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Introduction

This evaluation aims to explore the impact that Sunrise’s work is having on beneficiaries and the difference it has made. The evaluation will analyse what worked and what did not and whether and how difficulties have been overcome. The report looks at activities and programmes provided since January 2016 and makes recommendations for future actions to achieve the greatest impact. The evaluation measures impact against the outcomes in the evaluation framework developed in 2015 by Sunrise staff and trustees supported by Action Planning as part of the funding from Henry Smith Foundation.

Evaluation framework

Sunrise has developed an evaluation framework based on the theory of change. This takes account of Sunrise’s overall aim “to empower children and families to reach their potential at home, in school and within the community”.

Target group Project outcomes
Children aged 5 to 9 Improved confidence and aspirations
Improved social inclusion
Improved ability to express themselves confidently
Teenage girls aged 10 to 19 Improved confidence and aspirations
Improved social inclusion
Improved ability to express themselves confidently
Improved understanding of healthy relationships
Improved understanding of how to stay safe
Teenage boys aged 10 to 19 Improved confidence and aspirations
Improved social inclusion
Improved ability to express themselves confidently
Improved understanding of healthy relationships
Improved understanding of how to stay safe
Improved attitudes towards women
Women Raised self-esteem
Improved skills and aspirations for themselves and their children
Improved confidence to challenge family decisions and cycles of abuse
Improved understanding of healthy relationships
Men Improved understanding of healthy relationships
Improved positive parenting
BAME wider community Improved understanding about safeguarding and healthy relationships

Sunrise’s progamme of activities and support to achieve project outcomes is based on engagement, informal learning and structured informal learning activities involving partnership work on most of the activities.

Evaluation methodology

The evaluation combined the collection of quantitative and qualitative data. The methodology included:

  • desk research which interrogated documents including Sunrise constitution, Sunrise business plan 2017 to 2020, annual reports, timetable/fliers of activities, data on attendance, staff session reports, paper evaluations by adults, teenagers and children, evaluations prepared for Henry Smith Foundation, Tudor Trust and BBC Children in Need, project evaluation report 2012, “Youthie” evaluation report July 2016 (teenage boys Prevent), Home Office evaluation report Youthie August 2016, “Open Choice, Healthy Communities” evaluation report July 2016 (teenage boys, men and males in BME community, Forced Marriage Unit)
  • face to face interviews with staff, managers and trustees
  • semi structured interviews with participants
  • questionnaires
  • case studies

Background to Sunrise Multicultural Project

Sunrise works with the most disadvantaged black and minority ethnic groups (BAME) in Banbury, Oxfordshire providing support and education to encourage integration and achievement so that families can build better futures for themselves and their children. The majority of beneficiaries are of Pakistani Muslim heritage.

The project started in 1995 as part of Oxfordshire County Council’s response to the needs of BAME young children and their families who had been coming to live in Banbury for some years but for whom settling in was difficult. The project became a registered charity in 2002, with a management committee made of members of the local Asian heritage community, local statutory and voluntary services and Community Police.

The project addresses cultural issues affecting family’s parenting abilities and their inclusion and integration into the wider community in Banbury. Children’s work through regular Saturday clubs lies at the heart of Sunrise’s work. However, Sunrise has identified a need, if children, young people and families are to reach their potential, to develop work to safeguard and support vulnerable family members, particularly women and children involved in unhealthy relationships and domestic abuse, including forced marriage and child sexual exploitation (CSE) and teenagers at risk of radicalisation. To undertake this work, Sunrise is adopting an integrated whole family and community approach to identify and analyse underlying values and belief systems in order to bring about changes in attitude and behaviour where these are needed to safeguard vulnerable children, young people and women and provide life choices based on respect, equality and British values of tolerance and a just, fair society based on the rule of law. Following the BREXIT vote and recent racist and homeland terrorism attacks and the high profile given to atrocities outside the UK by so called Muslim extremists, Sunrise is placing a higher emphasis on developing a programme of activities which bring different ethnic communities together and fosters understanding and friendship.

