Day 7 of Race Equality Week 2021. Here are some more of our client stories which demonstrate how POhWER supports people from a diverse range of ethnic communities to uphold their rights.

Haniah’s Story

Haniah is a 60 year old Ghanaian woman who lives alone. She has multiple health issues and is assisted to live at home by carers provided by social services. Among other tasks they perform for her, Haniah’s carers prepare meals for her. Haniah has started having seizures which has meant that she has not been able to cook her favourite foods. Haniah asked her carers to make her some Ghanaian meals but they said they were unable to do this for her.

Haniah contacted POhWER for advice about her care. James was appointed as Haniah’s advocate. Haniah explained to James that her food is important to her because it reminds her of her late mother who she used to always help to cook big meals for their family. Haniah said that not being able to make or eat Ghanaian food made her miss her family even more and feel very alone.

James asked Haniah about her care package and she explained that she had a review coming up and would like an advocate to attend.
James made arrangements for Haniah and himself to meet with the social worker who was allocated to Haniah’s case. Together they discussed personalisation as a way that Haniah could be assessed for a personal budget via direct payments in order for her to hire her own carers, in this way she could choose carers that could meet her cultural needs.

A care review was arranged and Haniah’s care needs were assessed with the support of her advocate - James. At the care review, Haniah expressed her wish for the option of a direct payment to be explored.

Haniah was not eligible to receive a direct payment at that time as she had some unpaid care charges. However, now she is aware that she can request this, Haniah will ask for another assessment for direct payment support once her care charges have been paid.

Haniah was a victim of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 as she had been allocated carers who were not able to meet her cultural needs. By supporting Haniah to ask for a direct payment so that she could choose her own carers and have control over the way she is cared for, James was upholding her right to freedom of expression (Human Right Act 1998) and Freedom from Discrimination (Human Right Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010).

Tawfeeq’s Story

Tawfeeq is a Muslim man living in a care home. He approached Delilah, a POhWER advocate who visited the home, and asked if she could help him to have access to an Imam. Delilah spoke to the staff at the care home about Tawfeeq’s request and they made arrangements for an Imam from the local community to visit him.

Delilah also asked if the staff could ensure that religious support/services were made available for all residents to access if they wanted to. The care home contacted various local religious groups and arranged for the residents to have regular access.

Article 9 of the Human Rights Act protects your right to freedom of thought, belief and religion. By raising the need for Tawfeeq and the other residents of the care home to have access to religious support and services, POhWER Advocate, Delilah is protecting and upholding their right to talk about their beliefs and take part in religious worship and receive religious teaching as covered by Article 9. By ensuring that access to religious services is optional she is also helping to uphold their right to not be forced to demonstrate views or behaviour associated with any particular religion against their wishes.