Focus groups with the Camden Bangladeshi community

During October, Healthwatch Camden with Camden Council and the Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee Panel, held focus groups with the Bangladeshi community.

We wanted to learn from Camden’s Bangladeshi community in order to drive and sustain improvements in their health and wellbeing.

The aim of the project was to work jointly with the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee, to gather evidence from the Bangladeshi community and local stakeholders on what is being done, can be done and needs to be done to decrease health inequalities in the Bangladeshi community. Recommendations will then be made with the aim of reducing health inequalities in the borough.

Healthwatch Camden has taken the lead on the focus groups with the Bangladeshi community. We want to give a voice to those whose voices are often unheard.

Focus groups were held at:

1.       Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre – 18 Bangladeshi women participated in the discussion, on 14th October

2.       Chadswell Healthy Living Centre – 13 Bangladeshi women came on 15th October

3.       Surma Community Centre – 9 Bangladeshi older men came mostly pensioners on 20th October

4.       Surma Community Centre – 10 young people (11years to 17yrs) participated in the discussion on 15th October

5.       Hopscotch Asian Womens Centre – 14 women of Bangladeshi origin attended. A mix of pensioners and over 40s. 22nd October

We asked them about:

1)       Healthy lifestyles

 2)      Depression, happiness and wellbeing

A few common themes are already emerging such as:

  1. The impact of benefits cuts and stress on peoples’ lives.
  2. The cost of living and how people are finding it hard to make ends meet.
  3. Loneliness and not enough support /tea clubs for older people especially women which leads to feelings of isolation and depression.
  4. A lot of people have been on anti-depressants for over 20 years without being referred to other therapeutic services.
  5. People would like to have counselling especially in mother tongue, they do not want to be on tablets all their lives.
  6. Women and young girls will not use outside gyms as they are not private/covered and women feel exposed.
  7. People want more sessions on health promotion and specific health subjects so they can be better informed.

 Healthwatch Camden champions equality. We are continuing the project in the coming months and will keep you updated. You can make health and social care services better for all by getting involved with us.

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