Ash-Shahada Housing Association has been supporting communities with weekly vaccine drives in Lambeth to ensure the borough is safe for residents, workers and visitors. Arranged through the Council’s and Lambeth Together’s Health and Wellbeing Bus, the service is provided with Copes Pharmacy Norbury which allows people to receive vaccines and booster jabs. Our strong partnership with local charities, community organisations and statutory agencies have given Ash-Shahada a unique ability to bring initiatives together and has been pulling partners together to serve communities. Residents, tenants and staff have been benefiting from medical advice and health facilities being made openly accessible.
The vaccination scheme is hosted by local charity and mosque KN Centre. The Bus uses different languages so residents are welcome. ASHA Director Operations Umar Mahmood helped Lambeth Together in the design of the bus as well as the different languages including Arabic. The service has been improving access for hesitant populations to this life-saving protection. The service has seen residents from African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American or Portuguese speaking populations using the service.
The service has been visited by local councillors Lucy Caldicott, Jim Dickson, Tina Valcarel, Irfan Mohammed and Council Leader Claire Holland in recent months. They wanted to see the bus in action and speak to local residents who have been using the bus. Cllr Claire Holland said: “It is fantastic to see community organisations take this kind of initiative, we need more to step up and be the bridge with communities. The Council is working extremely hard to provide as many vaccines as possible.” One local resident who used the service said: “With the Bus being in such a key location on the Stockwell side of Lambeth, it makes it easier for us to take advantage of the vaccines being offered. It is difficult to make it further up Lambeth because of work, so thank you to the housing association and the mosque for this idea.”
Larger vaccination drive has benefited:
- 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
Speaking on the previous vaccination drives, 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.”