A clean bill of health?

We’re delighted to introduce Noreen O’Donoghue as our new Health Worker as part of our new partnership project with Healthwatch Southwark  and Southwark Council’s Public Health team. The project is named in honour of our Trustee, Garvey Harris who tragically died from Covid-19 in January 2020 and is funded by the National Lottery.

Noreen is currently working part-time with her main days being Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays usually, but she is willing to be flexible, if people would like to speak to her on other days, just rings us on 020 7358 6818 to ask for an appointment on a different day (please leave a message, with a number to contact you on, if you get our ansaphone message – it just means no one’s available to answer the phone at that moment).

We’ll be launching the project officially at our Annual General Meeting in November, but in the meantime, following feedback from meetings with many of you we’ll be concentrating on mental health and eating healthily on a budget in the next few months. As part of that we will be presenting our work at the Southwark World Mental Health Day event on 14th October 10am – 3pm at  The Grain House 46 Loman Street London SE1 0EH. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

So where are we starting from? Well, we knew that nationally Gypsies, Roma & Travellers suffered some of the worst health outcomes before the Covid-19 pandemic. STAG’s last survey of 54 Gypsies, Roma and Travellers with a connection to Southwark found that over a quarter (28%) rated their physical health and mental well-being as “very bad” or “bad”. This is about five times the level in the general population. What’s more, this had got worse since the Covid-19 pandemic (19% points worse for physical health and 26% points worse for mental well-being).

This project aims to reverse this by involving our communities in developing the services and solutions that they would like to see. Please get in touch (manager@southwarktravellersaction.org) , if you would like to find out more or get involved.