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Quarterly Meeting Notes

Date & Time: 7th March 12, 10am – 1pm

Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU

Theme: Men’s Health & Wellbeing

Eddie Chan, BME Health Forum Chair and Director of the Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the first item.

Item 1:

Working with men in the Health Trainer service

José Vega, Health Trainer, Rain Trust

What is it about?

Seeing people on a one to one basis to improve people’s lifestyle and long term health.

We can look at 5 areas:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical exercise
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

We offer six sessions with each session lasting 45 mins.

Our role is to motivate our clients to make lifestyle changes.

We are not counsellors or fitness instructors. Rather, we offer motivation to get through the barriers that stop us from doing what is good for us.

We link in with other services and refer clients to the appropriate services.

How do sessions work?

In the first session we decide on an area to work on. Once we have decided on the area to work on make an action plan.

e.g. Healthy eating – perhaps the client is not eating enough vegetables.

Ideally goals are made from the clients’ own suggestions. The Health Trainers role is to find out what is stopping the client from achieving their goals and see how to get through these barriers.

The goals are always SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound)

Important to note the world cannot be changed in 6 weeks. We do however review the goals each week and we try and help them to become their own Health Trainer.


All over the borough (Westminster)

  • Community centres
  • GP surgeries
  • Penfold Hub

Do men use this service?

At the moment more women use the service than men. We are really keen to encourage more men to take part though.

Case study:

A man staying in a hostel with mental health problems was actually referred to a professional for help with those issues. However, he also needed to stop smoking and he ate unhealthily.

We were able to help change his eating habits and eventually, with additional     help from the health improvement team, he was able to quit smoking.

Another man was obese (150kg) and worked long hours arranging events. He was over eating and drinking too much. In the 6 weeks of the programme he managed to lose 7 kilos.

It is really rewarding for those concerned to see changes being made.


Question: Do you have difficulty in engaging men? Men do seem to be less motivated. They are less likely to male an appointment for their health.

Answer: Trying to get men interested in health is more difficult. What we have tried is to go to make orientated spaces e.g. pubs and have handed out flyers and talked to men there. It does work.

Question: What was the success rate with talking to men in pubs?

Answer:Well if you leave leaflets and don’t press too hard – we have been surprisingly successful before.

Question: How about BME men? How do you find it to engage with this group?

Answer: It is a challenge but we are determined to reach this group. This is one of the purposes of coming to talk here.

Question: How do you overcome the problem that some men who might need your service might not be able to read or speak English?

Answer: We do have Health Trainers with different languages and we are willing to use interpreters or family members if the participant agrees to this.


Item 2:

Supporting Bangladeshi Tobacco users in Tower Hamlets

Dipul Ghosh and Abdul Kurshed, Tobacco Cessation Advisors, Queen Mary, University of London.

We have worked as Tobacco cessation advisors for the Bangladeshi communit for the last 10 years.

We are trying to improve the quality of life of helping to reduce the smoking and chewing of tobacco.

In the Bangladeshi community the chewing of tobacco is a cultural norm.

What is the basic ingredient for Paan chewing?

  • Beetlenut
  • Lime
  • Paan leaf
  • Flavourings
  • Tobacco

Paan is like a vegetable – harmless on its own.

Some points about tobacco:

There are 4000 chemicals in a cigarette with 600 permitted additives.

20 cigarettes leave this much deposit in your lungs [they showed the audience a jar full of red liquid]

Particular health risk of chewing tobacco is Oral cancer

Other health risks of tobacco (chewing/ smoking):

Lung cancer

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulminary Disease)

Heart disease

Affects unborn babies – they can be pre term births and babies have less weight.

How many Bangladeshi men use tobacco? 42 – 45 %

In terms of chewing, women seem to chew tobacco far more than men. In Tower hamplets 47% of women chew as opposed to 2 –5% of men. It is perhaps because it is an activity prepared and done at home and women spend more time in the home than men. However men certainly smoke more.

Is there any benefit?

  • Relaxation
  • Social – friendships
  • Colours lips
  • Relieves mouth pain
  • Controls appetite and so keeps weight down

How do you know if someone is heavily addicted to tobacco?

-How much do they smoke daily?

-How soon after waking up do they start chewing? (15/ 30mins? – then yes)


Question: What is the fatality rate from chewing tobacco?

Answer: We are exactly sure – however there are surely deaths relating to this habit.

Question: Who does one contact for support?

Answer: We are called the Bangladeshi Stop Smoking Project – we have men working with men and women working with women and we are culturally sensitive.

Question: What about medicine support?

Answer: You can go to your GP for this but we also provide medicine to help and it has been very effective.

Question: How did you make the argument that the service was needed specifically for the Bangladeshi community?

Answer: We are based in Tower Hamlets  which has a majority Bangladeshi community.

Question: Roughly how man shops are selling Paan chewing products in Tower Hamlets?

Answer: 123

Question: Can they sell to people who are underage?

Answer: Absolutely – there are no health warnings on any of the packets.

Question: Are there other problems if you swallow the tobacco?

Answer: Yes – if you swallow you have a higher risk of cardio vascular disease and stomach ulcers.

Question: Do you find that religious or community leaders are a help or a hindrance to your work in helping people to stop smoking/ chewing?

Answer: The religious leaders help us; in our religion you are not allowed to use tobacco – if it damages your health Islam does not allow it.

Question: If someone doesn’t live in Tower Hamlets can they still use the service?

Answer: Yes

Question: Do religious leaders actually advise people not to use tobacco?

Answer: Sometimes they do yes – on special occasions like Ramadan the Imam delivers messages to the community.

Item 3:

Prostate Cancer in African Caribbean men

Suresh Rambaran, Support & Information Specialist Nurse, (African Caribbean Communities), The Prostate Cancer Charity

The Prostate Cancer Charity is the largest Cancer charity in the UK. We have a Helpline providing information and advice and spend 2 days in the week going out into the community providing support and raising awareness.

