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Aboobaker Bhana - equality & engagement manager, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS FT

Aboo has made a real difference to lives of local people. He role models our Trust values and is incredibly committed and passionate about his work and improving health inequalities.


Aboo began his work with the NHS as a Community Development Worker, which included him using interpreting skills – one of the first people to do so in Kirklees. This gave a voice to members of the local BME community who were unable to communicate.


He was instrumental in starting Asian men’s and women’s groups, due to these groups being unable to access mainstream groups. He won the National CSIP award in Making a Difference for this work.


Aboo has developed strong links with local community groups and community centres. He worked for the transcultural team, specifically with BME communities, making services more accessible to BME communities.  Through Aboo’s work local community groups and mosques have received mental health first aid training.


When Aboo discovered that a lot of appointments are being missed by Muslim  service users during Ramadan, he organised training for clinical staff to give them an insight in to the reasons around fasting, and how to support service users around Ramadan.  This training was well received and has been repeated over several years.


Aboo started the North Kirklees Special Interest Group where staff working in adult services bring issues relating to BME community service users they work with to the group in order to address how we can meet their needs. It also helps address the challenges staff come across when working with BME service users, such as patients coming in to services at crisis point and how this can be addressed with the local community.


Aboo has made built community resilience by enhancing knowledge of mental health issues and enabling community leaders to offer support, advice and help with signposting to services.  A Good Mood Football league started in 2007 is still running today.  


Aboo’s work with the local BME community to educate around the importance of early intervention and assessments has led to the ‘Reach out with faith’ conference which shared learning and best practice with partners.


Aboo in his current role delivers Equality and Diversity training and has supported the Trust with developing the Positive Action Traineeship to recruit a representative workforce of the demographic of Trust services.


One man whose life has been changed by Aboo’s work said: "Aboo has personally helped me a lot, he encouraged me to join the Asian men’s group and other groups. He’s helped me into paid employment. It all started from the men’s group – it’s like a stepping stone into other things. Aboo has grown up in this community so we all know him and feel comfortable with him – he has given us all lots of help and encouragement."

edited on Apr 27, 2018 by Lauren Summers
Lauren Summers

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Mubashshir Fazlee May 2, 2018

Aboo is an inspiration and well respected within SWYPFT. He has inspired many individuals within SWYPFT to try and be what they want to be and that there are no limits. He has personally been supportive to me and willing to listen and advise when the need requires. Aboo has helped create a BAME staff network and is helping to create further staff network to help reduce health inequalities.. A well deserved nomination. Good luck!

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Salma Yasmeen May 2, 2018

Aboo is an authentic and passionate advocate for equality and inclusion. He pushes proffessional and organisational boundaries to ensure services are responsive to the needs of diverse communities. He embraces change and challenge. His dedication and committment is admirable and he is a much respected member of the SWYPFT family. Truly wonderful to see you and your contribution being celebrated. Well done

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Alex Feather May 3, 2018

Aboo is most certainly passionate about health inequalities. I have known him for in the region of 13 years and his energy and drive are quite compelling. He also does his job with good humour and deft persuasion. Best of luck Aboo my friend.

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Rob Webster May 4, 2018

Aboo is a real asset to the trust and to South West Yorkshire. He inspires trust and has relationships across a wide range of communities. His leadership allows people's voices to be heard and for services to deliver in every community

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Kate Henry May 8, 2018

Good luck Aboo!

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(Account removed) May 18, 2018

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

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