A charity in Tower Hamlets has received £450,000 in additional funding from the National Lottery, aimed at tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority women.
The Flourishing Communities Project started when the partnership gathered information from a group of 15 women aged between 35- 65 in 2021, finding that there were severe health inequalities suffered by ethnic minority women.
The project is a collaboration between the Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), the Women’s Inclusive Team (WIT), the GP care group, Somali Women’s Project and a collection of other voluntary organisations.
A spokesperson of the CVS said the project is “led by the women it helps, they continuously enable us to develop the programme” and credited their fellow partners the Women’s Inclusive Team who were “instrumental in securing the funding”.
Raliat Onatade, chief pharmacist for the North East London Integrated Care System said: “I’m glad to hear the news of this funding. I’m sure it will be used to improve care and ensure equality of health access and outcome for women living in Tower Hamlets.”
Will Tuckley, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council, said: “We have a vibrant and diverse population in Tower Hamlets, but some of our communities are disproportionately affected by illness and poor health. The Covid-19 pandemic shone a light on this, but we know this is just the tip of the iceberg”.
The project now focuses on sexual and reproductive health as well as cervical and aims to raise awareness of childhood immunisations.
The Flourishing Communities Project began in 2003 when a group of local mothers sought to address the needs of Black Somali Women and ethnic minority communities under the name ‘Women’s Inclusive Team’. This cause gained momentum in 2021 when the group were asked by Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Services to consult Somali women in the borough what key health issues they would like addressed for themselves and their families.
Ten other partnerships in Greenwich, Hyndburn, Kent, Northamptonshire, Dudley, Scarborough, Sheffield, Bolton, Halton & St Helens and Staffordshire have also been awarded up to £450,000 each to continue improving links between health and care services and promoting the role of the voluntary sector and the value of cross-sector partnerships.