east london genes & health
South Asian people based in East London have some of the highest rates of heart disease, diabetes, and poor health in the UK. East London Genes & Health is a research study led by Queen Mary University of London set up to help fight against these and other major diseases affecting this sector of the population.
Social Action for Health’s role in this project is to carry out community outreach amongst Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations across East London, raising awareness and collecting DNA samples for this global scale study. Over the past 3 years we have hosted stalls and participated in numerous community events. We have built a strong network of key community assets and we have managed to collect over 10,000 DNA samples from the target populations.
We are currently recruiting Helix Champions for the East London Genes & Health study and are particularly looking for people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin to work with their communities in East London.
Monday – Friday
Mornings & Afternoons
Locations - Various see events page
We lead a consortia of grass roots community organisations that deliver advice from GP practices across Tower Hamlets. This is so medical services can focus on medicine – assured that their patients can access advice and support for a wide range of problems that also affect patients health.
Our advisors offer professional advice on welfare, benefits, debt, housing and form filling. They are well networked and able to refer people for specialist legal support and signpost into networks of other ‘social prescribing’ and employability opportunities.
Our approach is person centred. We listen, take a holistic approach and action plan with people. Our advisors can speak a wide range of languages, this includes Bengali, Urdu, Turkish, Kurdish and Chinese. They also ensure culture and faith is understood in the advice process. Our aim it to support people to become more resilient – more able to deal with challenges in the future. We bring hope when people don’t know where to turn.
Good Moves (which was shortlisted at The Charity Awards 2018) is a social and holistic eight week course which considers all aspects of good health and wellbeing. We offer additional support and longer-term befriending to vulnerable participants, long-term support for completers to continue building on their achievements, and skill up strong completers to deliver future courses.
Any adult with diabetes, CKD, heart disease and hypertension in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, although we particularly focus on those from communities most vulnerable to health inequalities.
Peer-led, social self-management course delivered in community settings across Tower Hamlets in multiple languages, including Bengali, Somali, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Nepalese, and English.
We work with multiple partners including community centres, GP surgeries, religious institutions, schools and housing associations.
Thousands of participants have completed Good Moves. They have experienced improved:
Understanding and management of physical and psychological effects of chronic disease (including fatigue, pain, depression, and frustration)
Exercise, nutrition, and medication adherence habits
Effective communication with family, friends, and health professionals
For more information on Good Moves click here or if you would like to join a course sign up below.
There is follow-up support for Good Moves completers through our Good Friends project, which offers Peer Support groups in multiple languages to keep building on action-planning, walking groups to explore the local area in a friendly, sociable environment, and more intensive 1-2-1 befriending for those most isolated and vulnerable.
Good Friends participants are those who:
• are isolated due to their long-term condition(s) and/or disabilities affecting their ability or confidence to navigate the outside world
• have become overly dependent on busy family members and feel ‘burdensome’ or disempowered
• are fearful to leave the house due to language skills and, as migrants or refugees, not feeling fully settled or comfortable in their local area yet
Our work so far has shown that Good Moves is an opportunity to reach and engage a wide variety of people who do not necessarily have access to the mainstream of society. The courses provide a rare chance to build trust and a relationship over two months, which is then an excellent platform on which to focus and develop the support for those most vulnerable.
MAternity Voice partnerships
Maternity Voices Partnerships are teams of parents, professionals and commissioners working together to improve local maternity services.
Social Action for Health is commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups in Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Newham to facilitate Maternity Voices Partnerships. We ensure women and their families are able to participate in each Maternity Voices Partnerships either by providing feedback or by becoming a member.
The Maternity Voices Partnerships have a formal meeting every three months, bringing all interested parties round the table to discuss maternity issues, and most importantly, to agree actions to keep improving services based on the feedback of local women.
Before each Maternity Voices Partnership meeting, we have a Maternity Voices meet-up; this informal and friendly gathering is open to anyone with recent experience of the maternity services. This might be parents, parents-to-be, grandparents, doulas, antenatal teachers, etc. The key purpose of the meet-up is to sit together and share what we are hearing ‘on the ground’ and agree the priorities we want to discuss at the next Maternity Voices Partnership meeting. It is also a good chance to connect with each other over a cup of tea and a biscuit.
We are always looking to recruit more participants for MVPs, whether you are a parent, a parent-to-be, a maternity professional or have an interest in improving maternity services in your community we would like to hear from you and invite you to join the project.
Meetings take place quarterly at various venues - see our events page for more information
Latest from Maternity Twitter feed
If you would like to be matched to a trained Sure STEPS supporter or would like to be considered for our accredited peer support training programme please sign up below.
Sure STEPS – Support Through Early Parenting Scheme is a project that offers one –to – one peer-support for pregnant women or new mothers and parents struggling to deal with the challenges of becoming a parent from pregnancy up to the first year of the baby. We could support vulnerable mothers, including first time mums, mothers without family or a support network available (e.g. women coming from abroad who might be new to the system), as well as local mothers who already have children but need support with the arrival of a new baby.
Our peer supporters are trained to provide emotional support, a listening ear and encouragement. They are also able to make referrals to appropriate local and national services and organisations where specialist support might be needed.
We operate with an open referral system, where everybody can refer through the Sure STEPS referral form, which can be sent via email.