Voluntary Action Camden

Cultural advocacy project (CAP)

Camden is one of the most vibrant and diverse areas of London with world renowned markets, tourist attractions, popular culture as well as a hospitable and welcoming environment on the gateway to Europe.

Unfortunately, as the pandemic has illustrated, it is also home to some of the most socially deprived communities in the United Kingdom with health inequalities in the borough having a significant impact on well-being, none more so than in the area of mental health.

Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) has a proud track record of successfully engaging and supporting BAME communities in Camden to identify and raise awareness of mental health needs.

If you are interesting in joining or setting up a Peer Support Group in Camden, or would like to get involved in Peer Mentoring or Partnership opportunities with the CAP, then please contact Mandira Manandhar at mmanandhar@vac.org.uk.

What is the Cultural Advocacy Project (CAP)

Established in 2018, the CAP is a joint venture between Voluntary Action Camden and Mind in Camden.

The CAP works in partnership with community organisations to develop good practice in understanding, supporting and actively engaging with users that may be experiencing mental illness.

The CAP seeks to break down barriers and raise cultural awareness across and within communities in a sensitive and confidential manner.

The CAP collates and highlights the learning of issues and situations that impact on mental and personal well-being and feeds this into strategic decision-making bodies in the borough.


The CAP works with communities through the organisations they attend and utilise to:

  • reduce their sense of isolation; 
  • raise awareness of mental health and well-being from a cultural perspective;
  • enable and encourage individuals to access activities, services and support that meet all their daily needs.

How do we work?

  • The CAP develops peer support groups and 1-1 peer mentoring programmes in local setting through a co-production relationship with community partners.
  • We provide mental health awareness training to partner organisations, their service users/clients.
  • The CAP facilitates the peer support group with the intention of finding and training a group member to take on the role as part of the co-production commitment.
  • We support and train partner organisations to provide 1-1 peer mentoring to their service users and clients.
  • The CAP runs tailor made and collective workshops for our partners on issues of relevance and importance to them.
  • Partner organisations are supported financially to develop peer support groups and 1-1 mentoring.


Rhyl Primary School, South Hampstead and Kilburn Partnership, Bengali Women’s Forum, Swiss Cottage Community Centre, Henna Asian Women’s Group, African Health Forum, Kings Cross and Brunswick Neighbourhood Associations (Somali, Bangladeshi and Chinese communities), Bengali Workers Association, British Somali Community, Light of Nations Church and Caversham Group Practice
VAC icon - Medium

If you’d like to know more about the Cultural Advocacy Project then please get in touch with Lola Bellot at lbellot@vac.org.uk