What We Do
WHFS (Women’s Health & Family Services) works for equal access to healthcare for disadvantaged women and their families in east London, through awareness-raising, advocacy and the provision of relevant health services. We challenge discrimination and we campaign for people’s rights and choices to improve their health and wellbeing.
WHFS works in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring boroughs; these are some of the most deprived areas in Britain, where low life-expectancy (as a direct result of health inequalities) is widespread. WHFS works and campaigns to tackle this inequality and to promote the sustainable health and wellbeing of the communities it serves, through:
Provision of relevant health services
Our current health projects range from our flagship Maternity Mates™ programme, which supports pregnant women, to the Stay Active @ 70+ project supporting people over 70 to stay active and healthy. Please click on the links opposite for details on our current projects.
Awareness-raising & advocacy
We campaign on issues that are central to women’s health and wellbeing, such as FGM /C (female genital mutilation/cutting). We act as health advocates for local women, and their families, who do not speak English as a first language and who may have difficulties in accessing the health information and services they require. In particular, we support local Asian and African communities on their right of access to healthcare services.
We use innovative community-based research to understand how different communities manage their health in Tower Hamlets, to empower them to voice their issues and needs, and to assess the impact of our services. We regularly work with universities and research professionals.
How we work
Volunteers are central to our organisation. Our health projects are delivered primarily by local volunteers who reflect the ethnic and cultural mix of our communities. We value life experience and skills as much as formal qualifications and we provide accredited training - typically to Open College Network (OCN) Level 3 and on-going support to all our volunteers.
WHFS is committed to working with other voluntary and statutory sector organisations, to gain the best possible outcomes for our users and to avoid duplication of services. Joint bids are a feature of our approach.
For more information about our work, please Contact Us or click on the following links to download our latest Annual Reviews:
- Annual Review - 2012 to 2013
- Annual Review - 2013 to 2014
- Annual Review - 2014 to 2015
- Annual Review - 2015 to 2016
Maternity Mates™ is the registered trademark of WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services)