Aleceia de Juan – Spanish/Italian Speaking Community Researcher (AdJ)
Magda Pasuit – Polish Speaking Community Researcher (MP)
Dr Mohanad Badeen – Arabic Speaking Community Researcher (MB)
Juliet Batista – Portuguese Speaking Community Researcher (JB)
Why were you attracted to community research?
I’ve always been interested in working with my community and I support any actions carried out to improve their situation. Some of the people in my community face problems, vulnerability or uncertainty and I really liked the idea of contributing to help find where the problems are. Another attraction for me was working as a part of a team in a project that involved different communities and diversity. (AdJ)
Its grassroots approach, recognising that we’re all different, come with different culture background thus may have different ideas on what is needed and how should be delivered. (MP)
I am always keen to do community research as it gives opportunities for individual service users to share their opinions and experiences (both good and bad) and give suggestions on how services could be improved to meet the needs of the community. (JB)
Why do you think it’s important?
I think research in general is essential to find solutions to problems, to improve the lives of people and society. (AdJ)
Each communities needs are different, thus its hard to come out with right solutions without asking them directly for I and placing yourself “in their shoes” for a minute. Through this project I can make a real difference for my community as I’m helping you to understand what Polish people really need and how efficiently you can deliver it. (MP)
Many members of these communities are marginalised and not included and integrated in the wider community mainly because the language and cultural barriers. SIS involvement in this work is particularly important due to this reason. (MB)
It is very important that service users are consulted when developing new projects and community services, so that these projects can be modified before they are implemented. A lot of money can be saved by carrying out community research before projects are implemented, as it prevents money being invested in new services which do not meet the needs of the community. The needs of all minority communities are different, so it is extremely important to provide a platform to enable them to express their differing experiences and concerns. (JB)
What did you enjoy most about it?
Team work, to see how a project develops, every phase has had something enjoyable. From the initial meetings and the training, to meeting people and working with them, to seeing the results of all the work. (AdJ)
I’ve met great people from various communities and learn more about their needs to not only Poles. (MP)
I enjoy very much meeting the Portuguese service users at the community research event and being able to not only ask their opinions but to also explain the services that are being developed and how they can be involved. At the most recent event, one of the service users offered to help as a volunteer with the NCS scheme, which was great. (JB)
What did you enjoy least about it?
I found the promotion difficult. I worried about people not being interested. (AdJ)
Promotion, many representatives of my communities work a lot or look after children, they haven’t got much time to engage. Also they don’t believe they can make any difference. (MP)
In what ways has the training you received been helpful?
It has provided me all I need to complete my task. (MP)
The training received by SIS was extremely helpful as I had a full understanding of the event before interpreting, and so I was able to prepare effectively before the event. (JB)
What could SIS do differently or better?
Not much, you have worked hard on this just some things are outside of your control. (MP)
The only thing I found disappointing was that not many Portuguese-speaking service users attended the event. For future events, it is important to look at ways of attracting more service users to the event. Many work so maybe an event with less hours would be better. (JB)