Listen, Learn, Adapt project launches in Bucks

Citizens Advice Bucks is delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new collaborative project called “Listen Learn Adapt”.

Working in partnership with four other Buckinghamshire based charities (Buckinghamshire Mind, The Oasis Partnership, Age UK Buckinghamshire, Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust ) the projects ultimate aim is to enable all five organisations to better serve members of our community from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The Listen Learn Adapt project has been kindly funded by the Buckinghamshire Wellbeing Capacity Fund jointly commissioned by The Rothschild Foundation, Heart of Bucks and The Clare Foundation.

Listen Learn Adapt Social Media Picture FINAL

The grant was created to respond to the challenges Covid-19 has had on the wellbeing of Buckinghamshire residents, especially those who have been, and will continue to be, disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the related effects. The one-off grant was offered to deliver a holistic project that works to create new capacity to support wellbeing across the county and make Buckinghamshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic sustainable, with reach into all communities.

The Listen Learn Adapt project partners came together in recognition of the fact that many people from minority ethnicity backgrounds have been disproportionality affected by the catastrophic consequences of the Covid virus from health, community and economical perspectives, but may be hesitant or reluctant to approach local services when they find themselves in need of support.

Our organisations recognised that our engagement levels with people from minority ethnicity backgrounds don’t correlate with the make-up of our local community when looking specifically at ethnicities, and we wanted to make strides to remedy this. As such our collective organisations have been funded to undertake a project that will allow us to:

  • Listen

We will seek to capture our community’s thoughts and experiences with regards to engagements with local charities.

  • Learn

We will use the information captured from the community research process to effectively appraise and challenge our current service offerings and how appealing they are to people from minority ethnicity backgrounds

We will also develop a learning report that details our findings with regards to better engaging minority ethnicity individuals and communities. This will be shared with other local charities and relevant groups.

  • Adapt

Using the insight achieved via the Listen and Learn aspects of the project, we will seek to make relevant adaptations to our respective service provisions in order to ensure that barriers to engagement are minimised, and that all offerings are culturally relevant, inclusive, accessible and fit for today’s modern and diverse world.

Whilst the scope of this project is time limited, Citizens Advice Bucks, along with the other project partners (as well as the funders), believe that this is merely the beginning of a county-wide collaborative journey of discovery – working in broader partnership with individuals, groups and communities – that will ultimately make Buckinghamshire an even better place for all people to live, work and flourish.

Thalia Jervis, Chief Executive for Citizens Advice Bucks, had this to say about the launch of the Listen Learn Adapt project:

“Being inclusive is a cornerstone of our charity. Our advice needs to be accessible to everyone. That’s more important now than it has ever been. We know ethnic minorities communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and we need to be there to help. We are excited to be collaborating with the other charities in this innovative project and know that by listening to what people from minority ethnic communities have to tell us, we will be better able to offer services that help everyone in Bucks find a way forward.

Please note that effective engagement with minority ethnicity individuals and groups is critical to the success of the Listen Learn Adapt project. Citizens Advice Bucks, as well as all the other project partners, would love to hear from anybody who would be willing to take part in the community research process (which is being undertaken by M·E·L Research, one of the UK’s leading social research and behavioural insights consultancies) that will begin in July 2021.

In order to express an interest in getting involved (or to ask questions/make comments) please feel free to contact Clare Samways, the Listen Learn Adapt Project Coordinator, on [email protected]

UPDATE: The survey is now live and can be completed here.