Ash-Shahada Housing Association has been supporting the vaccine drive in Lambeth to ensure the borough is safe for residents, workers and visitors. Our strong partnership with local charities, community organisations and statutory agencies have given Ash-Shahada a unique ability to bring initiatives together.
Hosted by local charity and mosque KN Centre on Saturday 1 May, we saw an amazing 187 local people coming forward for their COVID-19 vaccination, boosting Lambeth numbers and improving access for hesitant populations to this life-saving protection. Over 70% were made up of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American or Portuguese speaking populations. This no doubt was linked to the role of the mosque as a site and the strong local connections. It was a great turn out for Lambeth’s diverse population and a strong success with many attendees representing communities that might be traditionally thought of as ‘hard to reach’ due to cultural or language barriers.
These local clinics are a great way to engage with local people who have been hesitant previously and now have had the chance to discuss those concerns with the experts, doctors and faith leaders. At this clinic over half of those vaccinated could be deemed as patients who have so far not engaged with their call to take up the vaccine or who were not registered. Examples include:
- a 83 year old Arabic speaking Man who came because it was the mosque and he trusted this
- a 70 year old Spanish gentleman attending with his daughter who came for her vaccine
- a 50+ year old Caribbean lady attended because she was inspired by the community element of the event
- a 40+ year old who attended after receiving an am invitation from Ash-Shahada and trusted this
- some who did not read/speak English well or were unregistered with a GP
Florence Eshalomi MP said “Great turnout of residents coming forward to be vaccinated at Stockwell Mosque.” Toaha Qureshi MBE said “This clinic has been a success because of a brilliant community led team effort. Our community ties us together, but if we are unable to come together at times of need, people suffer. The pandemic has had an untold impact and its effects will be felt for many years to come. This vaccine clinic and other health programmes with Lambeth Together will allow our community to get back on track towards normalcy. I would like to thank our board, staff, volunteers and all partners for joining us in the drive to keep Lambeth safe.” Councillor Irfan Mohammed said “Putting this together with Ash-Shahada was a highlight of the year, far too often local community organisations like Ash-Shahada and the KN Centre mosque are the source of trust for communities but the engagement is lacking. I’m proud that our community stepped up, this is civic duty at its finest. The board is keen on being more than just a housing association, we are a pillar of the community and at a time when socialising has been nigh on impossible, we are working our way towards making this a possibility.” Councillor Lucy Caldicott said “Great to hear that 190 people got their vaccinations yesterday through this local team effort”.
The Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership said “The joint effort from our community, faith leaders, in partnership with the NHS, has shown great results against COVID-19”. NHS Lambeth CCG said the event was an “amazing partnership work in #Lambeth continuing to #KeepLambethSafe”.