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Trust works with government to provide Covid-19 support for ethnic minority older people

Trust Housing Association works with Scottish Government to provide network of grassroots support for ethnic minority older people during Covid-19 pandemic.

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Trust Housing Association, a national provider of housing, support and care services, has worked with the Scottish Government to provide a network of grassroots support for ethnic minority older people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rohini Sharma Joshi, Trust’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, has mobilised eight existing ethnic minority community groups to deliver hot meals and necessary food items to those most at risk, many of whom are disabled and have long-term health conditions. The community group staff and volunteers are also keeping in touch with the vulnerable older people through regular phone calls to not only check they are coping but to have a chat in their own language and help mitigate their feelings of increased isolation and loneliness.

The initiative has been made possible by funding of over £110,000 from the Scottish Government as part of its ongoing commitment to addressing the problems of social isolation faced by older people in Scotland.

Ms Sharma Joshi, who is a member of the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum set up to deliver the Scottish Government’s strategy for supporting older people, A Fairer Scotland for Older People – A Framework for Action, is delighted to be working with the government’s Age Equality, Older People Policy Team to help make sure that ethnic minority older people, who have been asked to self-isolate, are protected and not forgotten.

She said: “In these unprecedented times, older people in our communities, who have already been battling the problems of social isolation, are being asked to retreat still further from society as saving lives rightly becomes the country’s highest priority.

"However, the Scottish Government is making these funds available to ensure that those most at risk are eating well and that digital technology is used to keep in touch with them.”

Rhona McLeod, CEO of Trust Housing Association, said: “Rohini and her team have developed, and supported, ethnic minority community groups across Scotland for many years. These community groups have established trusted relationships with their members as well as a comprehensive and practical understanding of their needs and how best to meet them.

"I believe these projects are critical in helping to look after older people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, and we are truly delighted that Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equality and Older People, is delivering real equality by using these successful community groups to channel supports to hundreds of ethnic minority older people in Scotland at this very challenging time.”

The community groups that have received funds are based in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.  

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