Community Engagement on the Ashanti Service in Luton

The Ashanti Community Support Team works with adults from African and Caribbean backgrounds who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

Acting as a gateway to services for people from the African and Caribbean community who are experiencing difficulty in engaging with mental health services. It works to make sure clients receive the right support in the community so they can maintain their mental health and independence.

We held three workshops to explore the issues from a range of different perspectives. Ashanti Service Users and Carers, wider organisations and interested people and professionals, 49 people took part overall.

Each workshop ran to the same format and timetable, with each group responding to the same questions using the same process. This approach allows for a comparison of information and data from differing perceptions and provides a more even and equal way of gaining feedback against some agreed questions.

Through the workshops we identified a number of ‘hot’ issues, including: celebrating and protecting cultural identity, open, welcoming and accessible to new and existing users alike, safety and familiarity, the value of social space and interaction, recognition of social value in commissioning, wellness and health promotion, open dialogue – no surprises. 

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