Angela Kandola, Executive Dirctor at AWAAZ explores the benefits of working in Partnership.
At AWAAZ, we offer a BME specialist service and we have been involved with Opportunity Nottingham (ON) since the very beginning of the project in July 2014. It was widely recognised when the ON project was in development that a BME specialist service was an essential element of the project, to ensure that we could engage with some of the most hard to reach groups experiencing complex needs in Nottingham City.
AWAAZ has been established for over 22 years, and we provide a variety of services for BME and emerging communities in Nottingham City. These include; independent living support services, anti-stigma support and women’s support groups. As a contracted Partner of ON, we work with Beneficiaries in exactly the same way as the ON project, taking referrals and making assessments to ensure we support people experiencing a significant level of chaos in their lives. Our knowledge and expertise in working with BME and emerging communities enables us to access and engage with Beneficiaries who might otherwise remain hidden.
We have an excellent working relationship with the ON Project Manager and the wider ON Team. Our cultural awareness and understanding of sensitivities across different communities enables us to work with the ON Team and reduce barriers that could otherwise decrease much needed support for Beneficiaries. We are in regular contact with the Project Manager, and attend ON team meetings when possible. I am also an active member of the Opportunity Nottingham Board, inputting at a strategic level on key decisions for the ON project.
We also work together to deliver events. Most recently, was the launch of Nottingham Mental Health Awareness Week and Black History Month. Working with the ON Team we delivered an event that was well attended, informative and fun! But most importantly, it communicated some essential messaging around mental ill health in the BME community.
I look forward to seeing our Beneficiaries lives improve as we continue to work in close partnership with the ON project, to ensure people experiencing multiple and complex needs are able to live fulfilled lives.