When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley health ambassador heads to Africa
3:38pm Friday 1st November 2013 in News
A GRANDMOTHER from Burnley will travel to Africa to help raise awareness of mental health problems Christine Whittaker, 61, from Lanehead, is one of five people chosen to visit The Gambia as an ambass-ador for the Alternative Futures Group (AFG) charity.
Mrs Whittaker, an adult learning disabilities support worker, will share her experiences with staff at hospitals and schools in the west African country.
AFG, which employs support workers in Burnley and Padiham, has teamed up with Gambian charity Mobee to tackle the stigma associated with mental ill health in the former Commonwealth nation.
Mrs Whittaker, who spent 11 years working for the NHS, said: “I’ve been to The Gambia as a tourist, so it will be interesting to see what it’s like from another perspective.
“We’re all very excited to be going and we just want to get there and get stuck in now.”
Salifu Manneh, director of Mobee, said: “Linking up with AFG in this way will deliver real benefits for people both here, and in the Gambia where, in some cases, mental health issues are not even acknowledged.
“The situation in the UK is far from perfect, but for people in Africa, who suffer from mental health problems, the associated stigma means some may be denied their basic human rights.”
Mrs Whittaker, who has already visited The Gambia eight times, said: “It’s a new partnership, so we’re very excited to see what help we can offer, and what we can learn from the Gambian people.”
Janet Stanton, AFG’s project leader, said: “This is an exciting and potentially life-changing learn-ing and development opportunity.
“The trip gives our staff an opportunity to develop new skills and techniques and apply them in practice, in a small community with- in The Gambia.
“This project provides a first-rate opportunity for both organisations to work together and raise awaren-ess of mental health issues in The Gambia, and to share best practice.” Mrs Whittaker will be heading to Africa on November 23.
Comments are closed on this article.