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Inclusion and Participation During a Global Pandemic

I have been tasked to complete three reflective blogs that will aim to explore core ideas in relation to participation and inclusion from my own experience within practice settings in relation to a contemporary issue. In this first reflection I will relate this directly to the first learning outcome of the module which is to demonstrate an understanding of theories of participation and inclusion, alongside the principles and values that underpin them.

The contemporary issue that I have decided to focus on is how the poverty and deprivation gap between those within affluent areas and those experiencing high levels of poverty and deprivation will become wider during the Covid-19 pandemic but with a focus on the input of personal practice within the Inverclyde area.

To provide some context to the current situation within Inverclyde, a recent Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership meeting (March 2020) documented that Inverclyde has the highest share of all Scottish councils of individuals and families living in the most deprived areas, with data suggesting the gap between affluent areas and deprived has widened further, prior to Covid-19.

Developing Man On! Inverclyde, a peer-support community interest company aiming to support people with their mental health and wellbeing, provided me with the opportunity to engage with the wider public during this time. This offered me the opportunity to witness high levels of deprivation as a lot of our support moved online. A number of men we supported could not afford items such as a tablet device or access to the internet, resulting in us working in partnership with external agencies such as Inverclyde Community Fund and CVS Inverclyde to attain funding and devices for those who needed it. This corresponds with a number of the CLD Values, notably inclusion and working collaboratively, both equally important to ensure those who require the support are able to participate.

There is a CLD competency that is followed within our practice and that is facilitate and promote community empowerment, all directed towards bringing about change through collective action. Following the competency framework, this involves wider interaction across the community, being inclusive across the community and campaigning for change, all of which has been a factor during the lockdown period. This work also follows the 7 National Standards for Community Engagement, notably methods, working together, inclusion and support.

Tett (2010) argues that those living within poverty are faced within a society that blames them for the suffering they experience, resulting in these feelings being internalised with the final outcome resulting in lower self-esteem and a lack of confidence. Tett (2010) states this can lead to those marginalised already within society being further disengaged, however working together collaboratively can lead to a light being shined on the unequal nature of society as a whole, as opposed to focussing on individuals and their alleged faults.

To conclude, inclusion and participation within a community context is invaluable when attempting to engage those who really require the support, particularly those experiencing levels of deprivation and poverty. By understanding the theories, principles and values before applying them in practice, will provide better opportunities for community engagement.

Reference List

CLD STANDARDS COUNCIL., Facilitate and Promote Community Empowerment. [online] CLD Standards Council. [accessed 18th October 2020]. Available from: https://cldstandardscouncil.org.uk/resources/the-competences/facilitate-and-promote-community-empowerment/

CLD STANDARDS COUNCIL., Values of CLD [online]. CLD Standards Council. [accessed 18th October 2020]. Available from: https://cldstandardscouncil.org.uk/resources/values-of-cld/

INVERCLYDE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE PARTNERSHIP., 2020. Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020. [online]. Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership. [accessed 18th October 2020]. Available from: https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/meetings/documents/13198/05%2520SIMD%25202020.pdf+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

TETT, Lynn., 2010. Community Education, Learning and Development. Scotland: Dunedin Academic Press LTD

VOICE SCOTLAND., The 7 National Standards for Community Engagement [online] Seven NS. [accessed 18th October 2020]. Available from: http://www.voicescotland.org.uk/Seven-NS/



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