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, awareness-raising & advocacy
Our flagship Maternity Mates™ programme supports pregnant women and we campaign on issues that are central to women’s health and wellbeing with our FGM /C (female genital mutilation/ cutting) project. 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. Please click on the links opposite for details on our current projects.
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.
Maternity Mates™ is the registered trademark of WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services)