This project will raise awareness of domestic violence among the African communities in Medway, work with other service providers (housing, CAB, Shelter etc.) to meet their immediate needs. and also support victims by giving them relevant information about services that will provide them with both emotional and support through the transition of leaving the abusive partner.
We aim to:
• Work in partnership with service providers in mental health and substance use services to improve their ability to support survivors of violence and abuse.
• Develop new work that recognises combinations of disadvantage that go beyond mental health and problematic substance use.
• Influence policy makers in Medway to ensure that public policy solutions around multiple disadvantages reflect the experience of women and girls who have survived violence and abuse
We will do this through
Awareness and advocacy initiatives that will include a variety of programs to improve community response. Presenting information, enlisting community and religious organizations to spread information. This initiative will encourage victims to speak out and seek help
Training for Staff and volunteers and relevant up-to-date information on domestic abuse on our website
Survivor consultation, policy briefings, consultation responses and resources on working with people experiencing mental health problems and/or problematic substance use who are affected by gender-based violence and abuse.
A bi-monthly HACO e-newsletter on violence against women and girls for practitioners working with people affected by multiple disadvantages.
Providing information about services to address physical / emotional trauma by enabling women to leave an abusive relationship if need be.
Providing crisis hotline to call in an emergency. Women who have experienced domestic violence require social support in the forms of one-on-one and group therapy.
Providing adequate service to help women plan for and cope after leaving an abusive relationship because this can be exceedingly difficult, and the multiple disadvantages make it even more difficult.
Empowering victims to protect themselves from harm by providing information that will help women find temporary or permanent shelter, workforce training, and volunteering opportunities and legal advocacy.
Effecting policy work to embed the voices and views of people affected by multiple disadvantages and gender-based violence at a local level.
Working with local mental health organisations in Medway to improve mental health responses to domestic and sexual violence.
Improving access to housing for women affected by multiple disadvantages who are experiencing housing issues.
Developing an internal policy on partner notification of HIV status for clients in abusive relationship, 30% HIV positive women being abused started at the point of disclosing their status to their partners.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviours that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Should I report Domestic Violence?
Whether you’re a victim of domestic violence or merely an observer, you should report domestic violence the moment the first punch is thrown. Call 911 immediately and tell the operator every detail you can about the abuser, the situation, and the violent acts performed, including whether or not a weapon was involved.

Women, HIV, and Violence
There are several ways in which violence and HIV are connected for women. Women who are abused or fear a violent response may not be comfortable asking their partner to use protection (e.g., a condom) during sex. Similarly, women in abusive relationships may not be comfortable saying no to sex if their abusive partner refuses to use protection when asked. Lastly, forced sex acts can cause cuts, scrapes, or tears that make it easier for HIV to enter the body. All of these issues can put women at higher risk for HIV and make living with HIV more difficult.

How to report Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse: how to get help

For more information on this service call us on 01634 844044 0r E-mail info@healthaction.co.uk

Wanted – help with survey on long-term use of prescription medicines

Adults in the UK who use antiretroviral prescription medicines for their long-term condition are being invited to take part in an anonymous on-line survey which is attempting to find out day-to-day experiences of medication use.
The questionnaire is being run by four final year students on an MPharm course at the Medway School of Pharmacy, which is part of the Universities of Greenwich and Kent in Medway.
The findings will support the Medicines Optimisation agenda developed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and endorsed by NHS England. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society initiative is supporting an NHS call for optimised use of medicines in order to improve people’s experiences of care.
The survey should only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete and it is being supervised by Dr Barbra Katusiime and Dr Rebecca Cassidy at the University of Kent.
You can find a link to the survey here:

https://survey.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5i3kfpm6Qfk4GjPHowdoyoufeelaboutyourmedicines-page-001 (1)

3 Days exhibition of African Clothing at Sunlight Centre

Wearing African clothing is a wonderful way for many Africans to celebrate their cultural heritage and to commemorate the beauty of their motherland.
Have you ever wondered:
• Why Africans are always colourfully dressed?
• What the different colour stands for in the different African countries?
• How the head scarf (“Gele”) originated and the history behind it?
• How African fabrics have influenced modern day British fashion?
To mark the Black History Month, Health Action Charity Organisation (HACO) is carrying out a 3 days Exhibition of African fabrics, fashion parades, demonstration of headwraps (GELE) will provide visually engaging and interesting explanations of African heritage.
Day 1:
About” The Hidden meanings of African Clothing”. Demonstration of headwrap, How to make Tie & Dye material, music and Refreshment. Date: 10th October 2018. Time: 12 noon to 4pm
Day 2
Fashion Parade of different African Clothing. Date: 17th October 2018. Time: 12noon to 4pm
Day 3.
Promoting African Businesses in Medway. Refreshment and closing Remark. Date: 24th October 2018. Time: 12noon to 4pm
Venue: Sunlight Centre, 105 Richmond Road, Gillingham. Kent. ME7 1LX
For more information about the events please contact HACO on 01634844044 or e-mail info@healthaction.co.uk

