Ethnic & Cultural Community Organisations, Religion & Places of Worship, Holidays, Events & Celebrations and Cultural Awareness, Practices & Training
It is important that anyone moving to another country can find support from the community they move into. Ethnic, cultural and religious groups and organisations can support people to maintain their own cultural identity and links with the familiar whilst building a new life and identity in the UK.
Connecting with ethnic and cultural community groups and organisations can therefore be helpful for international recruits in social care. They can enable people to build cultural competence, access resources, and establish meaningful connections with the communities in which they work. As well as supporting their welfare, this can also lead to more effective and culturally sensitive care.
The following links will take you to some more resources and places that may be of interest to your recruit.
For quick navigation of this guide, please use the links below:
The HIVE directory includes ethnic and cultural community organisations. You can follow this link and also find examples of community ethnic and cultural support networks and organisations.
Portsmouth Asian social and cultural organisation
Portsmouth Asian social and cultural organisation – connects people through social and cultural events and sharing community news and recommendations and where possible provides assistance.
Kurdish community support
The African Women’s Forum
The African Women’s Forum – their main aim is to provide opportunities for mutual communication by having social contact as well as emotional support for African women living in Portsmouth.
Bangladesh Welfare Association
Bangladesh Welfare Association – supports individuals with social welfare needs and community development for the Bangladeshi community in Portsmouth.
There are many organisations offering support for ethnic and cultural communities in Hampshire. You can support your new recruit to find support groups and organisations where people from similar backgrounds and situations can get together.
Connect To Support Hampshire (https://www.connecttosupporthampshire.org.uk/) will provide the sponsoring organisation with many links to Hampshire’s Ethnic and Cultural community organisations
Here are some examples of some specific ethnic and cultural support networks:
Hampshire Puja & Cultural Association (HPCA)
Hampshire Asian Community Group on Facebook
South Africans Living in Hampshire on Facebook
Nigeria Community in Hampshire
Associations and Groups in Eastleigh
Greater Rushmoor Nepali Community
Provides help, advice and support to those in need and helps new arrivals to settle successfully in Rushmoor by collaborating closely with the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre, Rushmoor Borough Council and other relevant local and regional organisations and agencies.
Associations, Groups and Support in Basingstoke
So: Linked provides details of ethnic/cultural groups and offer opportunities to get together in a wide range of settings to get connected and meet people in addition to helping people get advice and support.
Unity 101 Radio
Unity 101 Radio promotes and broadcasts music and culture of the Asian & ethnic communities of Southampton
Eastleigh and Southampton Asian Community on Facebook
Chinese Association of Southampton
Southampton Zimbabwe Association on Facebook
Isle of Wight
Equals IW offers two Friendship Groups: Friendship Group for Women and Friendship Group for Family and Friends. Both groups have a core focus to attract members coming from an ethnic background. Nationalities include Indonesian, Filipino, British, Thai and Bangladesh, along with Chinese, Polish, African and Moroccan.
Isle Find It
Isle Find It is a directory of services and advice for the Isle of Wight.
RELIGION AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
Finding a place to worship may be one of the first activities that your new recruit may want to do in order to seek out peers, familiarity and a network of support. Of course there are many different religions and places of worship that could be of interest.
Here are some links covering all of Hampshire, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth to some of the more common places of worship
Church of England:
Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth
Portsmouth Buddhist Community
Portsmouth and Southsea Hebrew Congregation
Portsmouth Mosque and Islamic Centre
Portsmouth Central Masjid (Mosque)
Guru Nanak Sar Gurdwara
Church of England
Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth (covers Hampshire)
Hampshire Puja and Cultural Association: https://thehpca.org/
Hampshire Islamic Outreach Society: https://hios.org.uk/?fbclid=IwAR0jgEx8budHFEOQsFxt7p5Wa5afLu_XXnTmwSv2l5Nac1t8-yv6TkJD6ko
Church of England
Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth (covers Southampton)
Isle of Wight
Church of England
Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth (covers IOW)
Holidays, Events and Celebrations
There are a number of calendars which highlight key diversity and inclusion dates throughout the year. Being mindful of holidays, events and celebrations offers your organisation opportunities for inclusion and will help create workplaces and communities where all feel included as well as induct your new recruit into the cultural norms of the UK.
