During 2005/6, Becky Hirst worked with the Camden Primary Care Trust (part of the National Health Service) and Greenlight Pharmacy in North London to work with the local Bangladeshi community in lowering smoking rates.
Bangladeshi men have high rates of smoking and tobacco use yet a low uptake of smoking cessation services. On identifying this, the Camden Stop Smoking Service recruited Becky Hirst to help them to work with the local community to identify ways to provide stop smoking support that was more culturally appropriate than the traditional services provided at the local hospital.
It wasn’t culturally appropriate (or productive) for Becky to approach the target community directly so instead she enlisted the help of local community leaders within the male Bengali community.
The work included
– Establishing a working group including local community leaders from within the Bangladeshi community
– Providing training to staff in Bengali restaurants on the famous Drummond Street
– Recruiting a Bengali speaking stop smoking advisor
– Setting up a Quit & Get Fit badminton program at a local community centre, providing on hand support for stopping smoking alongside an ongoing badminton tournament
– Working alongside local mosques to promote the new services available
– Working with Channel S, a london based tv channel broadcasting to the UK Bangladeshi population
– Developing culturally appropriate promotional materials with translation to Bengali (though acknowledging limited reading of the language within the older generation in the community)