There are 40 different language communities in Cheetham Hill and only 32% of residents speak English as their main language. This puts intolerable pressure on the already stretched social care and health sectors. People are not getting the help they need.
With a BAME population of 54%, there is a concentration of the specific inequalities these communities face: higher levels of unemployment; low-skills; no qualifications. But the current climate of austerity and a punitive benefits system affect the whole population. Public facilities are disappearing, homelessness is on the rise and people are having to resort to foodbanks. Despair and hopelessness is visible.
Poverty, isolation and harm lead to serious mental health issues which compound the inequalities people are facing. Admission rates for self-harm and suicide are three times higher for South Asian women than white women. Services in the area are not equipped to provide the support needed.
The lack of homogeneity and sheer scale of diversity in our area makes it much easier for the most vulnerable to be hidden from public view. People are drawn into illegal work, drug-trafficking, gangs, modern day slavery and the world of counterfeit trading (Cheetham Hill is dubbed the counterfeit capital of the UK).