We also fund research and in 2010 awarded grants worth £1.7 million. It is currently Prostate cancer month (March).

37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 250,000 men live in the UK with prostate cancer. It is the most prevalent cancer in men. 10, 000 men die every year.

Many people don’t even know what the prostate is – and also have the misconception that women have a prostate as well.

Men in general do not pursue cancer information – particularly in the black community and some are worried that prostate issues are related somehow to homosexuality.

The prostate produces some of the fluid that makes up semen. Testes also have a role in prostate cancer relating to the reduced production of testosterone.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – is a non cancerous enlargement of the prostate and has the same symptoms as Prostate cancer. When men grow older there is a change in hormone levels which can cause an enlargement of the prostate which squeezes the urethra. There is a medication you can take to treat this and there is also a medical procedure.

Prostatitis – is an inflammation of the prostate which generally affects younger men (20 – 50 years). It can be acute or chronic and can keep coming back. It is treated with antibiotics. 

Prostate Cancer – occurs when the cells within the gland divide and grow in an uncontrolled manner.

What are the risk factors?

  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Diet

80% of those living with prostate cancer will be 70 – 75 yrs. The older you get the more likely you are to get it. Usually over 50.

African/ Caribbean men are 3 times more likely to get prostate cancer. Research shows that African American men get diagnosed later and also may be susceptible at an earlier age. In America, due to a different health care system the majority of African American men do not have equal access to health care as they are unlikely to have insurance.

Genetics appear to play a part in the development of prostate cancer – you are 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it.

West Africans in the UK seem to be at higher risk.

Diet: Asian diet versus Western diet. South Asian men have the lowest instances of Prostate cancer. High levels of saturated fat, dairy, and red and processed meat seem to be more common in Western countries than South Asian countries.




Most men with early, localised prostate cancer do not have any symptoms.


A weak or reduced urine flow

Needing to urinate often (especially at night)

Feeling the bladder is not completely empty

A desperate need to urinate (urgency)

Difficulty starting to pass urine (hesitancy)

Having an enlarged prostate does not increase your risk of prostate cancer but both can occur at the same time.

Less common symptoms – are problems getting an erection, blood in the urine, and a new pain in the lower back.

Check ups/ tests

PSA – Prostate Specifiv Antigen (this does not diagnose cancer

DRE – Digital Rectal Examination (many are not comfortable with this and you can ask not to have it).

Prostate Biopsy

The prostate gland makes a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA) 

The PSA test:

  • does not diagnose cancer
  • may indicate there is a problem with the prostate
  • can give false positive or negative results

Because of the false positive/ false negative possibility in the result there is much debate in the value of the screening tests.

There is no screening programme in the UK but any man over 50 can go to their GP and request a test. However if you are high risk and you are worried you can have the test before this time – it is your right. Many GPs will ask you if you have any symptoms and if you say no they will not offer it. You will have to ask for the PSA test.

It is important that all men can make an informed choice.

One of the things you can do is improve your diet. You can have less saturated fat and processed food and more fruit and vegetables. Lycopene is also beneficial (it is found in cooked tomatoes).

There is a confidential Helpline for those who have queries.

[To see a copy of the power point presentation for this talk click on this LINK.] Please note this is for viewing purposes only and the information is accurate at the time of delivery. If you would like the Prostate Charity to give an awareness talk to you community please contact Suresh Rambaran at



Question: Does the biopsy give clear results?

Answer: When you have it you are given a local anaesthetic and 8 – 12 needles are inserted but sometimes they can miss the cancer.

Question: Does sexual activity raise the risk factor for prostate cancer?

Answer: There is no conclusive evidence for this.

Question: How come there is no emphasis on a screening programme?

Answer: It is for the reason that there is a lot of false positive and false negative results. You cannot widely advocate something that could cause more harm than good.

Item 4:

Delivering health services to young people (Shisha awareness campaign)

Abdul Jaleel, Project Coordinator – Making Communities Work and Grow

MCWG have several projects/ programmes including

  • supplementary school
  • Youth Service
  • Women’s group
  • Health Campaign – currently centred around Shisha awareness.

Abdul Jaleel has been working in the community for 10 years (currently 28 years old) in Tower Hamlets.

He is delivering the project to Arabic speaking communities.

What are the challenges of delivering a project to young people?

Background – the NHS commissioned MCWG to deliver a project around Shisha awareness for young people.

After the smoking ban came into place in 2007 Shisha cafes suddenly became big business and extremely popular with young people. Also because it became illegal it became difficult to regulate.

There is a big drive now to raise awareness of the health risks of shisha smoking.

We are delivering workshops at community events and educating young people to become mentors.

Barriers/ challenges: It is a cultural practice and we don’t want to offend people. It is also hugely popular/ ‘trendy’ amongst young people of all cultures.

Mohammed Jawad ( has completed a survey with 3000 young people and has done a lot around raising awareness about the risks of shisha.

Risks/ misconceptions around Shisha:

The water filters out the tobacco – NOT TRUE

It doesn’t contain tar – NOT TRUE, it does contain tar as burnt tobacco creates tar.

We are still at the early stages of discovering the proper health risks of shisha. The risks are not clearly written as on packets of cigarettes.

In the beginning shisha use was isolated to Arab communities but now with integration it is becoming a ‘fashion’ thing. It is prevalent is eastern European countries and also Israel – not just a Muslim thing.

We are trying to change attitudes around use of shisha. We are trying to go to schools – deliver workshops. We  are need to be mindful of the way we deliver these workshops, especially in school settings and it is a challenge.



Comment: I have a friend who smokes in front of his kids and says that it’s ok as the scholars say that it is ok. When smoking was banned in the UK and much of Europe tobacco companies targeted other countries such as Muslim countries.