For example, learning about LGBT Pride and the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as a social group. This may be an area that your new recruit could know nothing about depending on where they come from.
The following links will help you, as the sponsoring organisation, to know when other cultures celebrate specific days and events and may want to include in your wellbeing processes for staff, and includes holy days, religious festivals, health and wellbeing awareness days, as well as specific equality events both in the UK and around the world.
Cultural Awareness, Practices & Training
Cultural awareness is vital because it allows us to respect and appreciate other perspectives, improving our relationships, enabling healthier work environments and generally a more united and compassionate society.
As the sponsoring organisation, you will want to ensure your current staff understand customs and practices of other cultures to help them to support the new employee as best as they can. This section covers some common practices and language that might help them understand. This will also help to combat racism and avoid stereotyping and unhelpful assumptions.
Language or linguistic barriers are the most common communication barriers in the workplace. Where people speaking different languages are unable to understand one another, relationship building is more difficult. There are also differences in specific industries and social care has plenty of technical jargon which can cause challenges for a new recruit to get their head around. Not using the correct words or using words/phrases that are no longer used can cause loss of morale and lessen job satisfaction for someone.
What may be polite in one culture may be seen as rude in another causing culture-based language barriers. People may use very direct language when speaking to clients or other staff causing issues and even body language, gestures and facial expressions hold different meanings.
For example in some cultures direct eye contact is considered a sign of respect and attentiveness, while in others it is considered impolite or aggressive. The use of certain hand gestures can have different meanings. In many languages, including English, interrupting someone while they are speaking is considered rude and a sign of not listening to the other person, however in other cultures it is seen as a sign of enthusiasm and engagement in the conversation.
All staff should be aware and mindful of these things when interacting with a diverse workforce.
Further, International recruits may initially struggle to fully recognise their own cultural identity due to the cultural differences they meet in the UK. This can lead to a sense of displacement or identity crisis.
Recognising this could be a challenge for people is the first step and support for the recruit to better adjust could include:
- Training and Education: Provide international recruits with cultural competency training that helps them understand and appreciate cultural diversity, recognise their own biases, and develop cultural humility. Suggestions can be found in the links below.
- Mentorship and Supervision: Pair international recruits with experienced colleagues who can provide guidance, support, and feedback on their interactions with clients from different cultural backgrounds. A buddy of this nature can go through some common language that may be used but not understood. (For example, should a client ask for a “cuppa” or say “ta” or “lovey”).
- Cultural Resources: In addition to the training already identified, you could ensure cultural resources and information is readily available, such as books, videos, and cultural sensitivity resources.
The following links could help them to improve their communications. You could include this during the induction period and structure “Culturally appropriate care” knowledge and skills into the recruits learning.
Culture and Values Training
Training around British values and cultural differences can be highly beneficial if you’re coming to the UK as an international recruit and you will want your new employee to be up to speed with the customs, practices and cultural norms of the UK swiftly.
Here are reasons why training will be so important to both the new employee and to your organisation:
Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity: Understanding British values and cultural differences helps you interact effectively with colleagues, clients, and their families. It shows respect for diverse backgrounds and perspectives, fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.
Effective Communication: Cultural behaviour and differences can affect communication styles and expectations. Learning about British communication norms can enhance your ability to convey information clearly and understand others’ needs and preferences.
Person-Centred Care: People come from diverse backgrounds. Being culturally sensitive enables you to tailor your approach to individual preferences, ensuring people feel respected and valued.
Ethical Considerations: Familiarity with British values and cultural norms helps you navigate ethical dilemmas that may arise in social care settings. It ensures your decisions align with local values and legal requirements.
Building Trust: Cultural competence fosters trust with clients and colleagues. When people perceive that you understand and respect their culture, they are more likely to feel comfortable sharing personal information and seeking assistance.
Conflict Resolution: Diverse teams can sometimes face conflicts arising from cultural misunderstandings. Knowledge of cultural differences can help mitigate conflicts and promote harmonious working relationships.
Professional Development: Acquiring cultural competence is a valuable skill that can boost your professional development and employability. It shows your adaptability and commitment to providing high quality care.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Adult social care in the UK works within a specific legal and regulatory framework. Understanding British values and cultural norms ensures your practice aligns with these regulations.
