The achievements of the Refugee Council’s Health Befriending Network have been recognised at a two day COST international conference held in Brussels.
The conference was focused on Optimising Childbirth and had almost 100 presentations from speakers all around the world.
Former Refugee Council Health Befriending Network Coordinator Rose McCarthy was joined by two former health befrienders Jackie Ingham and Dasha Pluto to share their experiences of the scheme with delegates.
Jackie and Dasha shared their experiences of befriending pregnant asylum seekers and refugees and the women received a prize for delivering one of the best presentations of the conference.
Rose said: “I was delighted to collect the prize with Dasha and Jackie; I passionately believe that migrant women’s voices should be heard and we should be working with them, not for them.
“We’d like to thank City of Sanctuary and NCT who provided funds to enable the migrant women to attend.”
Sadly, funding for the Health Befriending Network ended last month, but many of the volunteers now work with Rose for City of Sanctuary’s Maternity Stream.
The Maternity Stream is planning to create a translating app which would enable midwives and women who don’t speak English to communicate effectively about maternity services.
It also plans to create two special DVDs; one for women to explain how and why they should access maternity services when they are pregnant and one for health professionals which explores the needs and experiences of pregnant asylum seekers and refugees.
Both films will soon be available at www.cityofsanctuary.co.uk/maternity