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Patient Voices: Communities of Health: Patient Voices digital stories from NHS Newham

Communities of Health: stories from NHS Newham

A rich mix of people, heritage and communities within communities, containing wisdom and knowledge from many cultures are what make Newham. We can all learn from these communities and how they get along together, through these stories which explore the meaning of life, death and health – and being part of a community. These stories were created for Communities of Health – a program to give confidence to local people and enable them to take health forward in their communities, in their own way.


Invisible disabilities
Not all disabilities are visible but, as Cutie has knows, they still require consideration and support if, in her job, she is to perform and contribute to the extent to she is capable.

Appropriate care
The late stages of Cutie’s pregnancy are difficult, and beset with potentially life-threatening issues, but appropriate use of NHS resources results in her receiving care appropriate to her, and her unborn son’s, needs – and leads to Cutie making a commitment of her own to the NHS in turn.

Hope never dies
As asylum seekers from Kosovo with little English, Eda and her mother face many difficulties as they try to build a life in London. Trauma and stress threaten to overwhelm them but eventually Eda learns, with the help of Shpresa and other friends, that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and hope can overcome most things.

A light at the end of the tunnel
Evis is ill and in hospital, faced with a life-threatening condition. She panics…. and recalls earlier traumas when she was refused asylum and had no money to live. With the help of community organisations, she is eventually able to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, and now helps others who were once like she was.

A knock on the door
When Lindita arrives in a country where the highest barriers to her health and welfare are those of language and culture, she suffers from physical and emotional problems until an Albanian voluntary organisation opens a door in the walls that hold her back.

How I turned my life around
When Flora leaves her home and family in Albania hoping for a better life in England, she is unprepared for the isolation and difficulty of settling in a new land… until someone tells her about Shpresa.

Never give up
Flutura escapes the horror of war in Albania only to face the harsh reality of trying to make a new life in a strange country. Sickness and depression eventually give way to joy and belonging to a new community.

A journey that saved my life
Entela is excited when her husband invites her to join him in the UK; she cannot begin to imagine the perilous journey that awaits her before she can begin a new life in England.

Shpresa: the medicine that saved my life
When Luljeta first arrives in the UK from Albania, she struggles to settle down. Gradually, with help and support from family, friends and neighbours, a community is established that helps her, and others from her country to integrate happily and with dignity.

In sickness and in health
Mrs Naran speaks many languages, but when the doctor tells her she has diabetes, she can barely believe him. A combination of careful diet, exercise, herbal medicine and her husband’s support enable her to live a full and healthy life.

An inspiration to heaven and earth
The day of his mother’s death is an abiding memory for Mr Naran. He lovingly recounts the story of his beloved mother’s last hours, setting it in the context of a life well-lived.

My mum’s smile
Resita and her mother were very close – and shared a disease in common. Resita remembers her soft and gentle mother with deep affection – and recalls the circumstances around her death.

Where would I have been without Shpresa?
Landi is sent to England at the age of 12 to escape the war in Albania. Alone and unable to communicate, he fends for himself and courts trouble… until he gets up the courage to go to Shpresa and eventually realises his lifelong dream.

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