Inclusive Health and Wellbeing at Bevan Healthcare

Fatimas’s Story – Refugee Week 2024

“This is not a story, this is my life!’’

This week is Refugee week and we couldn’t have thought of a more perfect opportunity to highlight Fatima Ceesay. We supported Fatima after she came to the UK with her daughter; with support, healthcare, and free meals.

She started by undertaking our 12-week Starting Well Programme with other women who had had a similar experience to her. They bonded over their experiences and used these sessions to make friendships and connections in the UK. Our Starting Well Programme covers topics such as healthy living, healthy relationships, pre-conception care, healthy pregnancies, and how to mentally and emotionally deal with past trauma.

Fatima saw such a positive impact after completing the programme, that she decided to train as a volunteer peer advocate on the SHIPs project. She said that ‘the incredible care and support my daughter and I received at Bevan gave me the strength to do this’. This training involves a digital inclusion project that aims to address digital barriers that refugees and asylum seekers face when accessing healthcare in the UK.

Fatima said “They are like family to me. I am blown away by the support I have been given throughout the years by the ever-selfless staff of Bevan. This is where it all started for me, and it is why I am speaking out. I have found an incredible network of support there.”

One of the most important aspects of volunteering for Bevan is the physical, mental, and emotional improvements Fatima has seen by having something to leave the house for every day. There are people who she can help with their worries but there are also people who she can share her own thoughts and difficulties with too. She has learned new skills, met new people, and forged connections that will last for many years to come.

“As an advocate who frequently treats people who are overcoming trauma and mental health issues, I cannot overstate the importance of a supportive social network and the empowerment of finding one’s voice and a purpose. Their understanding has helped me to stay strong during my asylum process, now that my daughter and I have been granted permission to remain in the UK with their support I will be reunited with my son. Thank you Bevan for being there for us during this difficult time. Thank you for not only supporting me and my daughter but also the thousands of refugees, asylum seekers, and of course the homeless in the community. …. I may be your success story, but BEVAN is my success story!

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