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Bradford receives prestigious award for partnership with women in need


The Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford has received a Sanctuary in Health award for its work with asylum seekers and refugees.

The Faculty was presented with the national award on Monday 15 June, at the Bradford City of Sanctuary Refugee week launch and is the first university department in the UK to receive such an award.

The award is presented to health organisations that demonstrate they are welcoming and inclusive to asylum seekers and refugees.

Dr Pam Bagley, Dean of the Faculty of Health Studies said: “We are extremely proud to be the first University Faculty to be awarded a Sanctuary in Health Award.

“The depth of perspective that refugee and asylum seeking women have brought to our students’ education is invaluable. We look forward to a long and successful association with the City of Sanctuary movement.”

The Faculty started working towards the award in 2012 when a number of refugee and asylum seeking women joined the service user group and began to participate in the interviewing of prospective health care students. They would also teach students about their experiences of asylum, assess students’ communication skills within exams and take part in research. The Faculty has also engaged with refugee related organisations hosting conferences and other events

Staff have become involved with refugee related research and over 100 staff have received training around asylum issues. There is also a system in place for passing on donations of clothing, toys and baby equipment to asylum seekers who have just arrived in the UK.

The refugee women coming into the university have had a major impact on the understanding of the health and social care needs of this group, with one particularly poignant comment from a midwifery student during an evaluation of a teaching session: “Of all of the sessions I have partaken in so far in my midwifery training, this one left the biggest impression on me. I will never forget the journeys of the women we were lucky enough to be in the company of, or wiping away tears as unimaginable experiences were recited (with laughter and smiles!) by figures of utter strength and determination.

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