This briefing shares learning and recommendations about working effectively and sensitively with small tight-knit ethnic minority communities, and about risks and protection factors for social isolation.
It is drawn from an Ambition for Ageing - funded British Red Cross project tackling social isolation of older people in Bangladeshi communities in Greater Manchester.
The project found it difficult to recruit participants. It was a year before any referrals were received from Housing Associations and GPs, and community members did not respond to publicity inviting self-referral. Investigation by the project workers found a number of factors behind this, relating to the tight-knit nature of these small minority communities.
Some key observations included issues around building trust and cultural sensitivity and community values - for example, being sensitive with the use of language so not create confusion or cultural concern - and understanding social isolation in wider community connections, especially for gender specific experiences.