Equalities Assembly - Rochdale Borough

Equalities Assembly #3 Report Heading
Published date: 
Wednesday, 5th May 2021

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 #3

View the full report here. You can view a video of this report at the bottom of this page.

Conversation Topics:

  • Supporting the supporters
  • Life transitions in COVID
  • People new to poverty
  • Learning at home
  • Collective grief
  • Valuing volunteers
  • Disabilities & Decision Making
  • Lockdown & Mental Health
  • Hardship & Help
  • Inclusive Financial Support

Key Insights:

  • Attendees would like to see leaders and decision makers going more often to where issues are being discussed by people experiencing the problems, as well as asking representatives to come to them
  • The great resilience which has been shown over the last year will be further tested when extra support put in place is lifted. We can get ahead now by making the most of what is available.
  • One size does not fit all. We can ensure everyone is included by working through groups that are already trusted and already connected to reach communities who may otherwise be left out.


Equality Assembly #2

View the full report here.

Conversation Topics:

  • Inequalities within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities
  • COVID-19 and Older People
  • Choices and Chances for Young People
  • Black History Month and 'Back to School' 
  • COVID-19 and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inequality
  • COVID-19 and Patient Access
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Learning Disabilities and the Disability Forum
  • Multiple Disadvantage, Mental Health and Addiction
  • Digital Poverty and Inclusion 
  • 'Open Space' Inequality Discussion

Key Insights:

  • 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

View the full report here

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

Key Insights:

  • Trust must be developed to tackle inequality
  • Representation is important alongside genuine action
  • Accessibility is complex
  • Good communication and digital access were highlighted in each conversation
  • Community anchors need to be resourced and recognised within new power structures
  • Meaningful engagement needs to happen to avoid assumption
  • Talking about inequality can be triggering and uncomfortable but we must do it