Aims of the project

Sunrise aims to provide support and education to cultural minority families in Banbury so that:

  • families have improved health and well being
  • parents develop social skills and confidence in parenting
  • parents improve English language skills and are better able to support their children’s education and take part in community activities and development
  • children develop confidence and skills through play and learning
  • disadvantages faced by families are redressed
  • there is greater cultural awareness and integration amongst members of the community

Funding

Sunrise has responded to reductions in local authority grants and increased competiveness in the grants and trusts sector by rationalising core costs and focusing on areas of the greatest need for family and individual wellbeing which also correspond to government priorities – domestic abuse including honour based violence, counter extremism and social integration.

Total income and expenditure for the last 2 years:

Year Income Expense Total reserves at year end
2015 £88,560 £88,721 £135,440
2016 £111,844 £93,118 £154,166

It is the policy of Sunrise Trustees to always have in hand the costs of closure (totalling about £60,000), should the worst happen.

Since 2015 the main sources of income for Sunrise have been BBC Children in Need (Saturday clubs), Home Office Prevent (teenage boys), Forced Marriage Unit (teenage boys and girls), Henry Smith Foundation (core staff costs, evaluation), Lloyds Foundation (core costs, domestic abuse focused work), Tudor Trust (core costs), Oxford Community Foundation (ladies drop in and support) Sovereign fund (ladies drop in), Sanctuary Housing (ladies drop in, integration activities), Oxfordshire Children’s Safeguarding Board (teenage boys), child sexual exploitation, Co-op (ladies sports/exercise activities).

Background to the need for the project

Despite many of the families now being second or third generation immigrants, there is still insufficient social mobility and aspirations remain low between generations. Language, cultural and religious differences can contribute to deep social exclusion and many BAME community members do not have the confidence, know-how or communication skills to access mainstream services who in turn do not necessarily fully understand or respond to the diverse needs of the BAME communities.

Trust between the BAME communities and the police is very low with community members preferring to take matters into their own hands rather than involve the police. The Asian Muslim heritage communities in Banbury are dominated by elders in the community who are mainly high-ranking mosque members. Their cultural perspectives which in many cases hark back to previous generations and a different culture are rooted in culture rather than Islamic teaching, make communication with the younger generations and women very problematic. This leads to marginalisation, restrictions on the women and children in their families and abusive behaviours, including emotional abuse, prevents integration and holds back today’s generation from leading safe and fulfilled lives as part of the wider British community.

The teenage boys in particular are often over reliant on information obtained on the internet accessed with no adult supervision or guidance. The current high profile given to extremism and radicalisation and an increase in Islamaphobia leave families and young people feeling confused and vulnerable, unsure of their identities and how they fit in to British society.

Asian heritage workers regularly send a proportion of their income to their families “back home”, leaving little for the family in England to manage on. It is becoming more common to take on a second wife resulting in loyalties, time and income being spread across two households. Many children miss out on basic family activities such as days out or books at home.

Asian families are large, with a high proportion of children under 16 years old. Mothers do not have the benefit of the support of older women as they would in their country of origin, and both men and women think in terms of their own upbringing in a different culture to that found in the UK. Fathers are not active in parenting but make the decisions regarding the family.

Parents are not familiar with the notion of informal play provision, having come from a culture of large families living and working together in the community. There is little understanding of a structured home routine for bringing up children. Anxieties about safety on the streets lead to children being kept at home outside school and not having the opportunity to play with other children. Parents also prefer separate provision for girls. The lack of external stimulation and interaction contributes to the children underachieving educationally. Asian parents are keen to maintain their children’s education in Islamic studies and send them to daily classes at the mosque. The teaching methods are different to those in schools and may cause confusion for children about what is expected of them. Mosque school generally takes place after formal school hours which means that the children do not attend after school clubs in the usual way.

The ethnic minority families from whatever background need help in communicating with service providers. Parents are not able to help with school work, and indeed the children are often put into the position of being interpreters and translators, leading to an overlap of the roles of child and parent. Children can acquire a position of power over their parents because they may be the intermediary in meetings with health, social care and education professionals. This can cause problems with discipline and relationship between parent and child. Children act as carers for parents with medical issues, particularly where parents speak little English and/or take on childcare duties with younger siblings while mum is cooking and cleaning.