Answer: Shisha smoking can a lifestyle choice – those who don’t take drugs or drink alcohol it can be an alternative. The scholar thing is a misconception – anything that tarnishes our intellect or health is not acceptable.

Question: Does it contain tobacco?

Answer: Yes – but also people experiment with it and mix drugs with the tobacco and put vodka in the water – this is a greater danger. It is called ‘cooking’.

Question: Does the project highlight at all the damage that underage smoking can bring particularly in terms of sexual violence towards young girls who go to shisha smoking  places, and the damage that this can bring to the community?

Answer: I am not sure as there is a lack of research here at the moment.

Question: I work with adults with learning difficulties – do you have any campaigns targeted at people with learning difficulties e.g. information in easy read formats.

Answer: The project has only just started in January but we will be definitely looking into this.

Question: Do you think the smoking ban has contributed to making shisha more popular/ ‘fashionable’ and also attracted more women to it?

Answer: It’s definitely become more fashionable since the smoking ban and the risks not highlighted or socially condemned.

Question: How do you reach young people – you said it was difficult?

Answer: We approach schools and we try and be very persistent. Working in partnerships with NHS or Mohammed Jawad (who is well known) can help us as well. We also try and approach young people by making the parents more aware to monitor their children, for example spreading information in women’s groups.

Quesion: Do you have anything like a mobile exhibition that you could take around to libraries and schools?

Answer: No but that is a brilliant idea.

Question: If it’s not documented it must be difficult to impress young people of the risks. What vehicles are you intending to use to deliver the information to young people? If you don’t use effective vehicles to convey the information there is not much point.

Answer: Well we will use the methods and ideas outlined above - Ideally we would first need a thorough research completed to impress the government. However this was intended as a small project for the Arabic community and there is not enough money for something more widely targeted.

Item 5:

Bowel Cancer Screening

Gemma Nichols, Public Health Programme Manager – Screening, INWL

My role is to oversee the screening programmes for Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. These are:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Diabetic Retinopathy (eye screening)

Bowel cancer screening is the newest screening programme to be rolled out. It started in 2006 and we have been struggling to get people involved.

Who’s eligible?

What happens?

Issues that we are facing engaging BME communities


1/20 people will develop bowel cancer. It is the third most common cancer in the UK and the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths. 16, 000 people are dying from it every year. Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%.


The programme started in 2006. The screening tests detects possibility of bowel cancer at an early stage by detecting polyps/ blood in stool.

How does it work? What happens?

There are programme hubs. There are 5 hubs spread out across the country that are responsible for sending out letters and sending results.

Screening centres:

Provide endoscopy services and specialist screening nurse clinics for people receiving an abnormal result.

Responsible for referring those requiring treatment to their local hospital multidisciplinary team (MDT).

Who is it for?

60 – 74 year olds are asked to do it but if you are over 70 you can self refer.

How does the kit work?

It is called a Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test. It shows up the amount of blood in the stool and whether there are any polyps present.

The FOB does not actually diagnose cancer

If you have a positive result from the FOB test you will be asked to go for another test - a colonoscopy.

The FOB test is done at home and sent to you in the post with a pictorial instruction leaflet. The letter is translated into 15 languages.

We are currently working on improving the kit and explanation leaflet to make it even easier to use.

The results are returned within 2 weeks.


You either get –

  • Normal
  • Unclear
  • Abnormal

 Most people (98/100) get a normal result. However getting a normal result does not guarantee that you are not at risk of cancer.

Unclear result – usually means that you just need to do the test again.

Abnormal result – is not a diagnosis but  a colonoscopy will be offered following an abnormal result from FOB test.

What is a colonoscopy?

A camera on a long tube is passes into the back passage and guided around the bowel.

5/10 who have a colonoscopy have a normal result

4/10 will have polyps removed

1/10 will be diagnosed with cancer

Do I have to have a colonoscopy if I have an abnormal FOB result?

Depending on the other conditions an alternative may be offered. During the appointment everything is explained to the patients.

How reliable is cancer screening?

No screening is 100% reliable.

You need to be aware of the symptoms and check. Knowing what’s normal for you is important. Any change of regular habits or abdominal pains should be considered. If bowel cancer is detected at an early stage there is a 90% chance of recovery.

On the 31st January there was an 8 week National Bowel Cancer Campaign. This is separate from the screening programme but is linked. The idea was to normalise talking about poo to help raise people’s awareness via TV campaigns, radio (was also on 4 or 5 of the big ethnic radio stations) and also in some national newspapers.

[To see the power point presentation for this talk click on this LINK.]


Question: If the test does not diagnose bowel cancer – does it detect polyps?

Answer: Yes it detects blood and so indicates if there is a possibility of bowel cancer and that it needs to be looked into more.

Question: Statistics say that once it develops it is one of the more aggressive cancers.

Answer: Yes - signs and symptoms come much later and at a time when it is much less treatable.

Question: Do you have to wait until you are 60 to screen yourself?

Answer: When a National screening programme is set up they look into the highest risks related to age.

Question: Is there an ethnic connection to who gets Bowel cancer?

Answer: There is no monitoring or ethnic recording on who takes up the screening but those who get Bowel cancer are more often men and more often from Asian or Black Caribbean communities.

Item 6:

Cancer Wellbeing Event

Melanie Christodoulou, Community Engagement Coordinator, Hestia

On the 26th March 2012 in Kensington Town Hall there will be a Cancer Wellbeing Event from 3pm – 7pm.

Melanie also announced some funding available to come up with a Healthcare project for anyone working with 14 – 19year olds. The deadline was 15th March  and mainly open to K&C residents but they were also looking for Tri-borough participants.

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Primary care coordination services have changed in Westminster. Healthwatch and the Older Adults Group at the Advocacy Project want to hear your experiences of receiving support, so that we can check that the changes are improving people's lives.

