Blossom Clinic in Leeds offers support in the North of England to those affected by Female Genital Mutilation

The Blossom Clinic in Leeds offers support to non-pregnant females over the age of 18 in the north of England who may have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

As part of a national scheme, specialist FGM clinics were set up across the country. Supported by Touchstone, the Blossom Clinic in Leeds provides support for survivors of FGM from across the whole north of England. Now in its third year, the clinic is raising further awareness of its story so far, with women who have accessed the clinic telling their story in a powerful promotional campaign to encourage other survivors to access the clinical and get the available support.

The Blossom Clinic offers a one-stop service for women who have undergone or are experiencing problems as a result of Female Genital Mutilation. Specialist staff provide physical, emotional and advocacy support in a safe, environment where women can share their experiences in confidence. Survivors of FGM can get the treatment they need, understand what’s happened to them and get extra support to help them regain their confidence and take back control of their bodies.

The service is open to anyone who may have experienced FGM and survivors can refer themselves or be referred by their GP practice or other health and care professionals by calling 07824 580 988 or emailing: leedsth-tr.blossomclinic.fgm@nhs.net

Hawa Bah, Advocate at the Blossom Clinic said:

“We have worked together with FGM survivors, Touchstone and a design agency in Leeds, Thompson, to raise awareness of the service which supports females from all over the north of England. The stunning and empowering campaign uses photography and testimonies of the girls and ladies involved and by creating it, we hope to ensure anyone who needs our support is aware of the Blossom Clinic and can access it.

FGM is the practice of deliberately cutting, injuring, or altering a female’s genitals – also known as cutting, bondo, sunna and tahur. FGM is usually carried out on young girls, between infancy and age 15 for cultural, religious and social reasons, as a preparation for marriage or to preserve virginity. There is no medical reason why this should be done.

Those who survive cutting often have to live with long lasting health problems – chronic pain, infection, difficulties with childbirth or sexual health. But the scars are not just physical. Many women experience emotional problems too – anxiety, flashbacks, fear for themselves or their daughters.

The practice is against the law in the UK and it is considered a violation of children’s rights. Yet there are an estimated 137,000 women in the UK affected by FGM.

For more information on the Blossom Clinic, please visit the website.

Please see examples of the campaign:

Blossom Clinic Poster in English

Blossom Poster Clinic in Tigrinya

(also available in French, Arabic and Somali)

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net

Touchstone

Our passion is to secure the rights and entitlements of the people we work with and for. We aim to make the cities we work in more culturally competent and better able to meet the needs of those vulnerable people who live there: https://touchstonesupport.org.uk/about-us/

Thompson. Digital health specialists

The latest collaboration with the NHS Leeds CCG further extends Thompson’s deep sector experience in branding for health and wellbeing. Thompson regularly partners with Mind, NHS England, NHS Digital and other public health bodies and third sector organisations and has completed similar projects such as Mental Health at Work, the UK’s foremost resource for employee wellbeing, the Film & TV Charity, a site to promote mental health in the film and TV industry, tidyMinds a site for young people in South Wales, and Mentally Healthy Schools, a project for the Anna Freud National Centre for Young People and Families.