ie not limited to older people, as originally anticipated). The enthusiasm for
rapid implementation by GPs present was not necessarily supported by the VCS
representatives and issues of cost and capacity were again emphasised.
The working group met in September and it is understood that the City Council will host this
piece of work and act as the ‘hub’ through which GP referrals will be received and allocated
out to the VCS partners. GAVCA is now no longer involved in the working group; this is being
undertaken by the VCS Alliance, which has recently appointed Gem Sweet for this work.
Forum members wished for ongoing updates to be provided to future Forum meetings and
GAVCA will work with the Alliance to ensure that members are kept informed.
5. VCS Information Share
Fair Shares – Shelley reported on a recent holiday for Fair Shares participants, which took 11
people with a variety of disabilities to Bournemouth for four days. Barnwood Trust helped with
the costs.
Police and Crime Commissioner ‘Older But Not Overlooked’ funding has been secured for a
project where volunteers will help to improve the security at OAP homes, eg hedge cut backs
or security lighting.
The Helping Hands befriending project needs more volunteers.
The Leyhill Prison ‘Times 2’ project, where prisoners are being trained to teach other prisoners
maths and the trainer prisoners receive time credits, is to be rolled out to other prisoners.
Core funding remains an issue.
Alzheimer’s Society – The organisation has 9 advisers; Claire covers Gloucester City, with a
focus on BME groups. They provide information and support to people with any form of
dementia, and their carers, and run a variety of support groups and discreet projects for both
the dementia sufferer and their carer including:
 Singing for the Brain - held at Hucclecote Rugby Club, Churchdown Lane GL3 3LF, on
alternate Wednesdays 10.30 – 12.00 (next: 5 & 19 November; 3 & 17* December)
*different venue- Agriculture House.
 Memory Café – Agriculture House, Greville Close, Sandhurst Lane, GL2 9RG, open once
a month on Wednesdays 11.30 – 2.00pm (next: 13 Nov and 11 Dec)
 Gloucester Art Group - held at City Works, Alfred Street, GL1 4DF on alternate Tuesdays,
10.30 – 12.30. (next: 4 & 18 Nov, 2, 16 & 30 Dec) Ring 01452 525222 to book first
Gloucestershire Gay & Lesbian Community Group – this group started some 40 years ago and
developed into a weekly social group, mainly attracting older members. They will be holding a
40 anniversary lunch at the New County Inn and have a pop up event in Eastgate on 10
October. Looking to get more involved in the community.
GayGlos – the youth group, for 14-18 year olds, continues to flourish, even though some have
now moved on to college and university. Work in schools has started up again this term. They
are also assisting a number of people through GARAS who are seeking asylum, mainly from
African communities, where there is harsh anti-gay legislation. It was noted that more than 50
of the 60+ countries taking part in the Commonwealth Games this year have anti-gay
The Pride event, anticipated in June Forum, was a really great day with 2500 participants in
the park and 400/500 on the parade.
Gloucestershire Advice and Information Network – establishing this network is slowly moving
forward but still early days. Volunteers are being trained as ‘gateway’ assessors and will start
sitting in community hubs. Baseline work is being undertaken and a booklet about advice
providers prepared. Training around energy saving advice is being delivered to some agencies
between now and April. CAB and GL Communities have received additional funding towards
debt / money advice.
Third Sector Services – The good news is that the transport work is growing but they are
suffering from being victims of their own success, as they are now very much in need of
additional transport. Bev urged any community group with spare/down time for their own
minibuses to get in touch and to explore shared use of vehicles to maximise the community
benefit. They also always need more volunteers.
Boys Brigade – The move of their camp site to Brean has been completed and all equipment
now moved across. There are expanded activities throughout the Gloucester battalion and
they are now working with the YMCA.
British Red Cross - Lisa highlighted that those working with groups who are ‘at risk’ of a first
aid emergency (eg older people, homeless, drug/alcohol users etc), the British Red Cross can
offer a 2 hour session of ‘Everyday First Aid’ to give them the skills they need to help
themselves and their peers in case of an emergency. Training is for groups of up to 20
people. Usual cost is £180 but if funding is limited please give them a call anyway. If you are
interested, email Elisha on wagpt@redcross.org.uk or phone 01452 726661.
6. Any Other Business - none
7. Date of Next Meeting: 2.00- 4.00pm, Wednesday 3 December 2014, at City Works,
Alfred Street, Gloucester GL1 4DF.
Theme: ‘Have you considered the value of community arts to your organisation?’.
Members also requested that Gareth Hooper, Gloucester City Council, be invited to the
next Forum, to share news about any future community grants programme and about
monitoring arrangements for current grant holders.