EQUAL HERTS – Next Steps

Hertfordshire Equality Council has been successful with their Awards 4 All application for 2019-2020.
The project will take the next step forward from our 2017/2018 pilot community engagement project Equal Herts, where we learned that organisational capacity and confidence are low in community facing organisations and they have no clear route to engage with statutory authorities.
EQUAL HERTS Next Steps – will extend these conversations with communities we engaged with in our pilot and reach out to communities we have not connected with yet. Currently these communities live in semi isolation from each other and have very limited engagement with public bodies. Our desktop research into equality reporting and our discussions with HealthWatch Hertfordshire and the Police Commissioner show that they have limited understanding of the impact and complexities of the problems faced by a number of people and their communities accessing services to try to find solutions to their issues/concerns.
EQUAL HERTS project for example will;

  1. hold meetings with communities to consolidate the relationship and deepen our understanding of their challenges and aspirations
  2. reach out to 5-6 new communities including faith based organisations, and older people to identify key issues, work with community leaders to begin rebuilding the capacity of the organisation to self-advocate
  3. work with Herts County Council’s Equality and Diversity unit, community organisations and community leaders to deliver a joint event on engaging organisations within the charity and voluntary sector.
    The project aim is to;
     Bring together and support disparate, disengaged communities to engage in constructive dialogue and develop the confidence to advocate for themselves.
     increase public sector awareness of the aspirations of communities and the challenges they face
     Influence public sector policy work and service delivery to create a more cohesive and inclusive Hertfordshire
    The loss of council support for community organisations was seen as key to their sense of inability to advocate and improve their circumstances.
    If you or your organisation wish to be involved – get in touch with us info@hertsequality.org
    This project is supported by The National Lottery Community Fund