How we have been making more Wokingham voices heard

Our Community Investment Projects help us hear feedback from Wokingham people and group,s whose voices aren't as loud, or as often heard, as others.
man holding young carers sign with group of young people
It's important that we support those who find it hard to have their voice heard
— Healthwatch Wokingham

Community Investment Projects

Healthwatch Wokingham Borough is the independent champion for people who use health or social care services. We listen to local people’s experiences of, local healthcare services and use them to influence change and improvement in those services.

We are particularly keen to hear from people whose voices aren't as loud, or as often heard, as others. To help us achieve that goal, we set aside funding to support local voluntary and community group projects that help us reach communities and people with “protected characteristics”, as defined in the Equality Act 2010.

Through our Community Investment, we gain knowledge and understanding of more people’s experiences of local services, and the groups we work with are able to do more and also, in some cases, become more sustainable as our support leads to funding from other bodies too. Over the last 18 months we’ve funded and supported 14 local projects, covering a wide range of communities, from disability groups to homeless support and carers’ groups. This report gives a snapshot of those projects.

Here are 3 of the groups we have worked with

1. Deaf Positives Actions – Deaf People and The Accessible Information Standard. Since August 2016  all organisations providing NHS care or publicly funded adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard (AIS). Deaf Positives carried out a mystery shopping exercise to see how well this new requirement was being met by local organisations  in relation to deaf people. 
2. CLASP – will be running a series of Healthy Living Workshops and produce a Video & accompanying easy read summary report outlining peoples experiences of local health services and the support they get to live independently
3. Macular Support Group – will be looking at isolation and exclusion of those with eye conditions, as well as testing out the accessible information standard

Mrs A said:

I am deaf and entitled to free dental treatment. When I went to the dentist the receptionist put a form in front of me to sign. I didn't understand the form as deaf people often have a reading disability too. The receptionist didn't seem to be deaf aware and when I told them I didn't understand the form they just told me loudly to just sign it.

Service provider staff deaf awareness, is a common issue we are hearing about. It is stressful for the deaf person if staff can't communicate in an approrpriate way.  

Find out more

If you want to read about the other local groups we have supported then you can read more here.
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