Agenda and minutes

Equalities Board - Tuesday, 7th September, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

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No. Item




As the Chair, Councillor Ergin Erbil, was unable to attend the meeting,

Councillor Margaret Greer (Vice-Chair) chaired the meeting.

Councillor Greer welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Erbil, Councillor Akpinar, Ben Ingber (Age UK Enfield), Ginnie Landon (Enfield Women’s Centre) and Nnenna Anyanwu (Citizen’s Advice Enfield).


Kerree Ahern, Programme Manager, North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had hoped to attend the meeting but was unfortunately now unable to so her apologies were also noted.



Members of the Board are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest registered in respect of any items on the agenda.



To agree the minutes from the Equalities Board meeting on the 15th July 2021.


The Board agreed the minutes of the last meeting held on the 15th July 2021.




Doug Wilson (Head of Strategy, Service Development & Resources, People) provided an update on Enfield Voluntary & Community Sectors’ Response to the Pandemic.


A new Voluntary & Community Sector offer was commissioned in 2017 and background information was provided regarding the activity and work undertaken over the past 3 to 4 years with Voluntary Sector Partners. This focused on various aspects including:


·         Accessible Information/Advice and practical support

·         Supporting informal (unpaid) carers

·         Independent living

·         Advocacy to ensure the voice of local people is heard

·         Supporting appropriate discharge from hospital

·         Supporting vulnerable people to manage housing and other practical tasks associated with daily living

·         And new this year, a service supporting people to better self-manage long term conditions.


The update given highlighted the following:


Lead Voluntary & Community Sector Providers


These include:


·         Enfield Connections

·         Enfield Carers Centre

·         Age UK Enfield

·         Enfield Disability Action

·         Alpha Care – (supporting people leaving hospital who are able but may live alone)

·         Riverside – (assisting with practical tasks to help maintain tenancy)

·         Enfield Voluntary Action – (support for a whole range of different things, especially during the pandemic. For example, shopping, collection and delivery of prescriptions etc.)


Impact of the Pandemic & Response


There had been an increased demand in many areas including:


·         Basic emergency needs, food, hot food, shopping, prescriptions and people needing social contact

·         Surge in on-line activity and requests for support with technology

·         Increasing numbers of people self-reporting increased levels of anxiety and depression

·         Increased requests for counselling support and debt management advice

·         Significant surge in carers requesting support, particularly around living with loved ones with dementia

·         Increased attendance at in-person sessions since restrictions eased but more from older people than younger ill/disabled people

·         All areas reporting significant increases in on-line, telephone contacts in the initial few months of lockdown which have decreased over time.


What has the Pandemic Changed


·         Technology was highlighted as an area where more support was needed

·         The way in which more people choose to interact so in-person versus virtual contact

·         The impact of social isolation/loneliness exacerbated for many

·         Older people adapted well to the pandemic – this was a testament to our Voluntary Services

·         Increased pressure on informal carers

·         But a more flexible response from our Voluntary Community Sector really welcomed as a critical lifeline for many vulnerable people in the community.

·         Highlighted the importance of maintaining better physical and mental health, for example to avoid falls/hospital admission- Falls project through safe and connected and new long-term conditions VCS contract

·         Request for befriending- telephone calls- a virtual chat over a cup of tea- these types of requests increased.

·         Although many people have been keen to get out into the open world with the easing of restrictions, many have also been keen to maintain the virtual contact.

·         It has been evident during the last 18 months how we have all been able to come together to serve the community and again this is testament to al the different services and partners.


Living with Covid and Learning from it


·         The importance of good hygiene and infection  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.



To update the Board on the following actions:


·         Provide opportunities for people to socially connect through volunteering, mentoring and befriending initiatives, building on the good practice of local organisations and on the legacy of our Enfield Stands Together Programme.


·         Enable the increased use of social prescribing to help people of all ages take part in positive activities within their communities and improve their mental and physical health.

Additional documents:


Duduzile Sher-Arami (Acting Director of Public Health) introduced the item, Social Prescription- London Borough of Enfield Public Health and provided an overview of latest developments around social prescription within the Council.


Social Prescribing is a way to help GPs and other frontline healthcare professionals to refer people to ‘services’ in their community instead of offering largely medicalised solutions. Often the first point of referral is a link worker who can talk to each person about the things that matter to them. Together they can produce a social as opposed to a medical prescription that will help to improve their health and well-being and address peoples’ needs in a holistic way.


The Board were advised that there is currently a lot of work taking place in Enfield around Social Prescribing and Enfield Council has a facilitative role in bringing partners together to look at how we develop Social Prescribing across the borough. Funding has recently been received from the Equalities levy through the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with a focus on young people at risk of becoming involved in serious youth violence.


Jo Ikhelef (CEO Enfield Voluntary Action) provided a further update, highlighting the following:


(i)            Social prescribing enables connections to non-medical activities and supports individuals to take greater control of their own health.

(ii)          It recognises that people’s health is determined by social, economic and environmental factors.

(iii)         There are many partners involved including Enfield Voluntary Action (EVA), Enfield Public Health, Voluntary and Community Groups (Including Equalities Groups), North Central London NHS, plus various others.

