Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP)
MECOPP works specifically to:
-Support Black and Minority Ethnic carers to access supports and services appropriate to their caring situation.
-Develop a strategic response to identified gaps in service provision.
-Assist service providers, both statutory and voluntary, in the development of culturally competent services.
-Develop opportunities for the active involvement of Black and Minority Ethnic carers in consultation planning.
-Raise the profile of Black and Minority Ethnic carers and their needs at a national level.
-Works specifically with Gypsy/Traveller communities in rural and urban areas of Scotland.
In 1997 the first substantive piece of research into the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic carers was published by MECOPP. The report highlighted the difficulties experienced by Minority Ethnic carers in accessing mainstream statutory and voluntary sector services, including those specifically set up to support carers.
The work of the researcher was overseen by a multi-agency advisory group that became known as MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project).
Following the publication of the report, two year funding was secured from the Scottish Executive Ethnic Minority Grant Scheme (EMGS) to take the recommendations of the report forward. Two part-time development workers were employed to provide an advice and information service, and advocacy and casework support to carers from the South Asian and Chinese communities.
In 1999, a third year’s funding was secured from EMGS to further develop the work of the existing pilot project.
In the same year, the MECOPP Advisory Group undertook to establish MECOPP as a separate organisation. Limited company status was secured in December and independent charitable status granted in January 2000.
To support this, a substantial funding application was made to the National Lotteries Charities Board (now the Big Lottery Fund). Funding to the amount of approximately £200,000 was awarded in May 2000.
The work of the newly independent organisation commenced in January 2001 with a fulltime manager and two fulltime development staff having been appointed in the interim period.
In June 2001, MECOPP moved into its newly refurbished Carers Centre based in Edinburgh.
Over the course of the three year grant, MECOPP achieved the following key milestones:
-Exceeded its specified targets in years one, two and three for new and existing beneficiaries;
-Increased statutory funding by 100%;
-Generated £319,418 in fundraising for new projects/service developments;
-Created nine additional project posts;
-Developed a carers wellbeing service providing 384 hours of respite/short breaks from caring per year;
-Conducted primary research into the experiences of Minority Ethnic carers and service users undergoing community care assessments;
-Published a training pack informed by the above research;
-Increased the profile of Minority Ethnic carers and older people in the development of local policies (for example, Community Care Plans, Carers Action Plans, Local Health Plans, Public Authority Race Equality Schemes and Community Learning Plans); and,
-Increased its national presence (for example, Member of the National Care Standards Committee, Chair of the Short Breaks and Respite Working Group as part of the NCSC, and member of the Scottish Executive Refugee and Asylum Seekers Satellite Group on Health and Social Care).
In December 2003 a second application was submitted to the Big Lottery Fund to extend MECOPP services to those caring for an adult or adults aged 25+. This application was successful and approximately £243,000 was awarded. The extended service began operating from April 2004.See more