Improving well-being outcomes for Gypsy Romany Traveller Community in Middlesbrough
PHE ePoster Library. McIlvenna R. Sep 10, 2018; 221266; 123
Mrs. Rachel McIlvenna
Mrs. Rachel McIlvenna
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction:The Gypsy Romany Travellers community face stark health inequalities accentuated by wider determinants, such as low income and fuel poverty. Middlesbrough has a fairly static traveller community therefore a project was established to take a holistic approach to improve the gypsy romany traveller community's health and wellbeing. Methods: A Health and Wellbeing Steering group was established with internal and external stakeholders to provide community insight and set priorities. An action plan was then developed resulting in the commissioning of the local Citizen's Advice Service to deliver tailored welfare and debt advice to traveller site residents. Over an eighteen month period a citizen's advice worker delivered 5 hours per week of support. Results:35 residents received welfare advice and were supported to claim/retain and preserve entitlement to £149,276.16 of welfare benefits.12 residents received debt advice to manage £31,396.60 of debt.Residents started to access the Citizen's Advice drop-ins off their travellers' site demonstrating barrier reduction to service access and a positive acceptance of engagement with external services.Eligible residents were also supported to claim their Warm Home Discount where previously they had been unaware or unable to.Engagement with other partners also led to interventions to tackle fuel poverty. Conclusion:The project led to direct benefits around welfare management, and indirect benefits on health for the community. It also importantly fostered relationships between the community and external services removing the perceived barriers of off-site service access, and increasing receptiveness to other public health messages around health improvement and prevention.
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