13 June 2013
Mental Health Bristol takes a cultural tour of the city
AWP's Bristol leadership team have spent a day visiting
faith centres and community leaders across the city as part of
their cultural change training programme.
"One of the main priorities for Mental Health Bristol is to
rebuild relationships with local communities across the city," says
Malcolm Sinclair, AWP's managing director for Bristol, "which is
why we've embarked on a cultural change training programme and why
we've spent the day meeting representatives of various
The tour was organised by the charity SARI (Support Against Racist
Incidents) and led by its director Batook Pandya MBE together
with Simon Newitt, director of the mental health charity for young
people Off the Record,
who has put together the training programme for AWP.
As part of the tour the team met with faith leaders at a Hindu
temple, a Muslim mosque and a Sikh gurdwara where the specific
needs and issues facing these communities were discussed. Following
lunch at SARI's headquarters, the team then met with
representatives from the Somali and the gypsy and traveller
At the end of the tour Malcolm said: "We saw today how faith,
race, ethnicity and gender across different generations have such a
powerful impact on people's lives, their sense of wellbeing and
their ability to access services.
"The way that AWP has developed these services in recent years
has sometimes widened gaps between the NHS and many local
communities. Today we encountered a real desire to help us change
this across Bristol, and it is great that we are now working with
Off the Record, SARI and other local partners to improve service
provision to all sections of our local population."