Maternity Care - session 5
With the Caribbean and African Health Network, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and the Longsite Primary Care Network we've been dismantling the barriers that women seeking asylum and refugees experience in their journey to motherhood.
Through our sessions as a test and learn site we have been connecting women from Easter African backgrounds with vital frontline services to support them and their children.
We kicked off with a signature Afrocats dance warm-up. This gets the women to relax and be present for the session. The theme of this week's session was food banks and supporting the women to access Ardwick and Longsight Food Bank. Women brought proof of residence and provided all their data with the help of Afrocat’s project assistant. They were all very interested in accessing this service.
Unfortunately, during the session, we discover that since many of them are benefiting from Universal Credit, they do not qualify for this food bank. Despite Magdalen, Afrocats CEO, enquiring about access in advance of the session, she was not properly briefed on this requirement.
Once again this highlights the many communication barriers that exist within local welfare services. We recognise that these barriers are the main obstacle the community faces, and we will continue to work to dismantle them.
We also had two members of staff from the Whitworth Art Gallery attend the session. They provided insight into events available to the public. The group was also invited to attend a temporary exhibition - Traces of Displacement - running from April until January 2024. The exhibition uncovers stories of persecution, creativity, and resilience, and the experiences of artists and makers who were displaced in their homelands, forced to flee, survived, and even thrived in exile. An event that would certainly resonate with the Afrocats community.
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Image courtesy of The Whitworth and the artist from Traces of Displacement