I spent a lovely morning at a health fair in London’s Tower Hamlets this morning, organised by the team at City Gateway Women’s Project. I had a stand for Infertility Network UK, and there were a range of other charities and organisations from the local police force and fire brigade, local support networks and even an environmental group running a seed exchange. There was healthy food on offer, Bollywood and Brazilian dance sessions and you could use an exercise bike to power a blender to make yourself a smoothie!
It’s such a great idea to bring together women from the local community to learn more about healthy living, and it made me realise how unsupported some of these groups of women are when it comes to fertility. Many of the women I spoke to hadn’t received the level of care that most of us would expect from the NHS even at the early stages of fertiilty investigations – and it wasn’t something they found very easy to talk about.
It made me realise how much difference it can make if you understand how to navigate the system, know when to complain or make a fuss and who to – it’s easy to underestimate how important this is, and how unfair our system can be to those who most need help and support.
What was impressive though was the work going on at the project, the warm and friendly atmosphere and the range of activities and support systems in place – I left feeling quite inspired!