Who We Are
BAB is a partnership of individuals and organisations working together to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people in Bristol.
Oasis-Talk are a social enterprise that provide psychological therapies to people in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. They run our wellbeing project for BME older people and work with 9 partners to accomplish their work. One of the partners is Dhek Bhal, based at the Barton Hill Centre.
Dhek Bhal is a charity, founded by volunteers to help men and women from the south Asian community, living in Bristol who experience social isolation. The charity hosts a Ladies Club on a Monday and a Men’s Group on a Wednesday. These clubs are a place of support for south Asian elders, where they can make new friends and participate in their local community.
The members of the clubs are clearly very close. When we visited the Men’s Group the conversations were paused when a member rang into the group to give an update on a man from the club who was in hospital. The group wished him well and prayed for him together. Similarly, one of the women from the Ladies Club said that attending the social club is “Like visiting family, we are all are sisters and we talk about our problems.” This is one of the many reasons why Oasis-Talk picked Dhek Bhal to run a wellbeing course with.
Members from the club picked the topics they were most interested in, such as diabetes, stress and anxiety, how to live with long-term health conditions and more. They have identified that in the future they would like to do some group work on coping with bereavement and loss.
A participants story:
"My support worker suggested that I attend the group at Dhek Bhal. The first time I visited, I felt nervous but then you get used to it; I just started having conversations with the other ladies and now I love coming here, they are all my friends.
I took part in the taster session for the well-being group and found it very helpful so I began to attend these sessions too. I am able to engage more with the workshops because they are held in the regular groups with language support from a translator. It has helped me to understand depression and mental health issues more and given me advice on how to look after myself."
"I used to volunteer at Dhek Bhal myself and then when I got older I became a client. I came full circle!
I started to feel depressed about three years ago after experiencing some family problems. I was very anxious a lot of the time but the ladies at Dhek Bhal helped me because we talk to each other about our problems.
I joined the well-being group, which helped a lot. I tried the breathing and relaxation exercises and I found those helpful in controlling my anxiety. The therapist and translator explained thing to us in easy to understand ways – if it had just been in English I would have missed things. I have used the things they have taught me, like the panic exercises, in my day-to-day life."
The Gentlemen’s Club echoed what many of the women said; they had found practical uses for the breathing exercises and felt more informed about how to look after their health. The wellbeing sessions are funded until February 2020.
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