Sunrise beneficiaries live mainly in Ruscote, Grimsbury and Castle (GC) and Neithrop, Banbury. Parts of Ruscote and GC are within the top 20% most deprived wards in England based on the indices of multiple deprivation 2015. Ruscote ranks within the 10% most deprived nationally on education and adult skills, GC ranks within the 10% most deprived nationally on health, crime, education, employment. 32% of Neithrop residents have no qualifications (Cherwell average 20%). 4% of residents in Neithrop, 3% in Ruscote , 3% in GC cannot speak English; 15% in Neithrop, 16% in Ruscote, 17% in GC cannot speak English well. Banbury increased in ethnic diversity from 11% ethnic minority groups in 2001 to 24% in 2011. 2011 census results show the largest increases were in the South Asian and “other white” groups – Ruscote 7% in 2001 rising to 17% in 2011, Neithrop 10% in 2001 rising to 25% in 2011, Grimsbury and Castle 17% in 2001 rising to 29% in 2011 ((Census 2011). About 10,000 people of Asian Muslim heritage live in Banbury.

The Social Integration Commission (2013) identified lack of social integration as leading to a fractured society with extreme social and economic inequalities.

2016 research:

Professor T. Cantle identified greater segregation in residential areas, schools and workplaces which drives prejudice, intolerance and mistrust between communities resulting in a Britain more segregated than 15 years ago.

Dame Louise Casey identified people from Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups as three times more likely than White British to be unemployed. 25% of Pakistani men are employed as taxi drivers. Strong gender inequalities still exist, particularly in some ethnic groups where women face a “double onslaught” of gender equality, combined with religious, cultural and social barriers preventing them from accessing even their basic rights as British residents. 57.2% of women from Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups are inactive in the labour market, compared with 38.5% of all ethnic minority women and 25.2% of White women.

Her report highlights:

  • a strong correlation of increased segregation in Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic households in more deprived areas with poorer English skills, poorer labour outcomes. She suggests that this negative cycle will not be broken without a more concerted and targeted effort.
  • rates of social mobility in Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic households are significantly lower than rates for White groups
  • high levels of social and economic isolation and cultural and religious practices hold some people back
  • such practices are contrary to British values and sometimes the law
  • women and children are often targets of these repressive practices
  • leaders and institutions are not doing enough to stand up against the practices and protect vulnerable people.

The Casey Review
A review into opportunity and integration

Sunrise operates in response to issues and interests raised by local BAME adults, teenagers and children. There is no other organisation in Banbury or the local area which provides services specifically aimed at the needs of BAME adults and children and beneficiaries comment positively on the need for and uniqueness of the services provided by Sunrise. In May 2017, eleven women attending the weekly drop in took part in a questionnaire about Sunrise services:

Q. With no Sunrise would you know…

Yes No
About new laws on forced marriage/rights and responsibilities? 1 10
Where to go for help on personal issues at home? 1 10
Would you be building confidence e.g. to apply for jobs, go and talk to school 5 6

Several teenage boys attending the youth sessions on extremism mentioned that they thought the group was a real asset and gave them something to do in the evenings.

“Never thought about religion before now I know how to talk about it. I think Banbury would be a lot worse without this group. We’d just be playing on the internet”.

Staffing

The Project manager and project co-ordinator are the only substantial members of staff (project manager 37 hours a week and project co-ordinator 20 hours a week). There are 6 sessional workers for the Saturday clubs. Because of the uncertain funding for the teenage youth groups, sessional workers are sought to cover activities when funding is secured.

Project activities

A total of 670 BAME women, children and teenagers took part in Sunrise activities in 2016.

Group Total number of participants
Saturday clubs/youth group 62
Ladies drop in 27
Crèche for ladies drop in 11
Boys 14 to 19 35
Family trips 265
Play and fun days 224
Ladies Aerobics 10
Domestic abuse counselling 3
1:1 support/advice 33

Achievement and impact are measured and recorded through oral and written user evaluations and questionnaires, photos and video, session scrapbooks, staff observations, written session feedback and case studies.

1. Play and Fun days (engagement)
Sunrise joins with other local organisations to provide activities for families from every community in Banbury about twice a year. BAME families support Sunrise in providing culturally specific activities e.g. henna hand painting as well as attending to take part themselves. Families feed back to staff that they enjoy these days and ask when the next one will be.