Promoting Inclusivity: Showing an understanding of British values and cultural differences helps create an inclusive environment where everyone’s contributions are valued and appreciated.
Personal Growth: Learning about different cultures and values can be personally enriching. It broadens your worldview, fosters empathy, and enhances your ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds.
Reducing Stereotypes and Biases: Training helps challenge stereotypes and biases that may exist due to cultural differences. This supports fair treatment and unbiased decision-making.
Enhancing Team Dynamics: Cultural diversity can lead to a richer exchange of ideas and perspectives within a team. Understanding cultural differences can improve collaboration and problem-solving.
The UK Government has a set of fundamental British Values that are expected to be upheld by all citizens and this includes international recruits. They are:
A culture built upon freedom and equality, where everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities.
The rule of law
The need for rules to make a happy, safe and secure environment to live and work.
Protection of your rights and the rights of others around you.
Mutual respect & tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Understanding that we all don’t share the same beliefs and values. Respecting those values, ideas and beliefs of others whilst not imposing our own onto them.
Many organisations have told us that international recruits benefit from having training around British culture and values and offer this to their new recruits. This is in addition to practical skills and knowledge that will be different from their country of origin.
Of course, your new recruit will also want to “fit in”, be culturally competent and part of the wider team to strengthen working and personal relationships. There is a lot of training that your organisation could tap into, should you not have this as part of your recruits induction which is often tailored specifically for international recruits.
Here are some options:
Employer-Provided Training: Social care employers offer training programmes for their staff, including international recruits and may offer this to other organisations in social care.
Local Training Providers: Look for local training providers, community organisations, or social care institutions that offer workshops, seminars, or courses on cultural competence and working effectively in a diverse environment.
Online Training Platforms: There are online platforms that offer courses on cultural competence and cross-cultural communication. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and FutureLearn often have relevant courses.
Government Resources: The UK government and its agencies may offer resources or training materials to help newcomers understand British values and cultural norms. Check websites like the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS, or the official government website.
Diversity and Inclusion Organisations: Nonprofit organisations focused on diversity and inclusion often supply training and resources. Look for organisations that specialise in cultural awareness, diversity training, or intercultural communication.
Local Community Centres: Local community centres, cultural organisations, or religious institutions may offer workshops or events that promote cultural awareness and understanding.
Professional Associations: Organisations related to adult social care or health and social care may offer training opportunities for newcomers to the sector. Check if they have resources or events related to cultural competence.
Universities and Colleges: Educational providers offer short courses, workshops, or seminars on cultural competence and diversity. These courses might be open to the public, even if you’re not a full-time student.
Networking Events: Attend networking events or conferences related to adult social care. These events often include discussions on cultural competence and diversity in the sector.
E-Learning Modules: Government bodies, universities, and nonprofit organisations supply free or low-cost e-learning modules on cultural competence and British values. These modules can be completed at your own pace.
Whilst you will research, or provide, your own training for your employee, here are links and further information to help you, as the sponsoring organisation that may be useful.
Skills for Care have information on the following link from everything to helping your new recruit settle into the UK. There is a welcome pack that has information specifically around culture change and the law covering rules and regulations in care in the UK which your employee would benefit from during their induction.
Whilst predominantly aimed at NHS recruitment there are short courses aimed at empowering patients to feel more in control of their physical and mental health
Personalised Care Institute supports health and care professionals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to help patients get more involved in decisions about their care. The PCI offer free online modules developing ideas of Personalised Care, with particularly relevant to international healthcare recruits looking to transition into the NHS: Core Skills, Shared Decision Making and Personalised Care and Support Planning
There are courses that your new recruit could take specifically designed for international recruits into social care, however, many come with costs attached. They cover sections around the rules and regulations with regard to social care in England and local customs and culture and much more. Here is a link to one so you can see what would be useful for your new recruit to help them settle as quickly as possible.
You may, as the sponsoring organisation, want any international recruitment you undertake, to have care workers already skilled and trained in their own country prior to arriving in the UK. The following link gives you some information on their specific support to you as a care provider.