» VOLUNTEER with Spectra: HIV testing support • Social media • Outreach • Data Entry • Newsletters and many more.

Spectra CIC is looking for people passionate about making a difference to join our volunteering team. We work with: Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities (BAME) • Bi, gay and men who have sex with men • People of trans experience • Women • Young people.

» Mother Tongue Counselling Service (Arabic & Farsi)

The Mother Tongue Counselling Service (Arabic & Farsi) is a part the wider West London Community Living Well Network, and is managed by Wandsworth & Westminster Mind.This service is for adults over 18 years of age, who speak Arabic or Farsi language, and are registered with a GP in Kensington & Chelsea, Queens Park or Paddington.

» Professional Interpreters: Language is Everything

A supplier of professional interpreters – face-to-face, by telephone and written translations. We offer 136 different languages and dialects for face-to-face assignments in London and more by telephone. We have an office in North Westminster and are already supplying to Local Authority frontline teams, NHS Trusts and national third sector organisations working within the Tri-borough meaning that our interpreters know the area and are already on the ground, daily.

» Men’s Self - Empowerment Group (FREE)

All men who are looking for opportunities to make social connections and friendships are welcome! This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of activities that you would like to put your fingerprints on – you will be choosing, planning and leading activities in your own ways.

» June 2017 Quarterly Meeting notes

Theme: Habits and Addictions in BME communities

» The Anchor Project

We provide practical support to children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse. By providing grants of up to £2,000 these packages of support will help children in affected families to recover from the trauma and upheaval they have experienced and can be tailored to meet the physical, emotional and developmental needs of the child or young person.

» Next Diabetes User Group Meeting

Diabetes User Group meetings are monthly meetings which give patients and family members of people living with Diabetes the chance to influence and shape the ongoing development of Diabetes Services.

» 2.3 million pounds to fight diabetes in NW London area

We have been very fortunate in the North West London area that the NHS has been successful in winning a bid of 2.3 million pounds to fight diabetes. The money will be used to:

» The Alcohol Service

Change, grow, live is a social care and health charity that works with individuals who want to change negative patterns of behaviour and achieve positive and life-affirming goals.

» VOLUNTEER: PPI opportunities at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

If you’re interested in any of the projects or would like more information, please email:

» Shine:Warm and healthy homes for London

SHINE is a one stop shop established to tackle fuel poverty and reduce seasonal deaths and hospital admissions in London. Working in partnership across the city we’re delivering a package of interventions designed to improve seasonal health and wellbeing.

» Building Better Opportunities: Women at the Centre

‘Women at the Centre’ is an employability programme funded by the Big Lottery under Building Better Opportunities and aimed at women in Westminster from BAME communities (particularly Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, Black African and Chinese) who are currently economically inactive or unemployed, and who would benefit from help to access appropriate training, volunteering, progressing into paid work.

» 1:1 creative therapeutic support for children, young people and families

What is Express 1:1? A regular confidential space with a listening professional to help children, young people and their families develop the capacity to express and reflect on thoughts and feelings using creativity and/or play.

» Manifesto for Improving Adult Social Care outcomes and provision for an aging Black and Minority Ethnic, & Migrant Population

This manifesto seeks to gain the support of all political parties, to commit to addressing the need for better provision, and outcomes, in Adult Social Care for aging Black and Minority Ethnic and migrant communities (BME & migrant communities) in the United Kingdom. Nubian Life is not aligned to, and is independent of any political party.

» Chair Based Exercise Group

FREE weekly drop-in for all those who want to maintain/improve their flexibility and reduce the risk of falls. All exercises are adjusted to the needs and abilities of each participant. The class is delivered by a trainer certified in biokinetics.

» YUVA young people's service

Yuva is DVIP’s young people’s service for families where children/ adolescents have been violent or abusive to their parents/carers. The service is currently able to accept referrals from agencies and/or parents in families across London that have had a history of domestic violence. Families will eligible for support if the young person has witnessed/experienced dv and needs support to rebuild safe relationships within the family. Another criteria for eligibility is that the young person is willing to address their behaviour and is 18 or under.

» Enhance your coping skills

Central and North-West London NHS Foundation Trust is offering to run free talking therapy workshops based on cognitive behaviour therapy to interested organisations. Topics covered include ways to manage stress and worry, living with long term health conditions, improving unhelpful thinking habits and much more.

» ‘Stronger Knowing More’ raising awareness for black men about their increased risk of prostate cancer

Find out more and join the campaign: 1 in 4 black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, double the risk faced by all men, which is 1 in 8. Yet, only 14% of black men are aware of their higher risk. So Prostate Cancer UK has launched a campaign called Stronger Knowing More, to make sure that all black men know their risk and what to do about it.

» 8th of March 2017 Meeting notes

THEME:Getting involved in improving services

» African Women's Care

AWC works with Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) adults, children and young people, fleeing domestic and sexual abuse including forced marriage, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, gang violence and ‘honour’-based violence.

» December 6th 2016 Meeting Notes

THEME: Migration, Homelessness and Mental Health

» July 20th Diabetes Open Meeting Notes

THEME: Diabetes and Black Minority Ethnic Communities

» May 2016 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: Domestic Abuse among BME Communities. This meeting explored the issue of Domestic Abuse from many different angles such as the barriers around housing, the particular difficulties for people with no recourse to public funds and the psychological issues for young people who have been exploited...

» March 2016 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: Stigma. This meeting's theme was about stigma and how it contributes to inequalities and stops people accessing services. We heard presentations discussing stigma in many different contexts from mental health and sexual health to the stigma surrounding disabilities, gender transitioning and dying.

» Healthy Relationships:Healthy Baby Programme

Pregnancy is a time of hope but can also bring challenges and strains. Healthy Relationships:Healthy Baby is a new programme from a local charity, especially for expectant mums and dads living in Westminster. Our dedicated team will work with you and your family so you can bring an end to hurtful behavior...

