Ehsas (Understanding) Carers
Ehsas became a registered charity in 2016 to offer support particularly to Asian parent-carers who care for children with special needs and adults with learning disabilities.
It began as a handful of Muslim parents whose children were at Old Park School coming together occasionally for a coffee morning to support each other and share mutual experiences. A couple of years later, a social worker assisted these parents to form Ehsas Carers, and Social Services provided a small Carer’s Grant to help the group get started. Ehsas is an Urdu word which means ‘Understanding’ or empathy. Its activities focus on four strands:
• Early Identification: Identify and provide help to parent-carers particularly if they are ‘hidden’ or isolated, and do not speak English as their first language to access mainstream services and welfare rights
• Respite and social interaction: provide families with a culturally responsive support group that offers social and emotional support, and time out to engage in some community and leisure activities
• Increasing knowledge: offer appropriate training and information workshops for black, Asian minority ethnic carers
• Advocacy: highlight issues and needs of minority families and support carers to have a “voice” in the planning of responsive services
In 2006, Ehsas was highly commended in the national BME Spark Awards for reaching a ‘marginalised group within a marginalised community’. Three years later, Ehsas Carers moved from Dudley to its premises at Meeting Place, Chapel Street, which is almost opposite Lye Library.
Thanks to the Dudley Innovation Fund, a bi lingual Carers Link Worker intends to build new collaborative links between BAME (black, Asian & minority ethnic) carers and mainstream support organisations and networks. The link worker will assist with developing group activities and outreach support to individual carers: attend appointments and assist with interpretation, completing forms and referral to appropriate agencies.
For further information, or if you wish to refer a carer who may benefit from Ehsas Carers:
Telephone: 01384 422522
Address: Meeting Place, Tiger Court, 1 – 9 Chapel Street, Lye DY9 8BT