Elkin's wealth of experience encompasses both facilitating and accessing well-being services. Through her lived encounters, she has developed a nuanced understanding of how racism permeates the process of accessing these essential services. 

Elkin's insights shed light on the challenges individuals face and highlight the imperative need to address and counteract racial disparities within the framework of well-being services. Her perspective contributes significantly to our ongoing efforts to create a more equitable and accessible well-being support system.

it's quite difficult because there's not many, um, services around my personal well being. And most, most of them seem to have a long process to engage with the few that there are. There seems to be a long process engaging with them, you know, maybe two or three months, maybe six months later if you if you if they ever get back to you and also due to the, um, demand, you know, So you may apply for something. And by the time they do react to react back to you, your situation has probably, well, inevitably changed since that time

So you know you it's it's like you're trying to catch your tail and you can't because things are moving ahead so fast the position changes. Maybe your accommodation changes. Maybe your workshop changes

Maybe your mental health situation changes. So there are all these kind of like, um, variables in between. Well, I think there's a long history of, um, racism, maybe inferred racism on purpose

Or maybe un inferred racism where it's not, um, where people aren't really conscious of it, but they just do think tick box. I call it tick box racism because it's not something that's, um, really visible until you point out or or in reflection. For instance, um, you know, I've had projects recently

Where? For the summer holidays. And no, I was teaching, and we agreed on, um, Well, via email, we agreed that certain conditions will be met, you know? And, um, as a matter of fact, none of them were met. And that was very disappointing

Not for not just for myself, but for my students, you know, and I pointed it out to them, and they promised and materials were supplied. The engagement with the participants was was Wasn't wasn't engaged. They were engaging the participants

Yeah, they, um when I say supplies, Well, I mean, supplies like fundamental supplies. Like for my for my work. Laptops, um, paint, um, memory sticks, Um, you know, full of different things that were that weren't supplied

And that kind of like undermined me. But also, it undermined my lesson in teaching plans and the projects. I want to do these you and it kind of, like distracted from the project because I was under a lot of stress and it affected that start to affect Obviously it start to affect my mental health, you know, because I was worrying about things that I shouldn't have been thinking about

That should have been provided, you know. And then there's the core issues of the outcomes for the students. They weren't getting the full value of what I was trying to, um, relate to them, you know? And then there was the, um, attitude of the staff

The staff didn't seem to be briefed by anything. And I had a very, um from the outside, I had a very negative. Um, I feel personally have a very negative, um, outlook from them, You know, on a participatory level

It was very I. I found them. I found it a bit demeaning

Really. They didn't value what I was trying to do. I think there needs to be more, um, awareness and training

I don't even know if it if it's down to training. I think there needs to be more awareness and more, um, what I would call situational teaching, if that's if that's a word that could conjecture to it in that facilitators, I mean, we as artists, I feel I'm a facilitator, but facilitators of the art should be able to construct a methodology around having introduce, um, what I would call ba M artists and what the expectations of BA artists would be, For instance, um, I'm dyslexic. One of one of my disabilities is, um, dyslexia

And I have to read things. Maybe I've become very skilled at reading things three or four times to get a sense of them. Yeah, very quickly

Yeah, but that that doesn't actually mean. I get the sense of it. When I look back, it may be something else

So there's that kind of thing, you know? But then there's other, um, disabilities that people may have in, Um, well, I think cognitive abilities are, you know, but that's a That's a, um Well, what I would call a functional disability, really? But it's not something which I would advertise as such. Yeah, but for bay artists, the disability may be their ethnic origin or their sexuality or something else. Yeah, so they need to be aware of these

Um, I don't want to call them tick box because they're not tick boxes. They're, um as I said, situational awareness about who they're dealing, who they're working with. Yeah, and the disabilities may not even be visible

It may be a subconscious thing. Yeah, where they've had bad experiences. And they feel threatened by the situation they're going into because things are to explain to them resources aren't being met

Um, the artists they're used to dealing with have a, um may possibly have a formal art training rather than informal art training. So there's there's that kind of, like, background as well. And you you you know that there is a thing where you know, a lot of, um, black artists

Well, I'd say about 40% of black artists are self taught. Yeah, cos there's that thing where you know Oh, you went to Chelsea Art School or you went to university art, you know, and or you went to, um, Ravens born or you went to ch. You know, Saint Martin's or whatever

But the predominant number of students sort of ba origin from those, um, college and universities is I think plenty isn't as large as it could be. Yeah, So the referrals you're getting may be more a generic statement from these people who come from these, these, um, establishments rather than someone from a brain origin having a more organic feel to the arts, a more cultural aspect to the arts and maybe a more intimate feel about. I wouldn't say the client group, but I'd say the participants of their group

But II I think one of the main priorities would be, um, access to funding access to resources. Yeah, with I'd call professional help. Yeah, not someone, not an office staff person sitting down and say, Oh, these are good resources

No, someone who's trained and qualified in those resources to facilitate the sharing of those resources with other band members. I think that's key. Um, also the quality of the information that's shared yeah, should be good as well

And you know, there's a lot of funding out there, but unfortunately, as bay artists, we don't seem to have access to it or not that well, we have got access, but we're denied access to it because we don't reach, um or have, um, certain qualifications or certain contacts that we could use to facilitate access. I think funding policies need to change. I think for um, and when I say policies, I don't mean making it easier or making it diff ma, making it kind of like lax

I mean, there have to be proper policies in place, obviously, but they have to be, um, encompassing for BA members as well. And also other people with, um, you know, like dyslexia or whatever that needs to be included. But I think it has to be, um, fit

I think that's what has to be positive. And there has to be the funding there for it. There's not much funding there for it

And I think, you know, um, the UK as a large main influence within this whole heritage and culture. Yeah, So if you're going to, you know, the Commonwealth, for instance, that's everywhere, you know? So you know, it's it's the whole world, basically the commonwealth. And if you're going to say, Oh, we're only gonna do this kind of art, that kind of art

But we're going to use your you know, you could be a food artist, and you say, Well, no, we're not gonna use bain food, but obviously Bain Foods in the In the English, um, you know, menu already. You know, you're not we're not gonna use, um, certain colours or certain themes because they're not, um, British. But the whole thing about being British is the holistic value of all of the, um I would say empire, so to speak, you know? You know, and, um when you say, what could be better? I think facilitation, I think funding, I think, Um, awareness, I think, Um, train

Oh, what do you call awareness training facilitators who are aware? I think it It's the important thing, and obviously that's out of my sphere. But there are people out there who have overly qualified and experienced in working in this area and field and they I think they should have a hand in, um develop developing policies and, um, progress as we develop Bay Marts within the UK or they develop Bay Marts, but spread the awareness about bay marts and facilitate the funding via funding organisations.


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