Cervical Screening

BME Cervical Screening Project

An award winning project to help ethnic minority women to overcome fears and barriers around attending Smear Tests.

We support BME women in Coventry and work closely across GP surgeries and outreach venues.

FWT play a vital role in identifying barriers around knowledge and culture, leading to solutions. We raise awareness around the importance of cervical screening, and educate and empower women to access screening services within the age ranges of 25-64 encouraging uptake wherever possible.

We work in partnership with the ICB to identify areas in the city where uptake is low and then undertake targetted work with GP practices to increase uptake.

Over 3,100 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and it is the most common cancer in women under 35. National data by Cancer Research UK shows that cervical screening prevents at least 2,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK.

Cervical Screening’s save lives.

If you would like to book an appointment for cervical screening with your GP or would like further support, please contact FWT’s BME Cervical Screening project on 024 7663 7693 or email noreen.bukhari@fwt.org.uk

In the community FWT are cascading messages on bowel, breast and cervical screening

As part of January’s ‘Cervical Cancer Awareness Month’, ITV have been investigating why Cervical Screening uptake is less likely by women from ethnic minority backgrounds, and the barriers around this.

ITV contacted FWT, as they found about our barrier breaking health inequalities work, and particularly our Cervical Screening Awareness Project, commissioned by NHS Coventry & Warwickshire ICB.

ITV joined us onsite at FWT on 19th January 2024, and filmed a community workshop led by two of our frontline team, who cascaded key health information around the importance of Cervical Screening to a group of service users.


FWT have taken a two-step approach to delivery, as follows:

Community Model – ‘Health Peer Support’ workers engaged women through community settings through face to face engagement and workshops..

GP Practices – FWT worked with the surgeries to increase uptake. They call women that have not attended a smear test, were due a test or have not attended in the past. Women were educated opportunistically, encouraged to take the test and appointments made.

Cervical Screening & Women’s Health Support for BAME women aged 25+ We also continue to raise awareness on breast and bowel cancer and are supporting BAME women to inform them of the importance of attending screening appointments 1-1 support & online sessions provided.

Please contact MAMTA on 024 7663 7693 or email MAMTA@FWT.org.uk

Workshops & Events

FWT User Comments

  • “We need awareness in our community. Thank you to FWT for giving the information about cervical screening it is a lifesaving information provided for women”
  • “If the girl is not married in my community, she is not allowed this test”
  • “Very pleased to receive the information – lack of education, people feel embarrassed to talk about, more awareness & open discussion needed in the community”
  • “People do get shy and reluctant to go for this test as it is bit sensitive and the process involved, may make them avoid it. So, it is good that FWT is raising awareness & discussing risks and issues”
  • “In my community people got that mind-set, if you are going for this test you might be in a relationship, social stigma, people talk behind your back.
  • “Women only settings this will be more appreciated”
  • “Culturally-people don’t talk about cervical screening in my community because they think that it is to do with relationships and this is too sensitive”
  • “In our community if you not married then not allow going for this test”
  • “I was not aware of the importance of this screening. I have never heard about it back home. I was also scared on how the process will be done but after I have been given all the information by FWT. I was ready to go and did my test and the results came normal.
  • “Not allowed to go for this test if unmarried”
  • “Was not aware of this test, thank you to FWT for making me aware of the smear test”
  • “New to the Country and was not knowing the importance of cervical screening before FWT advice”
  • “I was not taking this kind of test seriously before, but after getting knowledge from FWT, I will now make sure that I go and do this test. Thank you to FWT for raising awareness”
  • “Due to lack of knowledge in our community we are not allowed to take this test”
  • “FWT Peer Had to explain to the partner the importance of the smear test- cultural issue”

Workshop Comments

  • “Session runs so calmly, that ladies felt confident to ask questions and share their experiences”
  • “One of the service users didn’t know she needed to go to GP if she spotted any symptoms, or what the symptoms are”
  • “The ladies were grateful for the information Peer has shared, they can spread the knowledge amongst their friends and families”

A 27 year old local resident, Indian origin, new to the country said;

I didn’t know about this test at all. One of the peer support workers from FWT approached me and made me aware of this check and explained why women have this procedure. I now feel confident to share this message with other female family members and friends so that they are aware of this test too. I think it’s very important to promote this message to ethnic women within our own communities

Punjabi speaker is a Sikh and new to the country saidI was informed by FWT Cervical Screening Peer Workers. They gave me NHS Cervical screening leaflet and also explained and discussed the importance of the test in Punjabi language which was very helpful and I did smear test after FWT intervention. “Thank you to FWT for raising awareness in the community”

FWT Recognition & Awards      

Some of our key external recognition has included:

  • FWT have won six Coventry Compact Awards in recognition of partnership working between FWT & statutory bodies including a GOLD award for Raising the Awareness of Cervical Cancer Screening BME Cancer Awareness in partnership with Coventry and Rugby CCG Coventry.
  • Innovation Award for its work with the CCG.
  • Marmot – with Coventry & Rugby CCG, FWT featured in a video as the CCG’s named project, celebrating addressing Health inequalities and being a “Marmot City” in March 2015. We sit on the Marmot Steering Group.
  • Our MAMTA delivery model is award winning and was seen as a best practice model of community engagement in the Daphne Replace2 international FGM Toolkit
  • Channel 4 News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLvf8MzLSaY
  • ‘OSCA’- UHCW 2008
  • Articles national and local
  • Partner of the Coventry City Council Reducing Health Inequalities Beacon Award 2008/9
  • Recognised as good practice (Evaluations, Reports IDEA, West Midlands Review of Maternity services for Migrant Women, Changing the Experiences of Pregnancy, Migrant Health In Coventry
  • DPH Report, which was launched in December. This film was a very useful way of illustrating the valuable services we have in Coventry, capturing some of the specialist services such as MAMTA – FWT, that support Coventry’s children and families representing the makeup of our city https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLvf8MzLSaY
  • Sharing good practice health programmes: West Midlands Strategic Partnership, DOH IDEA, CWPT Health events, Peer Reviews
  • UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) Award
Gold Award for Compact 2014
MARMOT City-FWT Nominated by CCG

Award Winning – Voluntary Action Coventry Innovation Award

Press release for our Cervical Screening Awareness project that appeared in the Coventry Telegraph

Cervical Screening Volunteers

MARMOT Conference – Tackling Health Inequalities in Coventry

FWT was mentioned as an example of good practice project which helps to reduce health inequalities in Coventry, by supporting women from new communities & ethnic groups, eliminating their fears & myths, and helping them to book for cervical screening