» December 2015 Quarterly Meeting notes

Theme: Young People's Health & Wellbeing. This was a great meeting to attend to hear about projects in the voluntary sector and ask our NHS commissioners and providers some searching questions. Presentations included: Westminster Mind, Spectra, Al Badja and the Westminster council...

» The Talking Talk Shop at The Dalgarno Trust, Wednesdays 11am - 12.30pm

The Talking Talk Shop is now open at The Dalgarno Trust on Wednesdays from 11am - 12.30pm. We work with people from all backgrounds with varying disabilities, who are on waiting list or finished counselling but wish to continue talking in a confidential, relaxed and safe environment...

» January issue of K&C Mind's Peer Support Network newsletter, #PeerTalk

#PeerTalk: K&C Mind’s Peer Support Network Newsletter - This issue includes:Happy new year; PeerFest 2015; Peer Support Fair; Steering Group; Peer Bank; Peer Support Directory; Marsh Award; Peer Support in the news; Dates for the diary...

» LSCB Newsletter for January 2016

The LSCB Newsletter for January 2016 is now available to download. Please note that the newsletter particularly highlights the Tri-Borough LADO role [Local Authority Designated Officer], whose purpose is to investigate any allegations of misconduct amongst staff who work with children and/or young people...

» MEWSO's January 2016 Newsletter

Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation's January newsletter is now published. We have a new section called "your say" where we will feature our reader's opinions on issues such as domestic violence, emotional abuse, and women's rights...

» New Patient Participation Group Best Practice Guide!

Healthwatch Central West London have a new Patient Participation Group Best Practice Guide! Thinking about starting up a PPG, joining a group or getting more members for your PPG? Then have a read of this guide! It has top tips on recruiting patients, the roles and responsibilities of a PPG, and the support...

» September 2015 Quarterly Meeting Notes

THEME: DEMENTIA - This was a great event to attend to find out more about how services for people with Dementia have been planned and delivered and question the people in charge of doing so. It was also a great opportunity to find out more about how to support people with Dementia and what services are available in the NHS and the third sector including some specialist services for BME communities.

» Peer Support Network - New Monthly Newsletter (November Issue)

Kensington and Chelsea Mind’s Peer Support Network have a new monthly newsletter, called #PeerTalk. November is the first issue...

» Volunteering opportunities at the Barlby Surgery - Practice Champions

The Barlby Surgery is currently recruiting volunteers (Practice Champions) from Barlby Surgery and the local community. Practice Champions are individuals with the local community that volunteer to develop support groups and health education events for children. These groups will support children and their...

» New Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) Single Point of Access

The new CNWL Single Point of Access was launched on 3rd November 2015. This is a one-stop entry point into working age adult secondary community mental health services for patients living in the North West London boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, K&C, and Westminster...

» Why do men engage less with primary health care? - [from People First Website]

On People First: Why do men engage less with primary health care? Men, on average, visit the GP 20% less than women, and younger men visit the GP half as often as younger women. Men are generally poor users of primary care. They are less likely to access other health services such as dentists...

» Volunteer Prison and Immigration Removal Centre Monitors

About the role: Inside every prison and immigration removal centre there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) - a group of ordinary members of the public doing an extraordinary job.IMB volunteers spend a few days a month independently monitoring day-to-day life in their local prison...

» SMART Projects Stop Smoking Service

SMART Projects is launching a Stop Smoking Service, funded by the Kensington & Chelsea Social Council and in partnership with the Kick-it Stop Smoking Service. SMART will be providing Stop smoking advice on a one to one basis and workshops for people who would like to find out more...

» Maternity Project - Heathwatch CWL + Project management group Meeting on 28th Oct

Healthwatch Central West London have begun a research project on maternity and associated services in our three boroughs (Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham). We want to assess the quality of the experience of women who have delivered and used inpatients,outpatients...

» Al-Aman (DVIP) Arabic Speaking service

DVIP’s Al-aman service has continued to receive funding from London Councils to support women from Arabic speaking communities who have been affected by gender based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour based violence...

» Different Voices’ Directory of Services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea

A directory of services was produced by the Different Voices Group at The Advocacy Project. It is a user involvement group that focuses on improving inpatient services and tackling the stigma attached to mental health. All the recommendations in the booklet are based on the service users’ own experiences of having used those services...

» Westminster Time Credits - off to a strong start!

Westminster Time Credits Newsletter (October 2015).Since our update announcing that organisations can now sign up to the Westminster Time Credits network we have been super busy here at Westminster Time Credits. Our main focus has been to get out and about to spread the news...

» Flu Vaccination information letter from Public Health (Three boroughs)

Flu season is here again. For most people flu is an unpleasant illness from which they recover in two to seven days. However for children under 6 months, those over 65 years, those with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women, the risk of serious complications is higher. These complications...

» Royal Trinity Hospice launches new dementia service in Kensington and Chelsea

Royal Trinity Hospice has launched a new service to support people with dementia and their carers living in Kensington and Chelsea, tackling recognised inequalities in access to palliative and end of life care.Funded by West London CCG, Trinity’s specialist Community Dementia Nurse will support people...

» Conversational English for beginners (for over 50s)

Brush up on your spoken, written and grammatical English to become a more confident speaker! For people aged 50 and over. TUESDAYs - 10.00am – 12.00pm. £3.00 per class @ New Horizons, Guinness Trust Estate, Cadogan Street, London, SW3 2PF...

» Healthier Homes Project

The Healthier Homes Project is a Public Health funded project to assist in reducing hospital admissions, GP visits and winter deaths caused by residents living in homes that are too cold, damp or are in dangerous conditions that put their health at risk.The project works as a referral service...

