Vanessa Apea was born at The Royal London Hospital and now works at the Trust as a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV medicine.
“I’ve grown up in East London and I just love the different people that you encounter, and the different people that live together and work together and share together and I think that makes it a really unique place in a positive place to be.”
Thanks to generous donations, Barts Charity have been able to support several of Vanessa’s projects which benefit the East London community.
“I do a lot of community engagement and people will throw ideas at you but there’s a limit to what you can do within the framework of the NHS, and so Barts Charity really helps you to kind of dream more – I’ve seen the differences that can make. For instance, the charity funded a mobile sexual health bus that enabled us to go out into the community and test people who wouldn’t otherwise attend our services.”
During the pandemic, Barts Charity funds helped Vanessa and her team to research why our East London communities were so badly affected.
“Covid was devastating to all communities and particularly in East London, where unfortunately we were at the epicentre of the pandemic. The research that we’re doing is fantastic because it is enabling us to go out into the community, understand what their needs, concerns and priorities are, and take us to the next step of us co-creating solutions together, so that these solutions have a higher rate of success and also are embedded into the communities.”
Most recently, we’ve announced funding for the SHARE project to tackle HIV, which Vanessa is leading alongside Professor Chloe Orkin:
“In East London we see some of the poorest outcomes across all health, but particularly within HIV and sexual health and so with the SHARE centre we’re going to be looking at those outcomes, developing research that responds to the needs of the communities, and then create solutions with them, so we can try and achieve equity for all.”
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