FGM /C Peer Support Project
WHFS (Women’s Health & Family Services) works with communities in Tower Hamlets who are affected by FGM /C (female genital mutilation /cutting). We raise awareness amongst both men and women of the negative health effects, as well as supporting women who have undergone (or who are at risk of) this debilitating practice. WHFS staff and volunteers working on FGM /C projects come from practising communities and speak Somali and/or Arabic.
One of our projects from 2016 - FGM /C Peer Support - was funded by ROSA, the charity that supports initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. This five-month project ran until the end of May 2016 and enabled us to continue our community engagement work, and to support women to access appropriate services to address their FGM /C-related health issues.
The main aims of the project were to:
- Support 20 women to access services at specialist FGM /C clinics;
- Recruit and train volunteer Peer Supporters (both men and women) to help deliver community workshops under the guidance of WHFS staff;
- Conduct community workshops for men and women with our volunteer Peer Supporters in schools, mosques and community centres;
- Develop partnerships with health professionals, advising on support available from WHFS, other agencies and the specialist FGM /C clinics available to help women.
Women seeking support
Most of our work takes place in the community, but if you would like to contact our Project Co-ordinator (details below), she will be happy to discuss how we can help you. We provide emotional and practical support, in particular we support women to attend hospital for treatment.
You can also ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to our service. Please also see our Events page for details on forth-coming community workshops, or contact us if you would like us to conduct a workshop for your group.
Making a referral
If you are a health professional (GP, midwife, nurse, social worker, etc.) and would like to refer a woman to our services, please download our Referral Form.
Volunteer Peer Supporters
WHFS has had an overwhelming response to our recruitment for volunteer Peer Supporters, and we currently have a waiting list for these roles. We hope to train more Peer Supporters in 2017, and so please contact us if you would like to get involved. Peer supporters are trained in safeguarding, confidentiality and befriending, and play an important role in supporting women to gain access to health services.
Please click on the links below and opposite for further information:
- WHFS’s FGM /C project report Hear our Voices
- WHFS’s Short Briefing on FGM /C
- WHFS’s FGM /C Reference Library
- Useful FGM /C Resources & Links (including information on where to get support)
- Raising Awareness of FGM /C Amongst Housing Providers
- WHFS Lead FGM /C House of Commons Seminar
For more information, please contact:
Karen Wint - Interim Operations Manager
T: 020 7377 8725