Maternity Mates, the innovative project developed by WHFS to provide practical and emotional support during pregnancy to vulnerable women in east London, has been awarded funding by the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Programme to increase our service over the next three years.
The BBC Radio 4 flagship consumer programme, You and Yours, featured an interview with one of our most experienced Maternity Mates, Laura Cullen, on how Maternity Mates support women during pregnancy, birth and the early weeks of motherhood.
The interview was part of a 45 minute "special" broadcast on Tuesday 23rd February dedicated to women's experiences of giving birth in light of the publication of a major review commissioned by NHS England, which looks at improving maternity services over the next five years.
WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services) had a very successful launch of the Stay Active @70+ project with an attendance of 35 people over 70 at the Brady Centre. The launch helped raise awareness of the importance of staying active and how volunteering can help people to do this. Attendees also heard how they can get involved in the Stay Active @ 70+ Steering Group to help support the development of the project.
WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services) made our first foray into Crowdfunding recently, launching at our annual event in October 2015. After raising £3,200 in total (£1,475 via the Crowdfunding site and a further £1,725 offline) our campaign came to a close in early December.
On 15th October 2015, the WHFS (Women’s Health & Family Services) Annual General Meeting celebrated the achievements of their outstanding team of staff, volunteers and partners during 2014-15.
WHFS’s Sharon Hanooman appeared on BBC TV News London, and the BBC’s Inside Out News programme last night (23rd February) to highlight the need for preventative support for women at risk of FGM /C (female genital mutilation / cutting).
Communities Minister Stephen Williams announced on 5th December 2014 that WHFS was one of 13 frontline community organisations in the UK to gain funding from central government to help end FGM /C (female genital mutilation /cutting).
The money has been awarded to projects in areas of greatest need and is in line with published data from NHS hospitals showing there to be 3 times the number of reported cases of FGM /C in London, compared to the rest of the country.
WHFS is thrilled to welcome Dr Geetha Subramanian MBE as a new patron.
Dr Subramanian is a consultant gynaecologist who has worked in Community Women's Health in Tower Hamlets for 27 years. She made significant changes to the way services were delivered in various areas, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM /C) and young people’s sexual health. She successfully established a Centre of Excellence, providing specific clinical services for women in Tower Hamlets in a sensitive and effective way.
WHFS were delighted to be involved in the training day with Jay Smith and Rebekah Stackhouse from the British Heart Foundation on Thursday 19th February.
Despite it being half term we had an excellent turn out at the Brady Centre with 20 volunteers and staff enhancing their skills.
WHFS was very pleased to attend a prestigious event to recognise the long serving community champions in Tower Hamlets. Myra Garrett, the Joint Chair of WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services), was presented with her award by Commander John Ludgate from the Canary Wharf Group on 30th October 2014 for her tireless campaigning work to tackle health inequalities in the borough.
Sharon Hanooman from WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services) led a powerful and inspiring women-only seminar on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM /C) at the House of Commons on Thursday 16th October 2014.
Hosted by Rushanara Ali (MP for Bethnal Green and Bow), the event brought together over 80 women from the Tower Hamlets Somali community, specialist health professionals, midwives and officials from the Department of Public Health. WHFS also released the FGM /C community project report, ‘Hear Our Voices’ (please click here for the report).