Women’s Health Day

On 27th November, Refugee Action-Colchester organized a Women’s Health Day in partnership with Community 360 and Beacon House, to raise awareness of cervical cancer and how to access screenings. There was also a focus on the barriers our clients face in accessing screenings, such as language and translation needs. It was also an opportunity for clients to hear about breast cancer and other health issues that specifically affect women, as well as to ask questions about the Covid-19 vaccine. We were joined by two Beacon House nurses, Michelle and Hannah, and a Colchester-based GP, Sue.

Mums and children were invited to the event, which took place at the new One Colchester Hub. The wonderful Friends Not Foes group from Colchester Sixth Form College also joined us and provided entertainment for the children.

We had a wonderful Afghan translator as well as our ever-willing Arabic translator present. It is absolutely crucial that translation is available when talking about health: it is a basic and essential right to be able to understand fully in our own language when accessing health care. Thank you to Aria and Zaenab for making this possible.

We invited many communities and around 40 women came along to the event with their children. Many women had conversations with the nurses and GP and asked questions, privately or in groups. Some women also booked themselves in for a cervical screening, with the help of one of the interpreters, after feeling reassured about the procedure.

We all shared delicious food, with catering by Zaenab, and by Farhad (from Arbil Restaurant).

It was a very successful event as well as a very pleasant afternoon spent all together. We were pleased to get great feedback from everyone who attended. Thank you to everyone who came along and to everyone who volunteered their time to make it so successful for our community. We are hoping to hold another similar event after New Year.