Congratulations to Friends Families and Travellers for prestigious award

SIS is thrilled for our Social Prescribing Plus partner, Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) who’ve been announced as runners up in the Community Health Development category of the illustrious Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) Health and Wellbeing Awards.  The team attended a glamorous event at the East Wintergarden in London to receive their award.The judges recognised the exceptional health improvement work FFT have undertaken with Gypsy and Traveller communities in East and West Sussex. In light of the stark health inequalities faced by Gypsy and Traveller communities, FFT developed an asset-based peer-approach model of health improvement, which taps into existing peer networks in Gypsy and Traveller communities to cascade health information.

By building relationships through assertive outreach, delivering RSPH training and supporting the development of a ‘Health Champions’ network, the project enabled people to actively participate in improving their own and their community’s health. To date, over 70 Gypsies and Travellers have completed RSPH training with Friends Families and Travellers. Speaking about the programme, Linda Smith* from the Romany Gypsy community said,

“I didn’t really go to school, I hated it. The kids were horrible to me, they called me ‘dirty’, so I didn’t go. I never had a proper education. But this training was good, cos they understand our people and how we are. I couldn’t believe I passed the exam, my first exam, at 50!”

SIS is looking forward to building on our existing partnership and learning from the experience and expertise of FFT to apply similar principles for helping migrant communities take control of their health and wellbeing.

*this name has been changed to protect anonymity.