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Medicine students get Jack Petchey award

Dated: 24 April 2019

Sahfiqa and Dilber with their awards 
It’s Jack Petchey Foundation award season again and our first set of worthy winners this month are future medicine students Sahfiqa Raufi and Dilber Bulut, who have been instrumental in FGM (female genital mutilation) awareness at the college and additionally promoting ACLT (the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust).
Dilber said “We both got involved as ambassadors with the FGM project as part of Woodhouse Plus - the extracurricular scheme here - and in our first year signed up for our Wednesday afternoons.”
The girls worked with FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) which is the leading African women-led organisation working on female genital mutilation, child marriage and other forms of violence against women and girls in the UK and Africa. FORWARD are committed to safeguarding the rights and dignity of African girls and women through community engagement, women’s empowerment, training of professionals, research, and international advocacy.
Sahfiqa said “We helped design and plan events at Woodhouse to raise awareness and discussion about issues surrounding FGM and we’ve highlighted that it’s happening in the uk too.”
Dilber added “Basically, we’ve given a voice to students who need it and made it less of a taboo subject at the college. Anyone with concerns about FGM know that they can discuss it at college and seek any help and advice they need.”
African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) is an independent charity based in the UK which strives to provide a life line for those suffering from blood related cancers such as Leukaemia and other life-threatening disorders. Once a year they come to Woodhouse as part of a donor drive.
Dilber explained their involvement. “We spread the word about ACLT using posters, taking about it and giving out leaflets at the college. And then, on the day, actively encouraging people to sign up with the ACLT crew. Last year we actually broke the college record for sign ups with 265 people pledging to offer stem cells, and did really well this year too. We both plan to volunteer for ACLT outside of college and for the long term and help at events elsewhere. We really understand how important their work is and the significance of people volunteering for them."
Dilber (who came to Woodhouse from Woodside High School) and Sahfiqa (from Sinners’s Academy) have a lot in common.
“We have basically worked our whole college life together” said Sahfiqa “We started off in year 11 when we met at a summer school and then met again on our first day at Woodhouse college. We both study chemistry and biology. We both want to be surgeons and found our work experience at UCLH together too.”
Both girls are very dedicated to a future medicine with Dilber hoping to study at Kings College London in September and Sahfiqa taking a gap year before applying. They have attended numerous medical workshops over their two years here, both in and out of college.
Dilber volunteered at Barnet Hospital last year for six months. “I was mainly helping with dementia patients and I also helped at a kidney dialysis centre for a few weeks. I volunteered at some other hospitals over the summer holidays last year too.”
Sahfiqa is currently volunteering at Whittingdon Hospital, “I started in their library, but that’s not what I’m really interested in, and have now switched over to the wards where I help out at meal times.
And how do they feel about getting a Jack Petchey Foundation award?
“We knew we were nominated (by Lisa Fry - Student Progress Manager & Wellness Coordinator at Woodhouse) but we were still surprised - we are really pleased to get the award but have no idea yet what we might spend the award money on. We will be talking with Lisa and see what we can come up with to benefit the college.”
We thank the girls for all of the very important work they have done at Woodhouse promoting health issues and wish them well in their upcoming exams.

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