Achievement and Impact

No formal data is collected from participants but it is clear from speaking to Sunrise manager and staff that participation raises Sunrise’s profile with other providers and provides opportunities for the BAME communities to be more visible and share aspects of their culture.

2. Family trips (engagement, informal learning)
During August 2016, family trips were made to the seaside at Weston-Super-Mere and Twin Lakes theme park. The trip to Weston was made jointly with the Asian Elders Women’s group from East Street Children’s Centre (5 coaches – 265 adults and children). Two fathers joined the trip to Weston and children ranged from small babies to aged 18. Achievement and impact.

Trips are always very important to the women and children as it takes them out of their daily routine and widens their horizons. For some a Sunrise trip is the only one they go one.

Participants reported that they were pleased to go to a place they had never been before (Weston) as this was a new experience for them.

3. Saturday clubs (informal and structured informal learning):
children aged 5 -9 (term time only x 2 hours) 3 clubs 90 children
children aged 10 – 14 (term time only x 2 hours) 1 club 21 children

Activities have been extended to children aged 14, providing for two different age groups in separate sessions , children aged 5 to 9 and aged 10 to 14. Activities in 2015/2016 have included ice skating, canoeing, basketball, trips, baking/cooking, 1:1 with animals/insects, playing different games, making things, cultivating in the Banbury Community garden. The children prioritized the experiences for themselves as the most memorable for example holding insects (A. aged 7), going on trips (M. aged 7), jumping from high places and playing more games (M. aged 9), building lego and baking cakes (J. aged 9), making robot and trying to have fun on trips (H. aged 7). The Mini Beast Road Show gave the children the chance to handle insects. For every child this was a first time experience and many overcame a fear of insects to take part. Sessions have covered bullying, racism with additional input on cyber bullying for children aged 10 to 14. Through role plays the children identified reactions to different situations and learnt ways of reporting incidents of bullying through social media and how this would be followed up by the police.

The clubs had days out at Cadbury’s World (46 children) and London Zoo (43 children).

Achievement and impact

Staff report that through the year most children have started to take more responsibility in sessions e.g. clearing up, helping other children. On the sports day, the older children had sufficient confidence to take a leading role in helping the younger children with their competitions. Particularly the older girls have reported increased confidence and skills in cooking. One girl reported that the Saturday cooking sessions are helping her with food technology at school, “it has helped me with cooking at school because we make lots of stuff at Saturday (club) for snack”.

Children often reported how the Saturday clubs gave them opportunities to engage and try new activities:

“If I weren’t at Saturday club today I would probably be sleeping in bed”.
"We do loads of new things and I love it when we cook".
"We get to make things and that's my favourite".
"I tried cooking and I've gone to new places".
"It was new, holding insects".

Staff have responded to challenges e.g. in behaviour by introducing different team and whole group activities for part of the session to encourage concentration, turn taking, support for each other and listening skills. This has shown positive results.

“Children are listening during games to help their listening skills.”

Staff evaluate each session recording the activities provided, what worked well (how and why), what did not work well (why), how to improve the session and benefits of the session to individual children. Comments on benefits to individual children included:

“Children T, I, Z and A benefited as they initiated their own puppet show and presented to the rest of the group”.

“Child T baked the cakes by herself and played snooker with H teaching him how to play”.

“Child A cleans up and puts away play equipment without being asked by staff and even helps clear up other people’s dishes”.

“Boys washing up and drying – volunteered”.

“Child A was playing with different children, her confidence is growing. R was helping others. AR kept on trying with the puzzle”.

“Child H was very interested in the science experiment and really engaged in the activity.”

“Child A got involved in all parts of the session including the football which she doesn’t normally play”.

Following sessions on bullying and racism, staff reported that children were better able to identify situations where they felt safe in contrast to unsafe situations. Some children reported that they now felt more confident on where to go for help following a bullying or racist incident. One girl linked input at the sessions with a safety video she had seen at school which re-enforced the messages for her. Sessions also built a closer relationship between staff and children as it aired a topic often swept under the carpet. It gave opportunities for children to share their own experiences of being bullied and what steps they had taken to remedy the situation.

