Equality and diversity - Partnership working
Perth & Kinross Council continue to work with a range of different partner organisations to deliver our equalities programme. Many of those organisations are experts in a specific area of equalities and it is vital that we are able to learn from their expertise to ensure our services remain inclusive and fair for all.
We have the longest running partnership agreement of any Scottish local authority with Show Racism the Red Card to deliver anti-racism educational workshops to our schools in conjunction with St. Johnstone Community Trust. St. Johnstone Community Trust also work with the Council to deliver a number of community projects such as an inclusive sports programme for adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental wellbeing issues; a Football Memories programme for those with experience of dementia or age-related memory problems and a Street Sports programme as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour. All programmes have received individual award recognition at either a local or national level for the positive outcomes they have achieved for participants.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender (LGBT)
We were the first local authority in Scotland to sign the Stonewall Scotland 'No Bystanders' pledge and remain committed to their Diversity Champions programme. We also work closely with partners including LGBT Youth Scotland and Pink Saltire in relation to the developing our services suitably for the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
Minority ethnic communities
We also fund 3 organisations to deliver specialist services to minority ethnic communities - PKAVS Minority Communities Hub; MECOPP Gypsy/Traveller Carers Project and Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC). We work closely with those organisations on a number of initiatives to provide our diverse communities with the necessary support and advice to access the services they require. At the heart of this work to help those communities integrate and feel fully included has been our Multi-cultural events and community lunch club programme. Joint work has also taken place in relation to the Bridging the Gap Project in response to this research into the Ageing Minority Ethnic population in Perth and Kinross and most recently in response to the integration of a number of Syrian families in the area under the Home Office Re-settlement Programme for which a successful multi-agency approach was led by our Housing service. At a national level we were one of the participating pilot areas within the COSLA Migration Matters Project.
We have specific care group strategies for our different disability groups including Mental Health and Wellbeing; Physical Disability (including a See Hear sub-group) and Learning disabilities (Keys to Life). Each of those strategies are led by the integrated health and social care partnership and involve range of other partner organisations as appropriate. We have also established a Safe Place Group in the past year in partnership with the Centre for Inclusive Living in Perth and Kinross which was established to look at issues surrounding safety/access for people with disabilities and to bring key partner organisations/agencies face-to-face with service users.
A recent significant initiative locally was the establishment of a Fairness Commission - an independent Commission of 11 individuals, with a broad range of experience, expertise and influence at both national and local levels. Appointed by Perth & Kinross Community Planning Partnership (CPP), the Commission set out to learn more about how people living in Perth and Kinross experience poverty and inequality in their everyday lives. The Fairness Commission published their Fairer Futures Report in April 2017 and recommendations will be influencing our wider equalities work.