Celebrating the Black History Month

Celebrating the Black History Month


Celebrating the Black History Month

Celebrating the Black History Month

Advert for exhibition NewAdvert for exhibition NewPicture1
Wearing African clothing is a wonderful way for many to celebrate our cultural heritage and to commemorate the beauty of our motherland. Have you ever wondered:
Why Africans are always colourfully dressed ?
What the different colour stands for in the different African countries?
How the head scarf (“Gele”) originated and the history behind it?
How African fabrics have influenced modern day British fashion?
Health Action Charity Organisation MBE is carrying out an 18 months project to
explore the history ,importance , meanings and spirituality of the colours of African Fabrics.
This project is one of its kind . It will involve participatory focus groups ,workshops, collection of African fabrics both from modern and pre colonial era and exhibition of African clothing during the Black History Month in Gillingham. Medway Kent.
For more information on how you can get involved with the workshops ,
call us on 01634844044 or e-mail : info@healthaction.co.uk
This project is funded by Heritage Lottery
Heritage Logo

Sexual Health and HIV. Reducing the impact of HIV and sexually transmitted Infections (STI)

As one of the providers of the Medway Integrated Sexual Health Service by Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust , we provide HIV prevention, community outreach, testing, support and expert advice one-to-one and in group settings.

Meeting people where they live and work is a really effective way of spreading key messages around sexual health, and generating increased demand for and access to services. Using staff members and volunteers with strong local knowledge and a good rapport with people in the community, we are able to make connections, raise awareness and refer to services.
The organisation’s outreach teams start conversations, and disseminates information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. HACO enables safer sex by distributing condoms and we recognise that many people will not be comfortable in the clinical setting so we make available home sampling kits. We work across London to make sure people have the information and materials they need to stay healthy, happy and safe.
Testing Services
When diagnoses can be made early, everyone benefits. Making sure that everyone can access testing services is vitally important.
For an individual early diagnosis means that they can access the treatment and care required to either cure or manage their condition. Receiving treatment as early as possible produces the best health outcomes. When people are aware of their health status, they are able to make informed choices that benefit people in their lives. On the public health level, early diagnosis and access to treatment reduces costs of healthcare in the long-term.
HACO offers free and instant HIV/AIDS tests in the community setting, along with a variety of other screening options as part of the Medway Integrated Sexual Health Services .

Support Groups

Sharing experiences and hearing the journeys of other people living with HIV can be really helpful in allowing an individual to come to terms with their diagnosis and get the most out of life. Support groups provide a confidential and friendly space for individuals to talk through their issues and be supported by their peers, safe in the knowledge that they will not face judgement or embarrassment. Our support groups create this dynamic, while offering expert advice and support.
Within the support group setting, a structured programme of workshops and talks makes available a wide range of topics and information. While we cover a broad array of topics, our workshops are all designed to help individuals to access the opportunities and information they need to live life to the full. In the past we have ran workshops on mindfulness and well-being, housing, and entering education or training


We are open on
Mondays 9.30 am to 3 pm
Tuesdays 9.30 am to 12 noon
Wednesdays 9.30 am to 3pm
Thursdays 9.30 am to 3pm
Fridays 9.30 am to 12 noon

“Elder respect among young adults: A cross-cultural study of Britons and Africans”. ( PROJECT COMPLETED)

African parents are worried about the rate at which the young African born British are gradually forgetting the African heritage of giving respect to those regarded as elders of the community. With funding from Heritage Lottery, Health Action is embarking on this project titled “Elder respect among young adults: A cross-cultural study of Britons and Africans”.
We need to understand the existence of meaningful cultural differences in the way the elderly is respected. To explore the current trends in the way, the practice
must be investigated within and across cultural contexts, taking into account different cultural perspectives. (Hereafter, respect for the elderly will be called elder respect. The term elder here denotes parents, elderly relatives, neighbourhood elders, elders in the workplace, and older adults in general.)

It is necessary to look at younger people as a potential source of the changes occurring in attitudes toward the elderly in any given culture. In the case of college students, exposure to a liberal atmosphere on college campuses, relative lack of parental supervision, and greater peer influence affect their lives and behaviours. As a consequence, they are likely to contract new values different from their parents’ and be less supportive of the traditional norms governing the manner of treating the elderly. Yet, these young adults will be an essential part of the support system for the old. How they treat elders is critical not only
to the elderly, but also to society.

The project will focus on comparing young British adults and young African adults living in the in the Medway area of the United Kingdom, we will explore the specific behavioural forms of elder respect that are cross-culturally equivalent and other forms that are culture specific. Samples of young adults will be surveyed in the community from the two backgrounds by using the same questionnaire and measurement techniques. An inclusive set of forms for elder respect project that can be used by other organisations for similar project will be produced.

Volunteers trained in heritage and interviewing skills will also interview older Africans and British separately on elder respect during the pre and post-colonial era. These interviews will be recorded as oral history and used for project workshops and put in archives after the project for reference by others who want to do similar project.
We also want to create a culture where young people learn their values, especially with respect to how to respond, interact with and respect their elders? We will compare the values and respect for elders in African countries before and after the colonial rule with that of the United Kingdom, their similarities and differences
We aim to develop a project that will create greater social cohesion in Medway and give people a platform to pioneer interculturality and an appreciation for the cultures in the UK.
African culture is gradually being eroded due to modernisation. Our arts language, food and culture almost going into oblivion. The collective memory of any society is of vital importance in preserving cultural identities, in bridging the past and the present and in shaping the future
A report will be produced will be produced at the end of the project
Advert for Elder Respect-page-001 (1)


Do you know an elderly person who needs to socialise? This is a befriending scheme funded by Brook Trust through Kent Community Foundation to provide a regular weekend group activities for older people in Medway to minimise isolation in order to improve health and well-being. The group will meet every second Saturday of each month beginning from Saturday the 8th of May. Join us and make new friends.