By September 23, 2010 Read More →

Health & well-being of ethnic minorities

Balbriggan has one of the largest ethnic minority populations in Ireland per capita. From January 2010, a branch of Cairde’s Health Information and Advocacy Centre was set up in Balbriggan to provide individual advocacy and information to ethnic minorities.

The consultation process initiated by Cairde and supported by European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion funding, was a first step in development of local ethnic minority health forum which would positively impact on local community health. It is also a beginning of development of a collective mechanism for ethnic minority groups in Balbriggan to discuss issues which impact on the health of their communities and to devise strategies to respond to these needs.

Local ethnic minority community leaders were engaged in mobilising their own communities. 64 ethnic minority community members took part in consultation seminar on 22nd of September 2010: Asylum seekers from Mosney Direct Provision Centre, members of Roma community, refugees and people with Leave to Remain as well as migrant workers.

The seminar focussed on experiences of poverty and social exclusion among ethnic minorities, living in Balbriggan and surrounding areas. Looking first at the health issues in the community most important changes to improve health and quality of life in Balbriggan were identified. They include:

  • Access to fully operational Social Welfare Office and HSE Community Welfare locally in Balbriggan,
  • Improve access to Primary care services in the community including GP services and medical cards.
  • Address unemployment by creating new jobs in the area of Balbriggan and creating more accessible educational opportunities for migrants.
  • Improve infrastructure in Balbriggan: sport facilities, childcare and family support services, improve security of the area, Create/ improve access to English language courses locally, Create more opportunities for integration, for meeting new people.
  • Address a number of problems within Direct Provision system.

The consultation seminar findings will be distributed to: Local service providers and policy makers: Health Service Executive, Fingal Co. Council, etc.

Full report

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