Following trips to Cadbury’s World and London Zoo, from 68 responses, 76% said they had had a great day out and 47% said that the trip would definitely give them something to talk about at school, with neighbours or other people.

Evaluations made in July 2017 with the children attending Saturday clubs at Ruscote Hall, Orchard Way and St. Leonard’s church hall (13 boys and 16 girls – 47% of users) showed that:

4. Teenage Boys Group 14 – 19 (term time only x 2 hours) (informal and structured informal learning)
In 2016, the group focused on combatting extremism, healthy relationships, rights and responsibilities, forced marriage. 22 boys enrolled for the sessions on combatting extremism with a weekly attendance of 6 boys.

The project aimed to support the boys in identifying ideologies leading to radicalisation, developing a positive narrative of identity and belonging and developing an interest in active citizenship. In spring 2017, sessions focused on child sexual exploitation and six boys have enrolled, including one boy with a disability. The youth club meets on a weekday evening 6.30 to 8.30 p.m and works closely with Imam Monawar Hussain of the Oxford Foundation who provides an Islamic perspective on the topics under discussion.

Impact and achievement

The Prevent funded programme gave the boys their first chance to talk openly about potentially risky topics and bring to the surface issues of identity and belonging. They were clear about the importance of this opportunity to them. They were not getting any chance at home or school, so were over reliant on the internet and social media.

“I’ve not been able to talk to anyone ever before”.
“I really love it (talking and discussing)”.
“It’s great to be open to speak about it”.

Eight boys made a short video describing themselves and their aspirations. The eight boys who completed the final evaluation all felt the sessions had made them think more about why people turn to extremism.

The boys appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Islam and develop arguments to counter prejudice against Islam which they met in person and on social media.

“ I enjoy these discussions. I now know much more about the meaning of jihad. Before I just knew it meant struggle for life but no details. Now I have better information and ideas to explain the meaning to other people”.
“It’s good to learn more about Islam, because before ISIS and stuff I never thought about my religion that much. There is no other space like this (Sunrise) where we can talk about this stuff, not teachers or home or stuff”.

Following the session on consent in marriage, 90% of the boys attending reported that, as a result of the session they understood more about consent.

One mother spoke of the importance of the project for her son.
“I’m so happy that my son is coming to the two hour sessions, so he’s safe and not hanging out with people on the streets getting in to trouble. This programme has kept my son E. off the streets. He’s not a bad boy, it’s just that he’s a follower and gets in with the wrong crowd. He loved going to the sessions. I never had to push him and he introduced other boys to the course. He was very impressed with the Peace event at Eton College. Before this (the course) he was going to be a taxi driver. Now he’s enrolled for construction next year at Banbury College. It helped him think things out. We need more activities like this for the boys – like camping, more discussion – to develop leadership skills.

Mother of participant E. aged 16

5. Ladies drop in (informal and structured informal learning)

The ladies drop in meets every Tuesday 12.30 to 2.30 term times only with a crèche for pre-school children. Between 12 and 18 women attend weekly. The sessions are mainly led by the women who bring and lead the cooking of different recipes, share sewing activities and sharing family issues. A project to improve integration between communities started in December 2016 with a women’s group from St Leonard’s church Banbury. Women visit each other’s sessions about every 6 weeks and share cultural activities. At the session in March 2017, the St. Leonard’s vicar Rev. Sue Birchell explained the significance for Christians of Easter. Lent and Shrove Tuesday (pancake day). The women have made a visit to the community garden in Banbury, taking part in gardening activities.

A weekly 2 hour ESOL class started in February 2017 run by an ex-teacher volunteer. So far 5 ladies are attending.

The group provides opportunities to open up discussion on topics affecting the women and their families e.g. arrests of BAME men in Banbury on charges relating to child sexual exploitation in March 2017. Workshops on topics such as drugs and domestic abuse awareness are organised on a 12 months rotation. A local health worker Rabina Zafar attended the group to explain planned changes to the local Horton hospital and helped the ladies complete the consultation document. The group had an outing to Southall in April 2016 to shop for Eid.

