Firvale Community Hub is an organisation committed to improving social equalities and inclusion for people living in deprived and marginalised communities in Sheffield. They receive funding from Sheffield City Council to run a genetic literacy project in response to the above average rates of infant mortality in the region. The funding enables them to employ a Project Worker to provide information to the community about recessive genetic conditions and close relative marriage.
BDB has provided additional funding to expand this project and include the following:
- Consultation with people from diverse and marginalised communities in Sheffield
- Organise and deliver genetic awareness events – 50 people attended 1 community event organised by Firvale Community Hub. They also delivered a workshop to a community group and an ESOL class (English for Speakers of Other Languages) with approximately 24 learners in each class (this was repeated 4 times with some overlap of participants)
- Design and implement a ‘Train the Trainer’ package, including a DVD and booklet. This training has been offered to GP’s, Health Visitors, Midwives, Health Champions, community and voluntary organisation representatives – in year 2, training was delivered to 35 Health Visitors and 10 Midwives
- Develop partnerships with GP practices, Regional Genetics Service, Special Educational Needs Coordinators and community and voluntary organisations throughout the city – Health professionals are now referring people affected by genetic conditions to Firvale Community Hub for additional information and support
- Work specifically within their local area with people from Pakistani and Roma-Slovak communities – 15 awareness sessions run with the support of Roma volunteers
- Support professionals to improve their cultural competence and confidence when working with people from diverse communities – made positive links with health professionals including Health Visitors and Midwives. Attended multi-disciplinary team meetings and provided staff training, invited to speak at team meetings about issues such as Black Lives Matter and the impact of health inequalities, invited to speak with South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw health leaders
- Fund an additional Development Worker – now able to run more online sessions. 43 people accessed online sessions about recessive conditions, including receiving a diagnosis, family history, future pregnancies and informed choices. 8 of these people believed they were affected by a genetic condition but had not been to see their GP – following guidance and support, 3 of them went to their GP to request a referral to genetics services.
‘99% of feedback shows that knowledge increased after attending the workshops.
The families that we work with are able to receive more one-to-one information and care. They have someone they can approach for any questions. They have someone who is willing to attend appointments with them and also refer them to more specific help and services.
We are also working with these families to put together a HealthWatch report and talk about and address some of their experiences. The families feel like they are being heard and can make a difference to the system.’ Firvale Community Hub
You can find out more about the Firvale Community Hub via their website: