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Article published on: Tuesday, 21 February 2023

The ‘Listen Learn Adapt’ research report has now been published.

Buckinghamshire Mind has worked with our partners, The Oasis Partnership, Age UK Buckinghamshire, Citizens Advice Buckinghamshire and Wycombe Wanderers Foundation on a research project, working with MEL Research, to listen to the views of minority ethnic communities on charitable support in Bucks.

It is only by listening to and engaging with ALL communities in Bucks, that we can understand how best to support them. That’s why, we came together to devise the Listen Learn Adapt research project.

We knew that our engagement levels with people from minority ethnic backgrounds didn’t correlate with the make-up of the local community. The project sought to discover how support services in Buckinghamshire could be more inclusive and offer more culturally appropriate support to more people in the community.

Research Report 2023

Using research including online and paper surveys, group discussions and interviews, the Listen, Learn, Adapt research project sought to discover how support services offered by local charities in Buckinghamshire could be more inclusive and welcoming to all communities.

The research and report, funded by The Rothschilds Foundation, Heart of Bucks and The Clare Foundation, shares the views and experiences of the people we consulted with. We are extremely grateful to all the research participants for their time, openness, and candour.

The project findings include insight that, while many people from minority ethnic communities acknowledge the positive intent and great work of charities in Bucks, there is more work to do to ensure everyone is aware of the services they provide, that people feel able to access them, and that charity staff and volunteers are representative of the communities they serve.

A few headline findings:

  • 82% of all those who took part in the survey (including those of a White British ethnicity) agreed that charities in Buckinghamshire work to support people of ‘all ethnic backgrounds’.
  • However, 60% of respondents agree that they don’t think charities understand the needs of their ethnic community.
  • A quarter of Black respondents (24%) were worried about why charities want to help, double the average of all minority ethnic respondents.
  • 71% of minority ethnic respondents agree that for people who don’t speak English as their first language, getting help and support is difficult.

Together with our partners, Buckinghamshire Mind is committed to evolving services and culture in order to better serve the needs of local people.

The research project’s findings are a first step towards developing charities and services that work for everyone across the county.

“I think charities are not trusted within my ethnic community because the workforce does not always reflect the people they are supposed to be helping. Charities need to engage with communities and try to recruit people from different ethnic groups.”

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