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Konnected was established in 2021 by Charmaine Orchard. Initially set up as DiasporaEd CIC, our name changed in 2022 to Konnected.   As well as providing a cultural competence training service for professionals primarily in health and social care, we also offer customised activity packs for children and their carers. Read more about our services here. Our ultimate aim is to contribute toward transforming workforces into culturally competent teams, creating an inviting work environment. Consider how much this could impact how others view your service, but also how the service users will experience your service.. 

Our work started with delivering cultural awareness training to staff who work directly with African and Caribbean looked after children. Our training has been designed with lived-experience at its core. Having been involved with a variety of projects from looking at education attainment for looked after children to working as part of fostering panels in the South West, Charmaine has been involved in improving the experience of care for looked after children since leaving the care system herself in 2017. 

As an occupational psychology postgraduate, Charmaine is interested in looking at organisational factors that impact workforce efficiency, particularly in health and social care and children's services. Cultural competence is an ever-growing topic of discussion and since we live in a culturally diverse society, it is about time that we acknowledge that cultural differences can influence our ability to develop meaningful working relationships - which ultimately impact service user experience and the environment created at work. 

We aim to shut down the discomfort that comes about when this topic is brought up and encourage colleagues to listen and learn from one another. 

Take a look at the breakdown of our training sessions here.

We believe that what also makes us different is our diverse range in products. Our training can be delivered to both foster carers and fostering team staff however, we also offer a little something for children and their carers and children in secondary schools in the form of activity and information packs, and drop in sessions. 

The activity packs aim to engage children with their culture using fun and interactive methods. The content of the packs include: 

  1.  Age appropriate books, encouraging self love and celebrating diversity

  2. Positive affirmations - a themed booklet encouraging a positive internal voice

  3.  Themed jigsaws - both telling stories of people and places

  4.  Photo books - allowing children to collect memories

  5. Hair and Skin care information pack for carers

  6.  Customised recipe and ingredient cards - encouraging life skills and exploring culture through food

  7.  Information Pack for carers - signposting them to organisations and support for when looking after children of different cultures. 

Considering all of those services are offered by the same provider ... we'd say, that makes us different!

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