Sure Start, a central government funded initiative, under the umbrella of Swansea NHS Trust, is working in the health care sector.
Sure Start realised a research which has shown that on a local level, in general, people from minority ethnic backgrounds are less likely to access health services appropriately and are consequently more likely to have health problems.
Sure Start has recently started to offer services for the production and delivery of cultural diversity training programmes for healthcare and other professionals to enable them to work appropriately with this client group.
One of the main aims of the Sure Start programme is to improve health by supporting parents in caring for children and promoting children's health and development. This was approached in two ways i.e. by raising awareness in professionals of cultural diversity issues e.g. language, diet, religion and culture and by developing appropriate interventions for clients in order to maximise health potential.
In order to achieve this, Sure Start continues to develop a needs-led service where one of the main objectives is to encourage/enable clients to access health professionals and ultimately make healthy decisions/choices about their lifestyles. In many instances this involves raising awareness in such a way that common cultural practices are questioned and attitudes changed.
The work is undertaken in clients' homes and various community venues, sometimes collaboratively with other local agencies/professionals. It often includes training programmes and the development of visual resources.