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A great evening of conversation - Let's Reason... Black males building trust

H&F NHS Listening Event hosted by ASÉ & H&F Parent/Carer Champions

Black Males Building Trust – Let’s Reason… NHS Listening Event on Tuesday, 26th September 2023 @ 5pm in the Studio @Westworks, White City Place, Facilitated by Active Successful Engagement CIC (ASÉ).

In an empowering and thought-provoking gathering, black males recently came together to participate in the “Let’s Reason… Black Males Building Trust – H&F NHS Listening Event”. This event marked a significant milestone in the ongoing dialogue surrounding discrimination and racism within the NHS, creating a safe and confidential space for 25 black males to share their lived experiences, thoughts, concerns and solutions.

The event offered a platform for participants to engage in meaningful, open discussion. Des and Kes from ASÉ, skilfully facilitated the session, as black males shared essential information, and expressed emotional lived experiences. Throughout this initiative, the goal was not only to highlight the challenges the black community faces, but also to inspire black men to feel empowered, to reflect on their mental health and holistic wellbeing, take action to seek appropriate support and medical advice, and actively participate in driving real change to improve our community’s care within H&F’s healthcare system.

Key Participants:

· Nicola Kay, Director of Partnerships, Population Health and Reducing Inequalities

· June Farquharson, Assistant Director Population Health and Inequalities ICB (Integrated Care Board)

· Julius Olu, Assistant Director for Public Health and Social Care Commissioning

· Councillor Frances Umeh, (due to last minute changes couldn't attend on this occasion however, sent much appreciated words of encouragement and support).

· Sam Lewis, Community Outreach Officer

· Nick Skoric, Communications Manager

· Officers Melissa, Rahul, Melissa B, Ayub and Henry, Youth Engagement & Diversion Team (Met Police)

· Chonice Kirlew, Project Support Officer

"Let’s Reason…" welcomed a diverse group of individuals, including health professionals, community leaders, and advocates who understand the significance of addressing discrimination and bias within the healthcare sector. It was a true testament to the collective commitment to fostering a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system.

“Let’s Reason…” wasn't only about identifying the challenges it was about exploring solutions together as a community. The participants, had the opportunity to share experiences and engage in open conversations within their groups, promoting solidarity amongst black males, whilst feeding back key points raised to the wider audience.

The importance of Dialogue:

The strength of events like this lies in the dialogue and facilitation. The Building Trust programme is lead by Sam Lewis, Community Outreach Officer. Sam and Nick Skoric, Communications Manager, have played a crucial role in cultivating the momentum and instilling this initiative with a genuine spirit. Through their unwavering commitment, tireless effort, and steadfast dedication, they have connected with grassroots organisations, built trust and fostered authenticity.

Honest and open conversation led to a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by black males in the healthcare system. Through sharing experiences, participants found “their voice” and solace in knowing that they are not alone in their struggles and can support one another.

Empowering Black Men:

One of the primary goals of the event was to empower black men to reflect on their health and wellbeing, and to drive systemic change within the healthcare service. The evening emphasized the importance of seeking appropriate medical support and encouraged participants to raise their expectations of their healthcare system. This is a crucial step towards dismantling systemic racism and ensuring that every individual, regardless of their race, receives high quality healthcare.

The Role of Allies:

The event also had the support of allies, such as the key Officers, H&F Youth Engagement and Diversion Team (YET) Met Police and our dedicated team of H&F Parent/Carer Champions. Their involvement showcases the importance of a collaborative effort in addressing discrimination and racism in healthcare. It emphasizes that change requires the participation of all stakeholders, working together to make the healthcare system more inclusive and equitable.

Next Steps:

June Farquharson, Assistant Director Population Health and Inequalities ICB, gave a moving heartfelt and inspirational message connecting with those in the room, building trust whilst urging the community to engage with this process and share the information within the community, to raise awareness to further support H&F and the NHS to improve their service.

Nick, announced exciting news that attendees can expect an update on the next steps at the upcoming Building Trust - Listening Event scheduled for November 2023 (date and time tbc). This forward-looking approach ensures that the momentum generated by ASÉ’s events, together with the other borough wide events that have already taken place, is not lost but rather ensures that this momentum endures capturing a diverse range of voices representing the driving force behind ongoing transformations and improvements within H&F NHS.

In conclusion, the success of Let’s Reason… Black Males Building Trust reflects a significant step forward in addressing discrimination and racism within the healthcare sector. It demonstrates the strength of open dialogue, community support, and collaboration in the pursuit of a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system. With the commitment and dedication of those involved, the event sets the stage for positive change and we eagerly anticipate the updates to come in November 2023.

Stay tuned for more on this inspiring journey towards an inclusive and transformed healthcare system.

A big thank you to everyone that attended and supported this event – we appreciate you.

Team ASÉ & PCCs

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