Having been awarded 24 months' funding from the People's Health Lottery, WAC has successfully established lunch clubs for isolated women 3 days per week.

In total, 70-90 women are attending each week, enjoying fitness classes, the sauna room, wholesome lunches, and taking part in creative activities in the afternoons.

The purpose of the project is to improve the mental and physical health of women who are otherwise at risk of becoming immobile and suffering depression. Mrs Mahmood, a volunteer cook with the project, explained that "Women's health issues have been neglected for too long in our community, and this is a self-help group which should encourage others to pursue healthier diets, take an interest in the area in which they live, and to develop new skills".

The group is open to anyone and each daily session runs from 11.30am to 3.30pm.

 

Talking Works

We have recently started a new project with funding from Building Connections called 'Talking Works'. Following the Prime Minister's wider endorsement of the Jo Cox Commission recommendations on Loneliness in January 2018, the Building Connections Fund has been set up to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness.

In our experience, in the local 'Park Ward' area of Halifax, there are two main types of situation that lead to acute loneliness, or social isolation. Firstly there are those who are living alone without any regular contact with relatives or close friends. More commonly, however, are reports of acute loneliness among older women who are living with close relatives; some feel isolated when their relationship with other family members is strained, and they have ceased making any attempt to engage with the older relative in a civil or friendly way.

This project is building on our existing work and enabling us to specifically tackle and increase our knowledge about strategies to reduce loneliness. One of the ways we are doing this, is to reach out and to provide door to door transport for older Asian women who live some distance outside the local, predominantly Asian, 'Park Ward' area. For these ladies whose loneliness comes from not having the frequency of contact with people from the same background/community, this can be a much needed lifeline.

To address the issue of loneliness for those who feel ignored, ostracised and excluded at home, with this project we are offering counselling and mediation between the older lady and the member of the family with whom she has the greatest problem. In many cases, tension arises with the family member who has become the woman's de facto carer, for example her daughter in law. We have seen positive interventions in this area using counselling and mediation and we aim to evaluate this further over a greater number of cases.

We will be working with the wider community through GP referrals, Social Services, pharmacies and mosques. By engaging in social activities (including crafts, exercise, and luncheon club) and talking therapy we hope to reduce isolation and loneliness for a number of vulnerable women.

We are also in talks with Lancaster University about some upcoming research on frailty through a PhD student from the Centre for Ageing Research. We are hoping to work together on a project that will provide qualitative and quantitative research into the psychological and physical effects of frailty and how we can work to combat the detrimental effects of ageing.

 

Key Focus at WAC

At WAC we are working towards moving/shifting away from the fixed psychology created in South Asian communities.

Our Social Care Consists Of :

  • Monday to Thursday Day Care, this is a welcome opportunity for our clients to make friends, socialise and take part in,"group activities". This provision helps with our clients in reducing social isolation, increase in access to information and staying healthy & independent.
  • Hot freshly prepared Halal meals, with emphasis on healthy eating.
  • An Interfaith Prayer Group: This is a group of local women which meet 11th of every month. About 60/70 women attend the gathering.
  • Ongoing research in to the needs of women from the BME communities with mental health issues.
  • Inter faith activities.
  • Workshops to increase discussions about Mental Health Provision. WAC recognize mental health issues, are a taboo subject in the BME community, ultimately leading to a lack of awareness/knowledge.

 

Mental Health Care

Mental health affects all of us but it can be hard to talk about. Sometimes we dont seek the support we need because we're afraid of what people might say.

Roshani is a new initiative to get us all talking about mental health. By listening to each other's thoughts and concerns we hope to develop a shared language and understanding in the community, and to provide support.

Please come and talk to us if you would like to volunteer to be part of Roshani.

For further information please contact Neelam on 01422 345154

 

Diabetes Self-management Programme

Calderdale Forum 50+ in partnership with the Women's' Activity centre (WAC) aim to deliver a diabetes self-management programme to Urdu/Punjabi speaking BME community suffering from Diabetes. The programme is aimed specifically at Diabetic patients and their carers and delivered at WAC by Diabetic Educators.

The programme is one of its' kind, providing person centred educational support to older Asian community suffering from Diabetes. Prevalence rates of Type 2 diabetes are much higher in the South Asian population but it is difficult for this group to access appropriate services. Research has shown that this group is particularly at risk of not getting on going support to manage Diabetes, as one-to-one support at local Diabetic clinics can be difficult to access due to language barriers. The local NHS DESMOND programme is delivered in English and does not meet the different cultural needs and traditional diet South Asian population. However, this programme is aimed at the local South Asian community and will be delivered solely to Urdu/Punjabi speaking South Asian population.

WAC has a great deal of experience in exploring and meeting the different needs of the local BME community, last year WAC delivered a Diabetes Educational Programme in partnership with X-PERT Health. Our new project has been amended and improved to closely fit the needs of the BME community. We will provide a new Diabetes self-management programme, which will incorporate activities that reinforce the messages of Education, namely healthy eating, weight management and coping with stress. The programme will create a support programme with structured activities, such as one-to-one support, monthly male and female support group, weekly exercise and cooking class. A Diabetes Educator will be employed on part-time basis to deliver the programme and monitor progress over a 12-month period.

The programme aims to improve overall health outcomes of clients through, reduced blood glucose levels, fewer visits to GP, weight loss, reduced waist size, reduction in diabetes medication, adopting a healthy diet whilst still enjoying your food, reduction in stress/depression and improved quality of life.

Click here for more information on our FREE Diabetes Support Service.

Click below for information in Urdu

 

Cervical, Bowel and Breast Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the neck of the womb. The neck of the womb is called the cervix. Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer by finding and treating early changes in the cervix before they become cancer.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer is any cancer that affects the colon (large bowel) and rectum (back passage).

Breast cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumour is a group of cancer cells that can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.

Click here for more information on screening.

Click here for PDF version.