Did you know that men are more likely to die 11 years younger if they are from a deprived area?
To research WHY this is, Union Street Arts have started a project which aims delve into the issues that matter where health inequalities are concerned in Trafford.
The youth-led participatory arts initiative called Equal Access Trafford aims to use a variety of creative methods to raise awareness and highlight these very important issues.
The programme, funded by Trafford Council aims to collaborate with young people aged between 16 and 25 years from black and minority ethnic backgrounds who live in North Trafford. The aim of the programme is to:
·Produce a health awareness film and social media campaign
·Become health champions to engage with and mentor seldom heard parts of the community as well as youth and community groups
·Run a health event to show the film, engage with strategic partners and organisations and promote health services
Natasha and her team worked alongside five young people over two days to develop the programme which enabled them to put a bid in to the Advancing and Promoting Equalities Fund.
Using activity based workshops, the team looked at the issues in depth to see how they could start addressing the issues and get to the root causes of health inequalities.
This particular initiative will give young people from across the borough the chance to engage in a comprehensive project whilst boosting their skillset.
A wide range of training and development is implemented to ensure that young people from the black and ethnic minorities have a chance to research these matters, find out why these issues exist and showcase their findings through multimedia.
Natasha says: “The long term goal of the project is to reduce the health inequality in Trafford, currently men from the most deprived areas of Trafford die on average 11 years younger than men from the wealthier parts of the borough.”
“That gives an indication of just how stark the health inequality in Trafford is at the moment. There are lots of reasons as to why that exists. For us, this project isn’t about us having a viewpoint on why that is.”
“For us, it’s about starting conversations around this issue, raise awareness about it, get people talking and hopefully inspire people to start thinking about the issues and thinking about what they can do to make a change in their community.”
Union Street Arts was started four years ago by husband and wife team Natasha Boojihawon and Roop Sagar. They wanted to start a social enterprise which enabled them to offer support in communities whilst using resources in the media industry.
Since the start of the business, they have grown from strength to strength, offering media and voluntary opportunities to a wide range of young people in the local community and beyond.
Natasha said: “We can’t just change this overnight, we can’t just change such a stark health inequality. It’s got to be a combined effort, not just with the healthcare and wellbeing sector, but with education, economy, and all different sectors.”
“We think that underneath, people aren’t really aware that it’s such a problem. There are so many issues that are interconnected; we need to start linking them together.”
“We’re not saying that were going to make a big, huge massive change at the end of the project, or that were going to be healthier or reduce the health inequality. For us, it’s about starting the conversations, starting the debate and getting people involved and raising awareness about the fact that there are issues.
“We need to start having this debate, so that in time to come we can get up and start doing things that will improve health.”
“Every single part of this project is about us trying to spread that understanding, get people to realise that we need to start looking at this and talking about it.”
To find out more about this project or if you wish to get involved, please contact Natasha:
Telephone: 0161 877 3124 / 07595 583 822
Facebook: Union Street Media Arts