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Case Study African Health Project Network (AHPN)

June 26, 2024

AHPN supports local communities by providing counselling, peer and emotional support. They signpost communities to service providers to assist them with their social, health and immigration issues. Maureen, one of the founders, spoke about her time with Compost, “As a result of engagement with Compost Newham I have felt empowered. I have developed the knowledge and skills to apply for funding. Through this interaction my confidence has also increased. The new skills I have developed have increased my sense of professionalism and brought added stability to my organisation." Read more to find out what new skills were developed.

The organisation

Compost spoke to African Health Project Network about the support they have received from us.  

African Health Project Network (AHPN) was established by three women from Uganda.
AHPN supports local communities by providing counselling, peer and emotional support. They signpost communities to service providers to assist them with their social, health and immigration issues. AHPN supports the distribution of health activities by challenging discrepancies, unfair practices and stigma that cause discrimination. They are a voice for communities living with HIV directing support to benefit the end-users. They work to alleviate poverty by distributing vouchers and create volunteering opportunities. AHPN creates environments to empower their members and volunteers such as interaction with organisations such as Compost.

The person

Maureen Ndawana
Community Engagement and Advocacy

 

The ask

AHPN first came in contact with Compost when Marilyn Mensah, Compost Newham Community Engagement Manager, met with groups that had received the GLA funding to acquaint them with the support services groups in Newham could tap into. The groups present had the opportunity to learn about the capacity building services that Compost had available for the groups.  

Our response

Following on from this initial meeting, the group were invited to various networking events over a period of 6 months whereby they were able to take advantage of several opportunities. During this time, AHPN were also awarded a grant through their interaction with one of the networks.  

Through carrying out a Grant Finder search with Compost CEO, Sandra White, they were able to learn about more funding schemes that could support the growth and development of their organisation. Attendance at the various events enabled the group to meet other funders and organisations that deliver similar projects or complementary services.  

Their feedback

Maureen said, “As a result of engagement with Compost Newham I have felt empowered. I have developed the knowledge and skills to apply for funding. Through this interaction my confidence has also increased. The new skills I have developed have increased my sense of professionalism and brought added stability to my organisation.  

The team has become stronger as we worked together because of our increased skills. We were also able to take part in a short interview about our organisation with no preparation because of the newfound confidence the group had attained.”  

Compared to where they were when they first encountered Compost Newham, AHPN, have developed the confidence to ‘take the bull by the horns’ when encountering new initiatives. The majority of the AHPN members in London have now been able to attend an external event which has enabled them to become confident in sharing their experiences with others. The organisation has now been able to take advantage of platforms to network, benchmark themselves alongside others and gauge their progress and impact.    

They feel that the areas that have made the most difference are the meetings and networking events as they helped bring about a sense of togetherness and regain the momentum that was lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.    

The sector has definitely been impacted by the existence of Compost as platforms have been created for groups to come together and profile the work they are doing.

What they think the sector needs going forwards

Going forward, the sector needs a comprehensive knowledge of the communities and their needs.  

There should be continuous support for voluntary groups, more networking sessions. Support is needed regarding planning, outreach, co-ordinating planning to reach out to hard reach communities and the commissioning of services.  

Online meetings would also be very useful. The council should also look at ways to celebrate volunteers and the community sector.  

Groups can feel like they are isolated and not connected to the wider network. Through Compost, AHPN has been able to get to know other people providing services. At Compost meetings they met other groups doing the same and similar work. This gave people the opportunity to get involved in greater decision making and members are exposed to other networks. People living with serious health issues felt confident to share in meetings.  

“The support given by Compost Newham was an eye opener; really helpful and appreciated. It has been a pleasure working with Compost Newham.”

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