Tackling Inequalities Award
This award recognises inspiring and sustainable projects which are helping to create, influence and deliver change.
2019 Winner - Birmingham St Mary's Hospice
Support at Home is a volunteer-led service providing culturally- specific social support for individuals and families across the diverse city of Birmingham and which aims to reduce social isolation and also strengthen carer resilience.
It was set up following feedback from patient focus groups where patients said they wanted social support in their homes, provided by someone from their own community.
The service has 27 trained volunteers from six different faith backgrounds who speak 19 languages between them and who offer social, practical and emotional support to meet the needs of people from a wide range of communities. Since its launch, Support at Home has expanded from a befriending service to include telephone support and monthly group sessions.
Support at Home is helping to break down barriers for ‘harder-to-reach’ communities and its volunteers act as champions for the hospice, helping to increase public awareness of its services.
The service has supported equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) practices throughout the hospice and Birmingham St Mary’s has become the first UK hospice to be named an Investor in Diversity.
Since its inception, Support at Home has had 203 referrals, a quarter of whom come from harder-to-reach groups.
"I enjoy chatting to my volunteer in my own language as I feel I can express myself. She listens and understands and I don’t know what I would do without her," said one patient who uses the service.
What the judges said:
"This project specifically targets ‘hard to reach’ groups in a personalised way, and has also embedded a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion across the whole organisation."