The Sheffield HCP Reciprocal Mentoring programme was designed to:
- Ensure that Sheffield’s health and care system is informed by perspectives from our ethnic minority communities
- Gain input from senior leaders into ethnic minority-led voluntary, community or faith organisations
- Identified organisations inputting to, and learning about, discussions intended to create a more cohesive health and care system across the city.
The principles of the Reciprocal Mentoring were:
- Mentoring pairs are equal partners in the process of learning from each other and the relationship is reciprocal in nature.
- Mentoring pairs will support and enable each other to shift their shared understanding and awareness into powerful action, championing chance, influencing peers and informing decision making together.
- It involves understanding the lived experiences of each other to create trust for a strong foundation working as ‘partners in progress’.
Applications were invited from senior leaders from Sheffield-based ethnic minority-led voluntary, community or faith organisations in two cohorts of three. Applicants were given participant information on what to expect from the programme and any resource requirements then asked to express their interest to take part; they were considered in two cohorts of three applicants with each cohort lasting for six months (the first wave took place from June – December 2021; the second wave is due to start shortly). Due to a high number of interested applicants, a recruitment process was introduced where they were asked to outline the benefits of taking part in the programme to themselves and their organisation for consideration of the Sheffield HCP team. Successful applications were then allocated to their cohort and introduced to their partner, a member of Sheffield HCP’s Executive Delivery Group (EDG) who are our partner’s Chief Executives (or equivalents) and representatives of key health and care professional groups.
The three Sheffield-based ethnic minority-led voluntary, community or faith organisations that took part in the first cohort were:
- Pakistan Community & Advice Centre
- Roshni Sheffield
- SACMHA Health & Social Care
The pairs work together throughout the six-month period by:
- Attending an initial meeting with their match deciding what specific support, feedback and information they would value receiving from each other
- Preparing for, attending and contributing to at least three leadership meetings of their partner’s.
- All participants have grown in confidence and in their understanding of the health and care system in Sheffield or the challenges faced by our ethnic minorities
- Every participant found the experience to be valuable and have wholeheartedly recommended that we proceed with the second cohort
- They all plan to continue the relationship with their partner beyond the scope of the programme.
- Participants particularly valued the insights they had into each other’s worlds, the connections they made and that they had a new colleague
- They all reflected on the need to be more explicit from the outset about the level of participation in the EDG meetings – more participation to be encouraged – they’re not observers and their voices need to be heard
- Only positive impact on participants
- Possible consideration that the ethnic minority participants should be full members of the EDG.
- The participants on the second cohort of the programme have been selected and the process of matching the pairs is due to begin very shortly
- We are planning to have cohort meetings around the EDG meetings to ensure maximum benefit.