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  • What is Haref?

    Connected Voice CMYK Haref

    Health equality for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities

    There are numerous, often complex, reasons why our BAME communities face specific health issues and health inequalities. Haref is committed to improving the quality of life of everyone in the diverse communities of Newcastle and Gateshead.

    What do we do?

    We work with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to identify their key issues around health and improve the health information available to them. We help health services a better understanding of what communities need and we build confidence within communities so they can talk to health services about their cultural needs.

    How do we do this?

    We coordinate the Haref Network, which compromises of BAME-led organisations and organisations with a project specifically for BAME communities. The Haref Network meets several times a year to share information and to respond to issues as they are happening through working groups.

    We recruit and work with Haref Allies. These are organisations that deliver mainstream health services who want to engage better with BAME communities and make their services more accessible.

    We share information through the Haref email bulletin. Anyone can subscribe to the monthly bulletin for updates on the work of Haref and useful health and wellbeing information relating to BAME communities.

    We provide BAME Cultural Competency sessions that give frontline workers in health and community services the confidence to talk to our diverse community and come up with new ideas for enhancing their services. These sessions are funded by Newcastle City Council Public Health and are currently only available to organisations based in Newcastle.

    If you have any questions relating to any of our services or would like to find out more please call 0191 232 7445 (option 1), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or complete the contact form:

    Contact Haref

  • Why is HAREF important?

    Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities face specific issues around health, which can vary between different ethnic groups. ‘Is Britain Fairer’ (Equality and Human Rights Commission 2015) reported that some (but not all) ethnic groups experience significantly higher levels of ill health and premature death than the rest of the population.

    Current issues identified by the Haref Network

    The Haref Network is actively working to tackle a number of health-related issues currently affecting our local communities. These include:

    • Impact of austerity and Universal Credit on mental health and wellbeing
    • Social isolation
    • Post-natal depression
    • Tackling islamophobia, homophobia and hate crime
    • Providing accessible information on services and carer's support
    • People not being eligible for health care or made to feel not welcome in services
    • Accessibility issues in health services: making appointments, information and interpreters
    • Prevention and early diagnosis of health issues
    • Engaging with men more effectively
    Wider trends in the UK

    'Is Britain Fairer' reported that people from the Black/African/Caribbean/Black British ethnic group had the highest rate of contact with specialist mental health services and that these groups, and those of Pakistani ethnicity, were more likely to have been compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

    Another report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2016), 'Healing a Divided Britain', stated that Black African women had a mortality rate four times that of white women in the UK and that black and minority ethnic women and the babies are more at risk of poor outcomes in maternity.

    In the UK, type 2 diabetes is more prevalent among people of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean and black African descent than among the white population (DH, 2006). They also tend to progress from impaired glucose tolerance (a precursor) to diabetes at more than twice the rate of white populations (Webb et al. 2011)

    'Tackling Poverty', a report from Kings Fund (2014) found that for some groups more likely to be in poverty, such as black and minority ethnic groups, access to primary care services is good but access to other services including dentistry and acute care is less so. Furthermore, the actual experience of care can be worse even when access is good.

  • Haref Network

    The Haref Network is at the core of Haref's work

    You can become a member of the Haref Network if you are:

    • A BAME community organisation
    • A BAME led organisation working with minority ethnic groups
    • An organisation with a targeted project for BAME communities
    • This includes asylum-seeker and refugee groups and projects

    The Haref Network meets several times a year and covers Newcastle and Gateshead. Together we

    • Have a stronger voice
    • Share information and evidence, and respond to issues as they are happening through working groups
    • Lobby about key issues and campaigns

    If you would like to find out more about joining the Haref Network, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    If you are not eligible to join the HAREF network but would like to support our project you can become a 'HAREF Ally'. Please email for further information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


  • Haref Allies

    Do you deliver services or areas of work linked to health and wellbeing?

    Are you committed to tackling health inequalities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities?

    Do you work for a mainstream health service or organisation that wants to engage better with BAME communities?

    Then you may be interested in becoming a Haref Ally.

    Haref Allies meet several times a year to support the work of Haref in giving BAME communities a voice to help improve access to health services.

    If you would like to find out more about becoming a Haref Ally, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Our Impact

    Haref Network - through the Haref Network, we have collectively identified specific issues affecting local BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities and devised a strategic plan to tackle these issues through working groups. You can read more about the key issues we have identified under 'Why is Haref Important'.

    Haref Allies - we have established a strong network of health organisations who want to support our work and better engage with BAME communities.

    EU Settlement Scheme - uncertainty around immigration status has a direct effect on health and access to health services. We have been working with Riverside Community Health Project, The Children's Society and The North East Law Centre to promote the support available to EU citizens who wish to apply for Settled Status in order to stay in the UK after we leave the EU.

    Safe Surgeries - we have partnered with Doctors of the World to promote their Safe Surgeries initiative and encouraged local GP practices to become Safe Surgeries. This means they are committed to improving access to health care and, as a minimum, ensuring that lack of ID, language or immigration status are not barriers to patient registration.

    Health Access Card - we worked in partnership with Newcastle City Council Public Health and the Regional Refugee Forum to develop a new Health Access Card for asylum seekers and refugees. The cards unfold into a leaflet, which contains important information about how to use NHS services.

    Ramadan calendars - we worked with 12 mosques across Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside to design and deliver 3,500 Ramadan Calendars that contain safe fasting messages for people with diabetes and glaucoma. The calendars are always popular at the mosques, and these calendars are an excellent example of providing health information in a format that is relevant and useful to communities.

    Ramadan Calendar 2019 Newcastle Gateshead

  • Haref bulletin

    Receive monthly updates direct to your inbox about the work of Haref and all matters relating to health, wellbeing and equality. Please follow the link below and select ‘Haref’ from the list of newsletters to subscribe. You can also subscribe to any other Connected Voice bulletins that may be relevant to you and manage your preferences at any time using the link at the bottom of our emails.

    Subscribe to Haref

    If you are having any difficulty in subscribing to our newsletter please email hThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The Haref bulletin is your chance to share updates, events and research with local practitioners, community groups and individuals.

    If you would like to feature in our email bulletin, please email a short paragraph and any relevant links to hThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    Past issues:

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Contact us

Higham House, Higham Place,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AF

Tel:      0191 232 7445

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