Godwin Daudu is an engagement officer at Community360 who has been running the Diverse Communities Action Plan (DCAP) project. He has won multiple awards for his work including the Lawrence Walker Award for the positive change that he has catalysed within community building in Colchester. We spoke to him to gain an insight into the amazing work he has done!

Who are you and what is your role? 

I am an engagement officer working on DCAP, which was a follow on from the ethnic minorities group. We actively look to connect with ethnic minority communities in Colchester and open them up to opportunities for them to thrive, breaking down any barriers or issues they may face. To identify these issues we took an approach which championed co-production through consultation in the community, so that the communities could have their say in what support they need to live well. This support ranged from health equity, cultural awareness, representation, cross-cultural parenting, suicide prevention and men’s mental health, amongst many other things.

How has your role shaped the lives of people in your community? 

Through the consultation we identified local leaders and created a community forum to address issues that arose from consultation. Doing so we created a network that could facilitate partnership working through signposting, peer support and referring to those with the expertise. For example, we found that domestic violence is under-reported amongst minority communities. We invited the domestic abuse charity Next Chapter to give a presentation that showed people in those communities what is available. This opened a conversation so people from these communities were aware of what services were available to them, building the capacities for community members to take action themselves!

What is the biggest success you have had throughout the project? 

I simply cannot choose just one! Two immediately spring to mind: the men’s mental health work and combatting stigma around autism and neurodivergence.

During the men’s mental health work we collaborated with the 12th Man Campaign to run three sessions of adult mental health training. These explained what mental health means, what challenges men face, barriers and how people can manage things. We were able to train ten men to go out and influence ten other men by talking to them about mental health in an informal manner which did not put pressure on others. By doing so we were able to create a network of men in Colchester who were equipped to support others with their mental health without the ordeal of going through the formal processes of mental health evaluation, which can be quite intimidating.

The second successful project addressed the stigma felt around autism and neurodivergence. We found that the stigma created a barrier to families looking for help, leaving their children struggling. Parents within ethnic minority communities sometimes have difficulty knowing how to access help from relevant services, which at times led to social service involvement. So, we created the opportunity for people to come and talk about these issues through the Re-breathe group, which offers support to families in Colchester. Using its reach within the community C360 has been able to identify families affected and bring the services to them. The Re-breathe group has now registered as a CIC and meets once a week in the One Colchester Community Hub.

What are your future aspirations for the project?

To support, through extra funding opportunities, to empower the communities we work with to run their own groups and take ownership over the community support they access, as well as expand our activities outside the current bounds of the project through funding more roles!

For more information on the Diverse Communities Action Plan project, please contact Godwin Daudu for more information e: information@community360.org.uk t: 01206 505250