With 20 million people in the UK now vaccinated against coronavirus and more positive stories being shared every day, there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a disproportionate effect on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the UK, and Race Equality Network are now embarking on new ways to ensure the safety of these communities.
In February 2021, Bradford Council, Stronger Communities was awarded funding to increase the current efforts taking place across the district on COVID-19 messaging, Test and Trace engagement and sharing reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccinations. This work will take the form of the COVID-19 Community Champions Project – a collaborative project which will run from February to July 2021.
The top priority of the project is to reach communities who are vulnerable to COVID-19, or may not be receiving necessary important information through mainstream channels. To do this, the project will be delivered in partnership; The Race Equality Network will be increasing awareness and engagement with groups from ethnic minority, migrant and diaspora backgrounds, and Equality Together will work to increase reach to people with disabilities. The collaborative approach will ensure that each partner is putting their existing connections to best use.
The driving force of the COVID-19 Community Champions Project will be the 300 Community Champions who will be recruited from communities across Bradford. The champions will each receive training so that they can be best-equipped to educate, inform and support their communities to protect themselves against the virus and make the important decision whether to have the vaccine. The Champions will be involved in anti-rumour work and will learn to provide support via WhatsApp, Zoom and face-to-face to those who need it.
The Race Equality Network will be working with over 30 grass-roots community organisations across Bradford District and four key anchor organisations who have been identified as having invaluable reach across communities that are often less visible. These anchors are the Black Health Forum, Girlington Centre, Bangladeshi Youth Organisation and Connecting Roma. We value the commitment of every organisation participating in this project and recognise it wouldn’t be possible without you.
We’d like to remind everyone across the District that this project relies upon the cooperation and collaboration of communities fighting together against this virus. The increased uptake of the vaccine is a fantastic reflection on Bradford’s commitment to protecting its communities, and we encourage everyone to pair this with continued vigilance towards Hands, Face, Space and following the COVID-19 restrictions that are in place.
If you are interested in being becoming a COVID-19 Community Champion, please click here to find out more about the application process:
We have recently recruited a Project Coordinator, Adiba Rashid, who will be monitoring and coordinating the delivery of the project. If you have any questions about the project or becoming a Champion, or if you are an organisation who would like to be involved, please email email@example.com