A MULTILINGUAL helpline has been set up in the South Side of Glasgow to help those seeking advice and help within the community.

An ongoing survey, where there have been 222 responses so far, recently revealed that there are at least 88 different languages spoken in Govanhill and that a more accessible service was needed to help members of the community.

As part of the Govanhill thriving places scheme a report was presented before the South Side area partnership on Tuesday morning.

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Marzanna Antoniak, Govanhill community connector, said: “It has been eight months since the pandemic started. I designed a survey with the help of many organisations to see what the community needed.

“We felt that we needed something that was tangible that can be accessed in many different ways.

“That’s why we came up with multi-lingual helplines so that people can be supported in their own language, an online referral form where organisations or individuals could ask for help as well as a print out of services delivered to everyone in Govanhill.

“These helplines aimed to keep things as simple as possible. I am the main point of contact for many organisations so we created working groups which were themed to meet particular needs. We felt that accessibility to this information was key because of the language barriers and perhaps digital exclusion.

“Altogether we speak at least 88 languages in Govanhill. This survey is still live so I would like to see what other responses we get.”

With the presence of English, Urdu, Punjabi, Romanian, Slovak, Scottish and Irish Gaelic being common knowledge, not everyone will be aware that Nepali, Vietnamese, Ishan, Sinhalese, and Tibetan are also spoken in the neighbourhood. 

Govanhill is abundant in polyglots. Out of 222 responders, 182 said they spoke at least two languages, and quite a few were comfortable using four or even five.

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Other concerns which surfaced during the pandemic was access to food and appropriate mental health support.

Ms Antoniak added: “Sixty responses were received from different organisations from or who work in Govanhill.

“The survey asked about the needs of these organisations. I also asked people via Facebook and email what they needed. People said they required support with food and their finances. They also asked for cleansing solutions as rubbish was piling up.”

Support and advice is still available to those in Govanhill. Those who want to can still take part in the survey.

To access it visit http://govanhill.info/survey-reveals-breadth-of-languages-in-govanhill/