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Community REACH Project

The Community REACH Project has been completed and is now closed. This page is for information only.

WHFS (Women’s Health & Family Services) is working in partnership with UEL (University of East London) and Barts Health NHS Trust to help raise awareness of the importance of accessing antenatal services at an early stage.

The Community REACH Project is a new programme, which WHFS is running in the wards of Mile End, East Ham North and Forest Gate North and is funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research. The findings from our outreach work will be analysed - along with research conducted by agencies in other London boroughs - and incorporated into a final report by UEL, to be published in 2019. 

Why the project is important

NHS Choices recommends that all women attend their first antenatal appointment before the 10th week of pregnancy to help ensure they receive maternity healthcare that takes into account all their health needs and preferences. Antenatal care is widely acknowledged as contributing to improved pregnancy outcomes, with delayed access ('late booking’) linked to increased maternal, foetal and infant mortality and morbidity. Late booking has been identified as a significant risk factor for maternal death for all women, and particularly black and minority ethnic women. 

The Community REACH Project aims to:

  • Raise awareness about antenatal care services in the community
  • Encourage women & their families to access antenatal care and support early
  • Empower women to have a better pregnancy and birth experience

Community REACH Volunteer Champions

WHFS has recruited and trained Community REACH Volunteer Champions to:

  • Conduct outreach work to highlight the benefits of antenatal care to women of childbearing age, especially women who are trying to conceive and pregnant women.
  • Record the reasons women are not accessing antenatal care at the earliest opportunity, or are delaying contacting their GP about their pregnancy.

Useful links

If you or someone you know would like to know more about antenatal care and how to access it, please click on this link to the NHS Choices website.


Please click here for information on our current projects.