Nyabingi is a user-led self-help initiative run by and for people with mental health problems from African and Caribbean backgrounds. It began in Luton in 2001, became a registered charity in 2002, extended its award-winning activities to Bedford in 2007 and in 2011 became a community interest company (CIC). It supports Black people with mental health problems, enabling them to take active roles in running the organisation, delivering its enterprise services and participating in the wider community. Through enterprise and cultural activities, it increases understanding and respect across local communities. Nyabingi is supported by Ashanti, a health and social care service for African and Caribbean people with mental health problems, and by social work students who come on placement.
(For a full profile of Nyabingi please download this pdf file: Nyabingi Profile)
Nyabingi aims to provide:
- Activities which improve practical and personal skills.
- To provide and encourage training and employment opportunities for people who have suffered mental ill-health.
- To improve the involvement of disadvantaged groups by helping to break down the barriers to ommunityinvolvement and
- Encouragement and opportunities for training, voluntary work and employment.
- Social activities which enable people with mental health problems to integrate with the wider community.
- Access to service user involvement and community participation processes.
- Advocacy service to give a voice to African and Caribbean people.
We enable our members to explore and be proud of their cultural heritage, we demand and provide a culturally appropriate service, we promote wellbeing to prevent ill-health and we safeguard the rights of Black mental health service users.
Nyabingi has won a number of awards including:
- 2005 Skills for Care Accolades: Innovation in Practice Award and Winner of Winners
- 2006 Luton Forum: Best of Luton Awards, Certificate of Achievement for Empowerment Project
- 2008 CSIP Best Practlce in Equalities Award for Improving Access to Counselling for African and Caribbean People living in Bedfordshire
- 2010 Bedford Race Equality Council Equality and Diversity Award for Innovation