The group had an outing to Southall in April 2016 to shop for Eid.

In response to a request from the ladies, food and hygiene training delivered by Banbury and Bicester College. The drop-in provides opportunities for the women to hear about other training opportunities and sign up e.g. paediatric first aid course.

Impact and achievement

Ten ladies completed the change-ometer in December 2016 measuring changes in certain areas over the last 12 months.

Following meetings with the St. Leonard’s ladies group, three ladies in particular were very interested and noted the similarities between observances round Lent and Easter with Muslim traditions. One lady who was born and brought up in the UK said she had never understood about Easter and Lent before.

6. Ladies fitness activities (structured informal learning)

Activities have included aerobics and in partnership with Love Sport, Zumba and yoga sessions. A crèche is provided for the Zumba and yoga sessions.

Impact and achievement

New activities are introduced on requests from the ladies. There is a regular core of ladies who attend No formal assessment is made of impact of the activities on individuals.

7. Domestic abuse counselling

NHS counsellor Rabina Zafar delivered counselling for a 5 week period and worked with two women on domestic abuse issues. At present there is no further funding for this work and Sunrise staff are unaware of the outcome of the counselling which was confidential.

8. 1:1 support/advice

This is provided by the project manager and project coordinator on a range of family issues in particular emotional abuse from their families/mother-in-law, managing the behaviour of their teenage children particularly about use of social media. One women was supported when her son was expelled from college. Sunrise helped her and her son E. write a letter of appeal and supported E. in finding work and ways to continue his studies. Another woman was supported with finding respite care so she could join the gym to improve her health and well-being. Three women have been helped to write CVs.

Impact and achievement

All three women supported with CV writing found work. The teenage boy supported found another place at college and has taken up an apprenticeship in brick laying.

9. Cultural awareness, support and advice to schools and statutory organisations

The Sunrise manager has responded to requests for information and support on sensitive cultural/religious issues from schools, Social Services and Thames Valley Police. In 2016, she made 7/8 home visits with Social Services. She is contacted by statutory organisations about 5/6 times a month on general cultural issues or on a particular case. She has supported two girls at Banbury Academy with family issues. She is consulted on family abuse allegations and in particular how to make contact with female family members on their own. She has made presentations to Thames Valley Police and Social Services on cultural awareness and the danger of family members being used as translators in family disputes. The Sunrise manager has recently been invited to sit on The Thames Valley Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group. She represents small charities on Cherwell Local Strategic Partnership and the BAME communities on the Oxfordshire Childrens Safeguarding Board.

Impact and achievement

Statutory organisations report being better informed and aware of cultural/religious issues. Because her work receives positive feedback through Social Services, Sunrise manager reports more case workers are contacting Sunrise for support. In August 2017, Sunrise manager received the following comments from other organisations working with Sunrise.

“Working with Sunrise and attending the various groups and celebrations has been invaluable for me. Also having the opportunity to meet and speak with your service users in a place they are familiar and comfortable with also allows me a chance to speak openly and freely with them about issues that concern them is fantastic. I would never usually have this chance and from the time I have spent with Sunrise it has broadened my understanding of the cultural and religious beliefs massively and I know have a much better working practice when dealing with the BME community, especially those from a Pakistani Muslim background. I believe the work that Sunrise is doing with the young people and women is exceptional, tackling sensitive issues whilst being respectful and understanding of culture and religion allows for a much better take up rate. The services and opportunities Sunrise offers to the local community is exemplary”.

Charlotte Baylis Community Support Police Officer Thames Valley Police and Sunrise trustee.

Michelle Miller Community Relations Officer Cherwell & West Oxon comments that Sunrise has had a positive impact on the police as follows:

  • “Provides direct access to BME communities  - helps us to better understand their concerns on issues that are of importance such as personal and home safety, drugs amongst the youth, child sexual exploitation and hate crime
  • A safe, neutral environment in which difficult discussions and subjects can be broached between community members and police staff and officers
  • Knowledge that training on important issues to do with crime and disorder is being delivered to BME communities by professionals that are from the community and understand the needs of those they serve and help
  • Provide intelligence on priority issues such as drugs, Forced marriage and anti-social behaviour”.

