As part of my placement with EYST, I will be shadowing each team for one week. The first team I shadowed was BME CYP, who support families and individuals across Wales with children and young people. The first part of my shadowing was a phone call with Lee Tiratira, who supports clients in Wrexham. The first thing I learned from the call is that the BME CYP team are incredibly busy helping people with complex immediate and long-term issues. They frequently help clients with financial difficulties by applying for child benefit and tax credits on their behalf, and by working with Discretionary Assistant Funding (DAF).
BME CYP began in April this year, so from the start they have been supporting people get through COVID-19. Many of us know that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on BME communities, but so has the side effects of lockdown. Digital exclusion and poor levels of digital literacy have exacerbated educational inequalities for children and employment opportunities for young people. Therefore, BME CYP are working to promote digital inclusion, diversify school curricula, and get more resources for community groups working with BME young people.
The main thing I got from my week of shadowing BME CYP is that the team are incredibly passionate about helping and empowering individuals and communities, and they’re determined to provide support which is suitable for different cultures. One way they do this is by providing awareness sessions to partners like Morrison’s. These are incredibly successful: from April to July, 102 professionals attended awareness meetings and felt more able to support BME people by the end of their meetings.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with BME CYP for the week. It was wonderful to get to know such a passionate and supportive team.