(iv)         Citizens Advice Enfield is one of the biggest activities that EVA connects with and at the centre of all the work are the Health Champions and Link Workers.

(v)          EVA’s approach is to put the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) at the heart of the system.

(vi)         Objectives include a community centred approach, co-production, peer support using lived experience and people in the lead.

(vii)        Methods of delivery include Health Champions, Simply Connect, volunteering, capacity building and grants programmes.

(viii)       Capacity building is a huge part of the work undertaken.

(ix)         Further information was provided on the EVA Health Champions. These are representatives of the VCS groups less engaged by the mainstream system where social exclusion and inequality has affected their health and wellbeing.

(x)          One in five GP appointments focus on wider social needs rather than acute medical issues.

(xi)         EVA funds two Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) advisers and the Link Workers connect many people to CAB.

(xii)        Simply Connect Enfield offers a searchable online directory of over 220 activities provided by community groups in Enfield for all age groups.

(xiii)       These activities include arts and crafts, outdoors, wellbeing, social groups, theatre, employment training, counselling and many more. This directory is updated weekly with new activities and information.

(xiv)      EVA employs 4 Link Workers for Unity Primary Care Network (PCN) and Evergreen PCN. They receive referrals from GPs for individuals presenting non-medical issues and then research and connect to relevant groups, activities and services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



To receive an update from the Enfield LGBT Network.


To update the Board on the following action:


·         Create an LGBT inclusive workplace by delivering training encouraging an active LGBT staff network and running a “LGBT allies” programme, which means non-LGBT staff can identify themselves as supportive individuals.


Tim Fellows (CEO Enfield LGBT Network) provided an update on how the LGBT Network came about, highlighting the following:


(i)            Enfield Council called the first meeting in June 2003 and the Network became a charity in September 2005.

(ii)          The two main functions for the Network are social support and representation.

(iii)         The Network now receives some funding from the Local Authority with other sources coming from elsewhere.

(iv)         Social support is provided to the following groups:

·         HIV+ Men’s group

·         Women’s Group

·         Youth Group

·         Tuesday Group (held in local pubs)

·         Counselling Service

·         Trans Information and Support

·         Hate Crime and Domestic Abuse reporting and support.

(v)          The Network represents LGBT+ people on many groups and boards, namely 23 Enfield Boards and 4 Pan London Boards.

(vi)         These boards cover areas such as Policing, Community Safety, Health, Sexual Health, Faith, Social Care, Voluntary Sector and Equalities.

(vii)        The Network facilitates training sessions on LGBT awareness, Trans awareness and HIV awareness.

(viii)       The Network provides most of its services from the Lancaster Centre and it also manages the centre for the use of many other VCS organisations in the borough.


Following Tim’s update the following comments/questions were raised:


1.    Councillor Orhan thanked Tim for his interesting update and asked if any of this invaluable work was covered within schools.


Tim explained that the organisation is mostly for over 18s with counselling support being offered to this age group. However, support is available for parents wishing to support their children, therefore guidance and advice can be provided on the best way to do this. The main youth work is carried out by The Proud Trust and Enfield Children and Young Persons’ Service (ECYPS). The Proud Trust meet regularly in two different youth centres across the borough and these sessions are very well attended.


In conclusion Tim advised the Board that young people from within the LGBT Community have a much higher suicide rate hence why LGBT mental health needs to be a priority.


The Chair thanked Tim for his update and said how encouraging it was to hear of the wonderful work undertaken by the Enfield LGBT Network.


Tinu Olowe (Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development) and Glyn Drew (Head of Employee Experience) provided a further update on the work to create an LGBT inclusive workplace by delivering training to encourage an active LGBT staff network and running an ‘LGBT allies’ programme, which means non-LGBT staff can identify themselves as supportive individuals. This supports the culture of change that the Local Authority are trying to embed across the organisation.


Enfield Council joined Stonewall Diversity Champions in 2020 and have already benefited from their expertise in developing our HR policies and
re-establishing our LGBTQ+ Staff Network.


The LGBTQ+ staff network has grown and developed over the past year with support from the Employee Experience Team and Stonewall. These staff-led network groups act as staff representatives for the council and help to make sure decisions are properly informed by diverse and representative points of view. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.






(i)            Enfield Council’s website would be updated shortly with a list of planned events taking place to celebrate Black History Month during October 2021.


(ii)          The Equalities Board Work Programme will be included as a standard item on future agendas to review and amend if necessary.

Action: Harriet Potemkin /Lucy Nasby /Stacey Gilmour


(iii)         Members requested that a Forward Plan be published for the Board’s agenda. Once agreed by the Chair this would be circulated to Members.

Action: Harriet Potemkin/Lucy Nasby/Stacey Gilmour


(iv)         It was also requested that the Draft Local Plan be included on the agenda for the December meeting.

Action: Harriet Potemkin/Lucy Nasby/Stacey Gilmour



To agree the dates for the forthcoming meetings of the board on the 1st December 2021 and 8th February 2022.


Noted and agreed the dates of the next Equality Board meetings as follows:


Wednesday 1st December 2021

Tuesday 8th February 2022