“Cherwell District Council work closely with Sunrise Multicultural Project to enhance the offer we provide to residents as a play and youth partnership in  the district. They (Sunrise) provide unique services that enhance opportunities for children and families in deprived and hard to reach communities and help educate residents and organisations so they are better informed about cultural and religious issues.  We value their ongoing commitment and can see the positive impacts their services bring to Banbury communities”.

Jon Wild Senior Recreation development officer for play and young people, Cherwell District Council.

Factors affecting success

Positive

Sunrise has a wealth of experience and knowledge of BAME communities in Banbury, particularly where families are of Pakistani Muslim heritage who make up most of Sunrise beneficiaries. Sunrise project manager come from the local Pakistani Muslim heritage community, speaks the local languages and is very aware of the needs of the families and the cultural and social issues affecting family and individual wellbeing.

Over the years Sunrise has built up the trust with the local BAME communities and this includes with men and mothers-in-law who are often the gatekeepers to women and teenagers being allowed to attend activities. The organisation is also respected by local statutory and non-statutory organisations e.g. Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Early Intervention Hub, Thames Valley Police making informal partnership work easy to set up and productive.

Sunrise has successfully developed a confidential, safe, relaxed environment so can tackle tricky topics where beneficiaries feel able to raise personal issues and find the needed support. The Home Office evaluation (2016) of the teenage boys “Youthie” project noted:

“The sessions tackle difficult and more taboo questions or concepts in a respectful and non-judgmental manner. This would not have been possible without first and foremost creating a safe environment.

Teaching styles are appropriate to the target group, drawing on their personal experiences and scaffold input to draw out optimum learning.

“The project worker led discussions on positive relationships, building confidence and self esteem and assertiveness and equality in family relationships. These topics led to discussions on forced and arranged marriage and issues of informed consent. All the boys were from Pakistani Muslim backgrounds and second or third generation immigrants. They all shared the pressures they felt about being Asian heritage and Muslim and trying to find a way to respect their culture and religion while being part of British society. They felt reluctant about challenging the status quo by refusing an arranged marriage and were unsure of when an arranged marriage become a forced marriage. Evaluation (2016) Teenage boys forced marriage project “Open Choice, Healthy Communities”.

Sunrise has in place an evaluation framework relevant to the needs of the target groups and reflecting the aims of the project. Staff are aware of the framework and monitor and evaluate activities against it, using agreed tools. Findings are discussed in meetings with the project manager and project co-ordinator and used in planning activities.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to take ownership of the groups which they attend, choosing and organising activities where possible and being responsible for some aspects of the session, even if this is only clearing up. Teenage beneficiaries are encouraged to come back and volunteer often with the younger children once they have outgrown the Saturday clubs. Over the last 18 months, teenagers have volunteered in the office as a work placement for College (1) placement for College, at Saturday club as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award and leading football (2). One mother comes in weekly to do the petty cash.

Sessional staff are well supported by the project co-ordinator in terms of planning and evaluating sessions. They attend a termly training session on the monitoring and evaluation under different funding streams, sharing good practice, issues and lessons learnt.

Negative

Although Sunrise states that it is adopting an integrated whole family and community approach “to identify and analyse underlying values and belief systems in order to bring about changes in attitude and behaviour”, work with men and the wider male community has stalled over the last 18 months. This may effect the impact of e.g. domestic abuse work with women as no parallel work is taking place with men in their family or community to support changes in behaviour. The project manager and trustees are aware of the disappointing progress with men and the wider community and are looking at new ways of engaging with the two mosques in Banbury in particular.

The impact of some activities with the teenage boys, men and wider community was put in jeopardy by lack of suitably qualified staff. The project manager as a qualified youth worker covers gaps in staffing wherever possible. The project manager and trustees are working to overcome this by working in partnership to recruit staff.

Conclusion

Sunrise is alone in the Banbury area in providing services and activities which respond to a variety of needs of the BAME communities. It is in touch with BAME families to support their long term needs and respond to day to day issues e.g. backlash from acts of terrorism. It has the trust of the BAME communities and respect of local statutory and non-statutory organisations which puts it in the position of a leader for developing innovative projects to maximize impact on tricky topics.

