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Alchemy Arts

Alchemy Arts Using Faith Links To Curb Misinformation Surrounding COVID-19

Alchemy Arts have been working with faith leaders across the north-west to improve the understanding of COVID-19 within minority communities.

Founded just under a decade ago, Alchemy works primarily with Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities across Greater Manchester, although many successful projects have achieved nationwide impact and coverage.

We became aware that a lot of misinformation was being shared across social media platforms, especially within minority communities where access to language-specific information was limited.

“As many of our beneficiaries are isolated and are of the vulnerable age, we need to get vital information out to them via our social media channels,” said Adil Mohammed Javed, National Diversity Awards 2021 Entrepreneur of Excellence nominee.

“We started to develop, design and distribute vital health information that could be shared through our social media channels, as well as our WhatsApp community groups, with verified information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Working closely with the NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (Salford CCG) and Salford City Council, we started to develop an idea around reaching out to our minority communities through our faith leaders.

“These individuals work with the community on a daily basis and are vital in communicating the importance of staying safe during the pandemic, but also dispelling myths of taking the vaccine.”

As an organisation, Alchemy Arts have also been nominated for the Community Organisation Award (race, faith and religion), due to our work engaging the BAME community online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the autumn of 2020, we teamed up with Salford CCG to produce a series of five COVID-19 explainer videos as part of our Salford TEK Eagles project.

The videos were made available in 11 minority languages, including Urdu – the most popular language in Pakistan – Punjabi and Gujarati. 

As the pandemic continues to affect the daily lives of millions across the country, we remain committed to offering our support to those who need it most.

“We know there is a lot of information out there being distributed by medical professionals,” Adil added.

“We wanted to bring the community messages in layman’s terms from people they trust and recognise in the community. 

“We’ve had amazing support from faith leaders in Salford, from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Buddhist communities.

“Our aim is to use our platform to help educate the most vulnerable, so that they can access verified, factual information about the virus, the vaccine and government guidelines in a clear and transparent way, leading to greater awareness within these communities.”

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