» MEWSO Monthly Newsletter-September 2015

The Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation (MEWSO) is pleased to bring you our second monthly newsletter. MEWSO is a women's run organisation dedicated to providing mental and emotional support to Middle Eastern and North African women who have faced/witnessed domestic violence...

» ANGELOU Referrals

On the 1st July ADVANCE in conjunction with eight other organisations launched a shared service across Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster supporting women and girls who are experiencing or have experienced violence and abuse this partnership is called Angelou...

» MEND Healthy Lifestyle Programmes for Children and Parents

Mytime Active has been commissioned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council to offer a range of free healthy lifestyle services across the three boroughs. Our Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do It! (MEND)...

» Westminster Time Credits

Spice, the social enterprise that has developed Time Credits -a way of recognising and celebrating the time people give to their community and to encourage more new people to get involved in volunteering – are setting up a local network in Westminster, with a specific focus on South Westminster…

» Medical Justice Press Release: HM Inspector of Prisons 2015 report on Yarl’s Wood - 12/08/15

HM Inspector Prisons 2015 insection of Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre -12th August 2015. “The severe decline in healthcare documented by HM Inspector of Prisons demonstrates that the Home Office and its private contractors have been incapable of learning lessons. The endemic harmful...

» African and African-Caribbean Cancer Support Group (at The Lake Foundation)

The Lake Foundation is a Croydon-based charity that aims to improve the health and well-being of the African and African-Caribbean Community. We run a monthly African and African-Caribbean Cancer Support Group and the aim of the group is to provide anyone who has been touched by cancer with support...

» Victoria Medical Centre in Westminster Rated 'Outstanding' by CQC

The Victoria Medical Centre – the oldest practice in Westminster - was rated ‘outstanding’ in the Care Quality Commission (CQC)’s latest round of reports. The Victoria Medical Centre offers General Practices (GP) services, and specialises in diagnostic and screening procedure, family planning services...

» IRANIAN ASSOCIATION - Advice and Education Centre Services and Classes

General Information and Advice; English Language Classes; English Language Exam; Information Technology Course; Counselling and Group Therapy; Exercise and Health Awareness Workshops; Tests For Citizenship and Settlement; Immigration and Citizenship Advice & Arts and Cultural Activities... ;

» June 2015 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: SUPPORTING PEOPLE APPROACHING THE END OF THEIR LIVES. This meeting was about how to best support people who are approaching the end of their lives. Public health are conducting a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) about end of life care and would like to hear from you about how you feel services work currently and any gaps that there might be...

» EWEG's Mental Wellbeing Project (support in Amharic, French, Arabic languages)

EWEG (Ethiopian Women’s Empowerment Group) will provide a safe space for the clients to talk with a trained volunteers on one to one basis. The safe space will give the clients privacy to express their feelings in their own languages.If you are working with BME Groups this might be for you...

» March 2015 Quarterly Meeting notes


» Solace Women’s Aid Ascent Counselling Service (also in other languages)

Solace Women’s aid is an accomplished charitable organisation providing a range of support services to women and children. Our specialist domestic and sexual violence counselling service provides 16 free counselling sessions which includes an assessment, for women and girls from 14 year old...

» IAPT Courses and Workshops

IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) are running one off workshops and 6 weeks courses on a variety of subjects from confidence building, Improving sleep, procrastination, assertiveness and much more. People can refer themselves and organisations can also arrange for sessions to be delivered at their site...

» Health Trainer Service: Hammersmith & Fulham

Health Trainers provide support designed to improve wellbeing and combat the causes of chronic lifestyle-related diseases. Health Trainers are local individuals trained to identify and make contact with others to help improve lifestyle choices such as healthy eating, weight loss, increasing physical activity...

» Be FIT For Work - Dalgarno Community Champions can help

Are you looking to upskill yourself back into work or looking for experience to start work? Dalgarno Community Champions can help you! Here’s how - Supporting Opportunities: Maths and English classes; IT support; CV help; References for future employment; Work placement opportunities in Health...

» Access to Health New Project: Information and Referral form

‘Access to Health’ is a new project which aims to support homeless and vulnerably housed pregnant women and families with a child/children under 5 years old in Westminster or temporarily housed outside the borough...

» Services

» Activities/Courses

» COFFEE MORNINGS with SW1 Community Organisers every Friday 10.30 - 12.00

Share your ideas, chat and catch up on local issues. Open to all SW1 residents. VENUE: The Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace. London SW1P 1EW. Time: Every Friday 10.30am - 12pm...

» Exercise for Health and Wellbeing in 2015 with SW1CO (Fridays am)

EXERCISE FOR HEALTH, WELLBEING to increase mobility, balance and sense of well-being. Open to all SW1 residents. VENUE: Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, SW1 TIME: 9.30 – 10.30 AM. Every Friday - £2 donation...

» December 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes


» September 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes


» New Young Women's Domestic Violence project for Arabic speakers

Al-Hasaniya Moroccan's Women's Centre have a new project for young women of Arabic backgrounds who have or are experiencing domestic violence. The service is aimed at young women aged between 16 and 25 years old who live in London...

» June 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes


» Counselling Services for female survivors of domestic and sexual abuse (Westminster and K&C)

Please be aware of the free Therapeutic Services provided by Solace Women’s Aid in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. These include:1to1 counselling for female survivors of domestic violence age 14 + (Ascent). 1to1 counselling for female survivors of sexual violence including child sexual abuse (aged 14+)...

» New Domestic Abuse service for Arabic speaking Women

Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre has recently been successful in securing funding for a new project to support young, vulnerable women of Arabic speaking backgrounds who are or have experienced domestic abuse. Our service is aimed at young women aged between 16 and 25 years old...

» Kick-It FREE Stop Smoking Support service for local communities

The Free Stop Smoking Support sessions include specialist behavioural support by certified Stop Smoking Practitioners, which will improve the client’s motivation as well as help building up capacities and strategies to stay smoke-free...

