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Luton Borough Council

08/01/2021 - Community project to tackle the health inequalities of Covid19 in Luton

Luton Council together with the Institute of Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire are launching today (8 January) a unique community engagement project - COVID-19 Talk Listen Change (TLC).

​The project aims to explore why Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, black African and black Caribbean communities have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus.

The COVID-19 TLC project led by Dr Nasreen Ali, Reader in Public Health Equality, from the Institute of Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire will engage with these communities to seek their views and experiences of the virus to determine a better understanding of how they have been affected by the pandemic. A key goal of the initiative is to work with residents to develop solutions to some of the identified barriers and issues in order to tackle health inequalities.

The project will include:

  • an online community survey to allow residents to share their views
  • online focus group discussions with Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and the black African and black Caribbean community members living in wards most affected by COVID-19 (Northwell, Leagrave, Biscot, Dallow, Saints and South)
  • one to one interviews with frontline health and social care workers
  • community debates via online events

Councillor Khtija Malik, Portfolio holder with responsibility for public health and wellbeing, said: “In Luton, data has revealed that the impact of this pandemic has been particularly detrimental for our Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and the black African and black Caribbean community members living in areas of greatest deprivation in the town.

“Working together we can develop solutions so that we can reduce local health disparities. I am therefore encouraging residents as well as health and social care workers from these particular communities to come forward and engage in the project. Your input is crucial in helping the council to protect communities most affected by COVID-19 and to allow us to develop services to meet your needs.

“Please complete the survey today and sign up to join a community focus group or participate in a one to one interview – your views really do matter.”

Professor Gurch Randhawa, Director of the Institute of Health Research, University of Bedfordshire, who is working with Dr Nasreen Ali, said: “The University of Bedfordshire is committed to ensuring a voice for all communities affected by COVID-19. We are delighted to be working with Luton Council to develop community-centred solutions to reduce health inequalities.”

This initiative is part of the work plan of the Health Inequalities Delivery Board, a sub-group of the Health and Wellbeing Board.  The findings of this project will be key to informing the ongoing work for these boards to tackle inequalities in Luton, including the response and resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on how to participate is available on our website​. You can have you say by completing an online​ survey or joining a community focus group or participating in a one to one interview. 

© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