Our Impact

Vicki Harris speaking at an event












Response to COVID-19

We have been supporting the response to the pandemic with cascading relevant and useful information through our networks.

  • We linked members of Haref Network to Newcastle City council and Gateshead council and helped them develop community language videos key messages for staying safe.
  • We input into the Communities COVID-19 response meetings and support the Community Champions meetings.  We feedback issues that we hear from the Network to the public health teams.
  • Vaccine information session. We ran a Vaccine Information Session with Kate Vogelsang (NGPS) and Lorna Longworth (Clinical Director) explaining about the COVID-19 vaccines; how they work, how they are being administered and how people will be notified. The Haref Network members asked questions including:
  • How do asylum seekers get notified about their vaccine date?
  • Do people have a choice of which vaccine to get?
  • What side effects might you experience after each vaccine?
  • How long after receiving the first injection, do you have immunity?

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 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 collaborated with Doctors of the World to promote their Safe Surgeries initiative and encouraged local GP practices to become Safe Surgeries. Being a Safe Surgery 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.

Ramadan Calendars with safe fasting messages 

Each year we work with 11 mosques across Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside to design and deliver Ramadan Calendars with key fasting information for people with diabetes and glaucoma. In 2021, the calendars also featured information about vaccines, alongside the safe fasting information. Due to COVID-19, restrictions we were unable to print the calendars and instead shared them by email and on social media. We included key 'staying safe' messages with the mosques, and generic Ramadan calendars were shared with health services, statutory services and community organisations.

Mental health peer research project

Haref, in partnership with Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead and Mental Health Concern, are delivering this project which started in January 2021 and will run for 5 months. The project provides training to staff and community members to develop a research project about ethnic minority mental health. We have First Steps, West End Befrienders, Riverside Community Health Project and Rainbow Homes signed up to this. The project aims to:

  • Develop people’s skills.
  • Build capacity in Haref Network organisations.
  • Support collaboration and working together. 
  • Produce relevant research and resources relevant about mental health