Blog: Launch of the Scottish Ethnic Minority Older People Forum

Helen Murdoch

After the launch of an initiative which aims to give a new voice for Scotland’s ethnic minority older people, Hanover Scotland chief executive, Helen Murdoch, give her views on the Scottish Ethnic Minority Older People Forum.

I am hugely impressed with the new forum and believe it represents an exciting and significant step forward in achieving transformational change and improved outcomes for the people that the group represents.

The launch at the Parliament was hosted by Sandra White MSP and served to introduce the members of the newly created group. The purpose of the forum is to engage with policy makers and service providers to influence and improve services for ethnic minority older people in Scotland.

The event has marked the culmination of very positive work done as part of an innovative project supported by Bield, Hanover and Trust Housing Associations in conjunction with the Big Lottery Fund. The project was established to improve outcomes for disadvantaged older black and ethnic minority people and received lottery funding of £337,000.

Launch of the Scottish Ethnic Minority Older Peoples Forum in The Burns Room at the Scottish Parliament

This has been part of a longer term programme which Bield, Hanover and Trust have pioneered and which has achieved remarkable success since it was founded. A programme outperforming its original targets, both in terms of the numbers of BME people it has helped across Scotland and also in the value to them and the wider community.

The Forum will allow voices to be heard by policy makers and influencers and I believe the group has an impressive membership which will grow in confidence and make genuine progress towards improving people’s lives.

Much of the credit for the work behind setting up the forum must go to Rohini Sharma Joshi, who manages the Older People Services Development project on behalf of Bield, Hanover and Trust. The values that have underscored this work are deeply instilled in Rohini and I congratulate her on all that she has achieved.

I am also very hopeful that the invitation to afternoon tea that I received from one of the attendees still stands – I am very much looking forward to it!

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