Case study – Beersheba Living Well

Beersheba Living Well case study

Rosemary Jawara discusses Beersheba Living Well

“Beersheba-Living Well is a Black-led community development organisation co-produced with service users in Hackney, to bring together a demographic mix of Adults and Older people affected by Type 2 diabetes and obesity-related conditions. Services and activities are co-designed to activate self-care/management skills through peer-supported group learning programs including physical exercise to improve outcomes for health and community development.

As a result of Type 2 diabetes complications and other associated long-term health conditions I resigned from my job as a civil servant and eventually arrived at the doorsteps of Hackney CVS in 2011. I was introduced to Kristine Wellington and encouraged to complete the ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ leadership course co-facilitated by Kishore Kanani and Cindy Smart. I soon discovered my niche which unleased my passion for supporting disadvantaged communities as a way of “narrowing the gaps”’ for BAME people affected by inequalities. I was encouraged to complete the PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) in 2012.

I continued to attend every relevant short course run by Hackney CVS as a way of developing my inherent skills in Administration to improve my understanding of governance. I completed a business plan, recruited a board of trustees and became the founder of an unincorporated charity in 2013 – Beersheba-Living Well. I succeeded in getting a small grant and delivered my first 12-week course under the brand name of ‘Sweet Success, for BAME people living with Type 2 diabetes. The charity continued to grow until supply and demand dictated we operate under a more robust legal framework. With support from Hackney CVS we became a Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO) in May 2016.

To date, we have accomplished a seven-year track record of services and activities co-facilitated by mentors and community champions with lived, worked, learned and professional experience to deliver our 12-week peer supported adult learning programs branded as ‘Sweet Success’, Living Well with Diabetes, Pathways To Health’ and ‘Heart2Heart in Hackney. We continue to support the changing needs of our communities to improve self-care/self-management and promote community development for Black people in Hackney.”