Coronavirus has had a huge and adverse impact on people, while health and social care messages have not been effectively disseminated to diverse communities. This includes key public health messages like social distancing and testing and contract tracing measures.

This outreach programme has worked to break down any barriers preventing people using the NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect service and support a two-way communication between organisations and communities. The project helps to communicate key messages and dispel any myths and false information (such as about vaccines).

The programme supports diverse communities to tackle the wider range of access to healthcare issues and improving how services can be provided more effectively for these communities. It is led by Swansea University Health Board in partnership with both Swansea, and Neath Port Talbot, Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS and NPTCVS).

Working with partners and other stakeholders, the team engage with diverse individuals, groups and organisations with the aim of ensuring equitable access to health and wellbeing advice and services.

The project supports diverse communities to be empowered, to understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to keeping themselves safe and well, and how they can access health care services. 

It plays an important role in identifying trusted community intermediaries and establishing mechanisms to sustain future engagement. It was able to support the response to COVID-19 outbreaks in local areas using existing networks, skills and services within diverse communities and third sector organisations, utilising knowledge of the locality, and mobilising others (volunteers, intermediaries, translators etc.). 

The programme will also gather experience and learning of running a community development outreach programme to inform longer-term provision for diverse communities and other protected groups in relation to health.

The programme will achieve its aims through 4 strategies:

  • Engagement and awareness raising
  • Accessibility
  • Inclusive policy and decision making
  • Training and capacity Building

Outreach Engagement

Chai & Chat Sessions: Sharing Key Health Messages with Ethnic Minority Communities

Chai and Chat sessionOne way to help engage with ethnic minority communities has been the creation of various platforms like the Chai & Chat group sessions. These are regular in-person drop in platforms set up to share key health messages with individuals from diverse communities.  

Both the Women’s and the Men’s groups invite a weekly guest speaker to discuss a health and wellbeing topic. Subjects have included nutrition, various types of Screenings, Immunisations, available local support and wellbeing projects, amongst others. 

Working in collaboration with other organisations such as Race Council Cymru and the African Community Centre helps provide a range of support during the delivery and facilitation of these groups.

Swansea Community FlavoursSwansea Community Flavours Project

The success of the ongoing Chai & Chat platform was core to the development of Swansea Community Flavours, a project facilitated by Swansea National Waterfront Museum in conjunction with the programme, Swansea Bay university health board, Swansea Women’s Group, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Shared plate.

This initiative used the cooking and sharing of traditional food to engage, integrate and upskill women, improving their confidence and their mental and general health and wellbeing. The participants were cooking up their favourite recipes from their homelands and sharing their recipes/ingredients skills with one another, improving their English and making new friends. 

The project had an additional benefit for Swansea Waterfront Museum, who required an ethnically diverse team to prepare and cook the annual GRAFT supper they provide during Refugee Week. The GRAFT supper brought communities together through sharing food and recipes to celebrate the beauty of diversity in Swansea.   

Images from the Community Flavours sessions were then showcased in an exhibition in the National Waterfront Museum Gallery space from October 2023 to January 2024.

How you or your organisation can support this programme:

  • Join the local working group on health
  • Pass on issues and barriers you hear from the community you support
  • Recommend individuals to talk to the team through our focus groups, chai and chat sessions; engage in social media information networks i.e. WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.
  • Highlight to the team any other areas you think need strategic action.
  • Share our contacts with those you think can benefit from the service.

The team are happy to 'bridge that gap'.

To find out more, please contact:

Hannah Sabatia - [email protected] / 07538105650