» Westminster Connect - Peer support group

The peer support is for people aged 18 to 60 who have a physical disability, hearing or sight impairments and those with long term health conditions. Westminster Connect also co-ordinates peer support for Deaf people...

» April 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: Unscheduled care - the utilisation of A and E and Urgent care services by BME communities

» Housing and resettlement, Welfare benefits and debt advice (Westminster)

The Bayswater Families Centre, in conjunction with CAB, Homestart and Z2K are holding Drop-in Advice sessions covering: Housing Advice and Assistance; Resettlement Advice and Assistance; Welfare benefits Advice and Assistance; Debt Advice and Assistance...

» Free counselling sessions in Spanish & English at the Migrants Resource Centre

WHY COUNSELLING? There are times in our lives when we experience distressing events and times; when we can find ourselves overwhelmed with feelings that seem to have no obvious explanation.When this happens, counselling can be very helpful...

» Zumba at Portobello Green Fitness Club

Fridays 2 - 3pm, Portobello Green Fitness Club. Price £2.10. It's fun, It's fitness, It's ZUMBA!...

» IKWRO - Self Confidence Support Group for Women

Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) is registered charity that provides confidential support, advice and advocacy and outreach to women and girls of Middle Eastern origin. We work to help women and girls who are facing gender based violence...

» November 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes


» Employability Services in Westminster (as of 20/01/2014)

In light of all the changes in services in Westminster, I have recently completed a piece of work which is a document listing current employability services available at present for families...

» A Moveable Creche service from the Abbey Centre (South Westminster)

A Moveable Crèche provides an excellent value and flexible childcare service for clients. Sessions are delivered in a venue of your choice, for as many children as the size of the venue permits...

» Drinkwatchers Group EVERY Wednesday

The Horn of Africa Health and Wellbeing Project runs a WEEKLY Drinkwatchers support group on Wednesdays - sessions are free and cover the physical, social and psychological effects of alcohol and support available...

» September 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes


» K&C Mind HARP Group (Hoarding, Acquiring Recovery Planning)

The HARP Support Group is a new, monthly, facilitated self-help programme, for people who are motivated to develop strategies and actions to manage and modify compulsive hoarding behaviour...

» British Red Cross Refugees and Befriending Project

The British Red Cross runs four 'Refugees and Befriending Projects' (R'n'B) for young unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers aged 14-21. Our peer-led befriending projects are facilitated by peer-befrienders and adult volunteers...

» December 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes


» September 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes


» June 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes

» Community Champions Coffee Mornings - Diabetes (starting Wednesday 4th September)

Are you worried about diabetes? Or want to know more about it. Come to our health themed coffee morning. Where alongside your tea or coffee you can engage in health issues which affect you or others around you...

» Active for Life - Opportunities to Keep Fit In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Leisure Services’ Sports Development Team provides a wide variety of sport and physical activity opportunities for RBKC residents at venues across the borough including targeted sessions for specific groups...

» July 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes

» Free Days Out for Carers in Kensington and Chelsea

We also offer free training courses, complimentary therapies, other free events, talks and social meet-ups - booking essential...

» Storytelling Women’s Group at the Refugee Therapy Centre.(every Wednesday)

Come along and join our friendly Storytelling Women’s Group at the Refugee Therapy Centre.We welcome women with all levels of English. It’s a great way to get to know new people and practise your language skills.We meet every Wednesday from 11:00am—14:00pm...

» March 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» June 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» September 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» December 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» March 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes

Date & Time: 7th March 12, 10am – 1pm, Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU, Theme: Men’s Health & Wellbeing

» March 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes

Theme: Women’s Health & Wellbeing Date: 6th March 2013 Venue: Lighthouse West Lodon

» Domestic abuse and Sexual violence Information about Helpline services in your area

Please see below some information about domestic and sexual violence helplines that are funded by London Councils and available in your area...

» Psychological Therapies in languages other than English

Please note that all NHS psychological therapy services are obliged to provide an interpreter for people who are not fluent English speakers. This includes counselling services offered by GP practices as well as IAPT or other mental health services offered by CNWL or CLCH...

» Personalisation Project at the Chinese Mental Health Association

The Befriending Service at the Chinese Mental Health Association is running a pilot Personalisation project for ethnic Chinese sufferers of mental health. Personalisation is about giving people with needs, choice and control over their care, with support and resources provided by their local authority...

» Fit-for-Life - Free 8 week weight loss programme

This FREE eight week group behaviour change programme is designed to help the patients to lose weight, get fitter and make more informed choices about your diet and lifestyle...

» Deaf Hope Services

Deaf Hope is a new specialist domestic abuse service for Deaf women and children, and the first service of its kind in the UK. We have been established around 18 months and our current funding is...

» Healthier Life for You blog

Healthier LIfe 4 You is a community organisation not for profit with charitable aims. We aim to promote Health and Wellbeing to local people in the community (Families, Children & Young people). As well as running Health workshops, we use Dance, Art & Craft and Leisure activities to enable service users to achieve emotional and Physical wellbeing...

» Public Health Training Service - RBKC

The Royal Borough can help your business. We offer award-winning training on Food Safety and Health and Safety. We also offer Environmental Principles training, Personal Licence Holders training and Customer Service Training...

» FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) Service

West London African Women's service - Community support and information...

» Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service at ADVANCE

ADVANCE is a specialist domestic violence crisis intervention service. We support women who are assessed as being high or very high risk of continued domestic and sexual abuse and those at risk of being killed...

» Counselling Directory - search for a counsellor or psychotherapist near you

Counselling Directory was set up as a free, confidential service to encourage those in distress to seek help. Visitors can read about different areas of distress, view useful articles written by counsellors and refine their...

