Equalities Assemblies are a series of quarterly events, for people who work in and contribute to the borough, including grassroots organisations, statutory partners and volunteers.
The aim of the assemblies is to listen and learn to help improve our understanding of inequalities and how they can be reduced. Conversation topics are brought to the assemblies by people who understand inequality, through experience, through supporting others or through insight, data and intelligence.
Inequality and injustice will not be eradicated unless we design it out.
The assemblies are a partnership piece of work between Action Together, Rochdale Borough Council and other local organisations including Healthwatch Rochdale.
Equality Assembly #2
100 participants from 14 local, statutory, and voluntary organisations and young people took part in the discussions around 11 conversation topics. The event featured a range of presentations including Rochdale Youth Parliament on ‘Choices and Chances for Young People’ and Healthwatch Rochdale on ’COVID-19 and Patient Access’. The event was held on Zoom. The links to the presentation are available in the full report here.
Key themes raised in Equality Assembly #2 conversations included:
- Female leadership and representation, much of the community organising and local leadership has been undertaken by women
- Isolation, mental health and wellbeing is a key concern in communities
- Training for VCFSE staff is needed around use of tech, incl. testing processes
- Peer support model is key around financial support and personal resilience
- Need to support communities and individuals to be able to challenge behaviour and risk safely
- Arts, culture and volunteering are methods to engage people and help people ‘feel part’ of community response to the pandemic and encourage a whole community approach to tackling inequality
- There is positivity within the pandemic; we need to share real stories of hope
- Communication is the biggest barrier and biggest opportunity to solve issue
Equality Assembly #1
62 participants from local, statutory, and voluntary organisations took part in the discussions and listened to presentations. The event featured presentations including the Public Health report "Reducing Disparities and Inequalities". The event was held on Zoom. The links to the presentations and write up of conversations are available in the full report here
Equality Assembly #1 focused on these conversation topics:
- Covid 19 and South Asian Communities
- Food and Dignity
- Disability and Covid 19
- Covid 19 and Black Communities
- Covid 19, Mental Health and Inequality
- Covid 19 and European Citizens
- Finance and Inequality
- Health and Inequality
Continuing the Conversation
Equality Assembly reports are shared with key decision makers and via #TogetherRochdale which is Rochdale Borough’s multi-organisation communication group, reaching residents, partners and communities.
Conversations to create equality will continue to be held in many spaces, groups and structures and we know that it will take many conversations to solve inequality. We hope that Equalities Assemblies become a space to participate in many conversations, learn different perspectives and initiate work together to design out inequality.