The project is working strongly with women, children and teenage boys and family groups for engagement activities . Evaluations from the women, children and teenage boys report increases in confidence, self esteem and socialisation. Targetted work with children and teenage boys has successfully raised issues on how to stay safe including social media, bullying, racism, extremism and child sexual exploitation and has successfully brought in partners for co-delivery e.g. Oxford Foundation, Thames Valley Police. Evaluations show increased awareness of safe and unsafe situations and increased confidence on where to go for help. However, such work needs to be re-visited and re-enforced for maximum impact.

Particularly work with older children and teenagers has given them opportunties to improve their ability to express themselves confidently. Evaluations from the teenage boys attending the Prevent funded sessions show improved knowledge and confidence to speak out.

Sunrise in a very good position to track beneficiaries over a period of years (see case study annex 2) because families stay in touch with the organisation.

Recommendations for future actions to achieve the greatest impact:

  • Develop more youth work to open up discussions to tackle contradictions in different cultural and religious values systems and break down the “them and us” mentality
  • Develop strategies with partners for filling staff vacancies with appropriately qualified staff
  • Develop closer links with the Banbury mosques to support work with men and wider male community
  • Build more partnerships to support delivery and offer a wider range of activities to support social inclusion
  • Develop more opportunties for beneficiaries to take on responsible roles e.g.volunteering
  • Develop ways of measuring outcomes and evaluating impact of engagement activities

Case study from Sunrise Ladies drop-in

“Sunrise has given me such confidence, I can come and talk and discuss here.”

A. was born in Pakistan. She attended 5 years of primary schooling and started sewing work aged 12 to earn money for family expenses. She came to England about 16 years ago on a spouse’s visa. She has two teenage sons and her husband is severely physically disabled and cannot work. The family lives in Banbury. For many years, she lived with her husband and mother-in-law, both of whom were very strict. She was never allowed out of the house; everything which she needed to keep the house was provided by her husband or mother-in-law and the family dropped off and collected the children from school. The only “going out” she experienced was going out into her garden.

While at primary school, her sons attended the Sunrise Saturday club and the family had the chance to take part in a family trip. Due to his disability, her husband was unable to accompany the children and he checked out details of the trip with the Sunrise manager and decided that he would let his wife attend with the children. On the trip, A. asked the manager about other activities at Sunrise and she joined the ESOL class with the approval of her husband. As part of the course, she was introduced to using computers at the local library to study for her driving theory test as she was very keen to learn to drive. The library made special arrangements for her to use a computer in a discreet corner away from men. She gained sufficiently in confidence to make bookings by phone to use the computer.

A. started to attend the weekly ladies drop in 2013. She enrolled for ESOL and a sewing course at the Ethnic Minority Business Centre in Banbury and she obtained paid employment for the first time as a cleaner at a local primary school. In 2014 she completed a Food Hygiene course with Sunrise. She had already been a keen contributor to cooking sessions at the drop in but now started to make and sell pakore and samose on a small commercial scale. Her husband is now happy for her to be involved in activities outside the home and can see advantages to the family from her economic activities. In March 2014, A. completed another short ESOL course at Sunrise leading to working on the driving test theory supported by Sunrise and taking driving lessons.

From being a quiet introverted person, A is now very involved, much more independent and contributes actively to session discussions e.g on forced marriage, domestic abuse. She is acting as a role model to other women from similar backgrounds and is particularly understanding of the effect of lack of confidence on women’s lives. She is now involved in planning activities for the ladies drop in and has contributed ideas for the Big Lottery Building Communities application. In January 2017 she had the skills and confidence to meet with an assessor from Lloyds Foundation to explain the impact Sunrise has made on her life as part of a funding application (successful). She is now able to support her children at school and understands how the English system works. She wants her children to go to university, which will be a first for the family. The Sunrise manager is currently supporting A. on a 1:1 basis with issues around her younger son.

When A. first started to come out of the house, she met a male elder from the Asian community on the street who asked her why she was out of the house as he had not seen her out before. She did not know what to answer but felt very disheartened. Some six months later, she met the same man who made the same challenge. This time A. felt sufficiently confident to reply “Who are you to ask? Aren’t I allowed on the street?” and walked on.