Haringey PCT ... Community Film Programme – ‘Screening for Health’
In Haringey, North London, the Public Health Directorate endeavours to reach a very diverse population where more than half the residents are from ethnic minorities and almost 200 languages are spoken.
So, when No Lo Po, a local Polish voluntary organisation, told them some members of the newly arrived community did not know about the variety of sexual health services and information available, the TPCT screened 'Seksmisja' ('Sex Mission') free of charge at a local neighbourhood learning centre. The Polish organisation did the marketing, with press releases in Polish newspapers and announcements on the Radio. Two Polish-speaking nurses from Haringey Teaching PCT's sexual health service spoke about emergency contraception and other issues. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) distributed materials in Polish about accessing NHS services more generally.
The next step was to screen, Michael Winterbottom's 'In this World', a film about a young refugee who travels to North London from Peshawar on foot, under a lorry and in a container. The discussion, which followed, highlighted the issues around unaccompanied minors arriving in Haringey.
In conjunction with the Council the Haringey team launched a competition for locally made films about race, health and the community. The first 'in the can' focuses on sickle cell disease, including interviews with people who have the condition and their carers.
In 2008, a local cinema co-operative, 'Haringey Independent Cinema' in conjunction with the TPCT will screen regular double bills: the main film will appeal to a different BME groups and will be preceded by one of the competition's health films or a short talk from a local health professional. For example, the issue of diabetes will be explored with the Asian community followed by a popular Bollywood film.
Michele Daniels, the TPCT's Head of Diversity and Health, explains: 'We want to contact people from BME communities to raise awareness of health and race issues in a way which has mass appeal and provides invaluable education'.