“As someone living with Long Covid…you want somebody to believe what you're going through.” Davine Forde
National Voices held their event, Long Covid webinar event: A community-focused response, where they were joined by Davine Forde (Manchester BME Network CIC), Claire Hastie (Long Covid Support), Michael MacLennan (covid:aid) and Sammie Mcfarland (Long Covid Kids) in an enlightening panel discussion, focusing on the depth and breadth of dedication within the Long Covid community space.
National Voices colleagues, Rachel Matthews (Head of Experience) and Keymn Whervin (Lived Experience Associate), also joined the event and spoke about the importance of getting people with lived experience in the room and at the heart of decision-making. Their focus on co-production highlighted a fantastic opportunity to harness the resourcefulness within our communities by working with people throughout decision-making processes.
Key actions coming out of the event:
- Change government messaging to emphasise the severity of Long Covid (updating symptom lists, circulating recent data etc.).
- Provide practical support for those living with Long Covid by building pathways that straddle formal clinical services and the community.
- Invest in both prevention and cure of Long Covid.
- Consider underserved voices throughout policy and research in this space (children, minority ethnic groups, linguistic minorities etc.)
It is clear that social determinants such as income, housing and discrimination affect the levels of support people receive for Long Covid. The National Voice's current Long Covid project is a collaboration with six partner organisations who support communities at risk of exclusion.Their work so far has demonstrated the power of supporting each other and showing solidarity in the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector. It recognises the importance of tailoring clinical and non-clinical services to support the needs of specific communities.
If you missed the live event, you can watch a recording here. You can also read Aleyah Babb-Benjamin's, Outreach and Insight Manager, reflections on the event in her blog.
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