» GO4mental health

A website/ directory for mental health service users in Westminster...

» North London Rape Crisis Service

North London Rape Crisis offers free, confidential counselling, advocacy and holistic therapies to women aged 14 and over who live, work or study in Islington, Camden, Westminster, Barnet, Enfield, Kensington and Chelsea and Haringey...

» Health Trainers

Health Trainers provide free one-to-one support, motivation and advice to borough residents (from Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea or Hammersmith & Fulham) over 18 who want to improve their health and wellbeing...

» Women's Wellbeing, Patient Empowerment and Mental Health & Wellbeing projects at Mosaic Community Trust

The Mosaic Community Trust’s Women’s Well-Being Project seeks to empower women who are socially disadvantaged. The Patient Empowerment and Engagement project aims to raise awareness in the local community on the availability and effective use primary care health services...

» Befriending for Asian Women at Henna

Henna’s befriender-workers will pay regular weekly or monthly visits to some of the most vulnerable ladies in the community. These visits could be to those who were members of Henna in the past and have been restricted...

» Substance misuse services - NEW three borough service

Turning Point and Blenheim have been commissioned to provide the new substance misuse service in Westminser, RBKC, and Hammersmith & Fulham. This service is named the Recovery & Wellbeing network and will transform the way that drug and alcohol services are provided locally...

» Help for your Family with Home-Start (Westminster)

We support ANY family in Westminster who needs us, providing there is at least 1 child under 5. Rich or poor, settled or transient.Our trained volunteers help to give encouragement and support to change the pattern of troubled lives...

» NHS videos aimed at newly arrived migrants in various languages

Here are a series of short films on how to use the NHS aimed at newly arrived migrants produced by the Black Health Agency. The film is available in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi/Dari, French, Kurdish, Mandarin, Polish, Somali, Sylheti and Urdu...

» Foot and Toenail Care Service in Westminster

Having Problems Managing your Nail Care??? Apply for Westminster’s new Basic Foot Care Service now!...

» LIVING WELL - Wellbeing services

Living Well offers a wide range of high-quality health related services aimed at providing people with the skills they need to get the most out of life. Services include HIV service, Youth service and Community support service...

» Dementia Adviser Service in Westminster

The Westminster Dementia Adviser service provides advice, information and guidance to those who have received a diagnosis of dementia, as well as their families and supporters. As well as working in partnership with NHS...

» Healthworks

HEALTHWORKS√ offers a range of services to help the residents of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and surrounding boroughs

» South Westminster Centre for Health

Provides community and specialist dental services, district nursing, nutrition and dietetics, diabetes and podiatry (foot health) services, Speech and language therapy for children...

» Fit for Work Service in Kensington & Chelsea now expanding to Westminster and Hammermith & Fulham

Fit for Work Service in Kensington & Chelsea now expanding to Westminster and Hammermith & Fulham

» Jobs in Mind

Jobs in Mind, a mental health charity whose varied services provide specialist support and advice around problems at work, training and education. Our mission is to understand, support and enable the recovery of those affected by mental health problems...

» Health Centre for walk-in (unregistered) patients

The Halfpenny Steps Health Centre provides health services for registered and walk-in patients. It is staffed with a team of GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals to deliver a high quality, continuous service...

» Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) - Westminster service

STRESSED, ANXIOUS, DEPRESSED? If you are finding it difficult to cope with feelings of anxiety or depression, we can offer quick and easy access to help and support...

» Employers: Fit for Work Service Leaflet

If you have employees off work sick or struggling with health problems you can refer them to Fit for Work Service at no cost to your business...

» Housing Factsheet Library

Some housing factsheets on key housing issues. The fact sheets provide a very basic summary of the issue, the possible actions you can take, and who to contact for further information...

» Women's Therapy Centre

The Women's Therapy Centre has been offering individual and group psychotherapy to women since 1976. Its access policy ensures that psychotherapy is available to all women, regardless of sexual orientation, disability, cultural or social...

» Arabic Women’s Project at Al-Hasaniya, North Kensington

Based in North Kensington we offer advice and support in health and welfare of Arabic speaking women. We have a Domestic Violence project and also a children and families mental health project as well as many other...

» Get Active! - Affordable activities for all abilities and ages at the Beethoven Centre

See details below for affordable activities for all abilities and ages available at the Beethoven Centre...

» Breathe Easy Support Group

DO YOU LIVE IN PIMLICO AND SUFFER FROM A BREATHING PROBLEM? BREATHE EASY PADDINGTON is your Westminster patient support group, for anyone affected by a lung condition. We offer mutual support, information...

» Dual Diagnosis User Involvement Project [Westminster]

Who? The project is for adults with dual diagnosis mental health and learning disabilities living in Westminster. These are the only criteria for taking part; we aim for the project to be inclusive. It is run by The Advocacy...

» Helpline for Maternity Services

The maternity helpline provides direct access to clinical support and advice to women and their families, irrespective of whether you are a patient of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, a visitor to the area or simply require information and support.

» Westminster Wellbeing - Free NHS service promoting Health and Wellbeing

Westminster Wellbeing is a free NHS service promoting health and wellbeing within communities and organisations in Westminster. We provide a range of services which include training and workshops for community organisations...

» Maternity Action Advice Line

Maternity Action’s Advice Line offers free confidential telephone support. We will listen to you and try to understand all the issues you are facing. We will then provide you with information that is relevant to you and your situation...

» HELP Counselling - low cost short & long term counselling service

Based in Portobello Road, Notting Hill Gate, London, HELP Counselling Centre provides short & long-term counselling based on an affordable, sliding scale for people who need support in negotiating a crisis as well as for those who wish to consider their life patterns and choices...

» Rape Crisis London

Rape Crisis London has four centres that offer help, information and support to women and girls who have experienced sexual violence of any kind, at any time of their lives...

» Jobs/Volunteering