My role within Crawley is proactively supporting the Crawley community. I do my best to give a voice to speechless people, reaching out to the marginalised and people who have hidden in plain sight and presently working on health equity and raising awareness of health inequalities.
I am involved with a Women’s charity, Rivers LPC. We take an empathetic view in our work, mainly with immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and anyone who needs local support and signposting.
I am also involved in community projects which deal with integration and inequality of services. Oceans community project supports people with little or no computer skills who need employability support or data support.
During the COVID pandemic and lockdown, I established a Census 2021 Support Centre for Crawley, especially for people with no access to online services.
The COVID pandemic changed my view that the whole family does need direct support sometimes, and with the Rivers CHRYSALIS food programme in 2020 to date, I lead the change that sometimes we need to support the family as a whole and not just women.
I currently work with Alliance for Better Care as an Equity Development Manager, leading the Crawley community’s Equity Developmental & Outreach work. My main role includes giving support to lessen the health inequalities challenges in Crawley and encouraging communities to present themselves for health services.
Alliance for Better Care are a GP Federation that supports 47 practices across Surrey and Surrey. They support primary care to transform how healthcare is managed within the community. So, where you see some of the Crawley services in action, like the vaccination programme, wellness for men and community health check drop-in sessions – these are all managed by Alliance for Better Care in partnership with the local GP practices and surrounding services.
I was in born in England, moved to West Africa as a child, and then moved to Crawley as a young person, where I have lived since.
How did you get into this line of work?
This line of work came to me. I did not plan it. I identified that there was a great divide of available resources that were not reaching a group of people who were and still are labelled as ‘hard to reach’.
I used my frustration in a positive way to build organisations and working relationships with formal local organisations to provide a platform for my voice today.
What is your advice to others who might be considering this line of work?
Integrity, ethics and a good night’s sleep will go a long way! If you believe you can make a difference and are prepared to face the consequences, go ahead.
Why is black history month important to you?
BHM is important to my work in the community, not personally. It demonstrates that organisations are now aware that recognising the existence and contributions of Black people and Black culture is important for organisations to grow. This should be an opportunity for more integration and awareness of different cultures.
How do you bring this message into your work?
I believe that community integration and differences should be recognised and promoted, as well as realising that equity and equality are different.