A new podcast series is launching to meaningfully explore important issues around mental health and domestic abuse in Oxfordshire.
“Empower & Enable” has been developed by Elmore Community Services in partnership with Oxford Against Cutting and Oxford Safer Communities Partnership. It consists of three episodes produced for and by Oxfordshire’s minoritised communities focusing on mental health; accessing domestic abuse and sexual violence support; and power and gender socialisation.
The conversations seek to build knowledge and awareness within affected communities and strengthen people’s confidence to speak about important issues within their communities. The aim is to support local and national professionals to develop their practice by better understanding how nuanced cultural factors impact upon experiences and barriers for those who may need to seek help and advice.
“Empower & Enable” has been funded by the Police Property Act Fund, which is jointly managed by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable in the Thames Valley. The fund is created from money recovered by the police and the proceeds from sale of items that cannot be returned to identified owners, including seizures from criminals.
Elmore was one of 42 voluntary and community groups to receive a grant from the Police Property Act Fund. Funding has been provided to projects that contribute to reducing serious and organised crime and reoffending. Additionally, Elmore wanted this project to address recommendations made by the Thames Valley BAMER Project. That project engaged with minority communities for two years around issues of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The aim was to learn about the experiences of help-seeking within minority communities, with a view to improving how services respond.
“Empower & Enable” involves three conversations about:
- We Hear You: Power, Socialisation, and Gender in conversation with Imran Manzoor, Head of Service at Breaking the Silence, a counselling service for male victims and survivors of sexual abuse from Asian origin.
- Let’s Talk About Mental Health with guest speakers Maron and Tami, multiple needs caseworkers at Elmore Community Services.
- Help For You: Accessing Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support with Sam Colella of Victims First and Aliza Gurung of Citizens Advice Rushmoor.
The podcasts and transcripts of the conversations are available. The artwork for the podcasts has been designed by local family-run design agency Bounce Design.
Tom Hayes, Chief Executive of Elmore Community Services, said: “Most of all, I hope this podcast series developed by Elmore in partnership will help listeners open up new conversations—and hard conversations—with the people who matter most to them. That’s how we can build more understanding and empathy for one another.”
Monica Majumdar and Dr Kate Clayton-Hathway of Oxford Against Cutting and hosts said: “We’re really pleased to have worked on the podcasts to draw attention to these important services. It’s essential for people from minoritised communities to know that they can access what they need, that their diverse needs will be met and that there is someone to advocate for them.”
Liz Jones, co-producer of the Thames Valley BAMER Project Report, also an Elmore trustee, said: “The Thames Valley BAMER Project spent two years speaking to people from minority communities about what they needed. The three podcasts were developed from the recommendations made in the Project’s final report and they have two purposes: the first is to raise awareness for people from minority communities and the second is to assist professionals to gain a better understanding of their needs.”
Matthew Barber, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is great to see Elmore Community Services launch the “Empower & Enable” podcast series. Both mental health and domestic abuse are key priorities within my Police and Criminal Justice Plan.
“This is a great example of the impact funding received through the Police Property Act Fund can have on our communities. We have recently opened the latest round of funding, with £100,000 available to community and voluntary organisations. Further details can be found on our website.
“Through conversations and raising awareness, Elmore is enabling people to feel confident to discuss key issues within their communities. My office will be working closely with Elmore on the promotion and roll-out of this podcast series.”