Who we are & what we do

About CAHN

Our Story

The Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) was set up in 2017 to address long-standing health inequalities disadvantaging people of Black Caribbean and African heritage.  


Doctorate research undertaken by our Chair and Founder, Dr. Faye Ruddock provided the evidence base which led to CAHN being established as a community interest company (CIC). After the completion of her research in December 2016, Dr. Ruddock proceeded to analyse the data, which compellingly highlighted significant health disparities facing Black people in the Greater Manchester area.  


Dr. Ruddock’s book, Decolonising Public Health through Praxis: The Impact on Black Health in the UK (2022), co-written with D. Ornette D. Clennon, lays out many of the structural inequalities which perpetuate the poor health outcomes disproportionately experienced by Black people in Britain. 

From our humble grassroots beginnings, we have advanced along a trajectory which has rendered us a leading powerful national voice for health equity.

We hold the unique mandate from the Black community to be partners in change. For CAHN this involves breaking down the structural, systemic barriers, and the wider determinants of health including racism. We champion strategic engagements to ensure the voices and lived experiences of Black people are at the forefront of public policy and practice. 

Our offering of health services and programmes is broad and while we mainly cater to Black people, our service users represent a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. 


CAHN continues to develop proactive initiatives informed by those early conversations, working alongside the Black community and cross-sector organisations, to build community resilience, relationships, and a social movement whereby equity is achieved for all.


CAHN’s vision is to end health inequalities and wider disparities for Caribbean and African people in a generation.


Our mission is to ensure that the strategic and operational actions of service providers across health and cross-sector agencies and commissioners, lead to racial and social justice for Black people.


Our core values guide us to act with integrity, respect, openness, and transparency, all within a framework of good governance.

How We Work

As an organisation, we adopt an intersectional approach to engagement and are committed to working in an inclusive, creative, and responsive manner with communities and organisations irrespective of socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, and physical or mental ability. 


We work in a collaborative way to coproduce and codesign meaningful actions that bring about equity, justice and fairness to those that are underserved and marginalised in the community. Our engagement across stakeholders is purposeful and shared in a way that enables learning and best practices to make our society a better place to live for everyone.

Our Core Objectives

  1. To work collaboratively with Caribbean and African faith and community organisations to strengthen their structures and systems so that they can be responsive to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the community.
  2. To build partnerships across sectors and to be the point of contact between communities, voluntary sector members and commissioning agencies.
  3. To engage in continuous consultation, planning and evaluation to provide solutions to persistent health inequalities and act as a direct point of contact with commissioners.
  4. To champion the work of the Caribbean and African community and to promote its assets, efficiencies and achievements.

As an organisation, CAHN...


we lead strategic engagement articulating the needs of the community with an evidence base. We galvanise the community to respond to consultations and influence policy and practice; challenging the myth that we are hard-to-reach.


we work with community groups and member organisations to reduce duplication and maximise their impact; making them more effective in achieving their objectives.


we raise awareness about prevention, early detection, effective self-care and self-management. We provide commissioners and service providers with insight and cultural awareness of the Black community.


we support a range of initiatives that brings communities together and builds community resilience. We broker collaborations among organisations to compliment and promote partnership working. We work with member organisations to strengthen their governance and support sustainability planning.


we ensure the voice of the Black community is represented at decision-making tables. Our volunteers from a range of specialities support the most vulnerable in our community.

CAHN’s Health Priorities

CAHN is working to achieve the organisational objectives by delivering Health & Wellbeing programmes across six priority health conditions: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Cancer, Mental Health, Immunology, and Reproductive & Sexual Health.


The evidence base identifies six key areas of work that we need to work with our community and stakeholders to address. Within all these health prevention and intervention programmes there is a requirement to work with our communities to ensure that the action taken is tailored to meet our distinct needs. All our health programmes take into account intersectionality within the protected characteristics to deliver impact across generational groups.

A lot of our work is undertaken in partnership with Trusts, commissioning bodies, local authorities, faith communities, voluntary and private sector organisations and others including universities. This work seeks to enable a better experience and outcome for people of Caribbean or African descent locally and nationally.

Our Areas of Work

Health and Wellbeing Services & Initiatives


CAHN’s Health and Wellbeing provision are designed to improve health literacy of our community, provide culturally appropriate support, and shape health policy which positively impacts generations to come.

We design and deliver innovative services and programs that directly address the unique health needs of our community. 


Community Empowerment and Advocacy 


Our Community Empowerment and Advocacy arm drives the services and support we offer to individuals whose challenges stem from broader social factors influencing their lives. We empower individuals facing challenges like housing, welfare, strained family dynamics, legal, and immigration issues– all factors that can negatively impact physical and mental well-being.

We offer vital services and support, but our work goes beyond that; we empower our service users to be heard. We amplify their voices, advocating for individuals and families who feel ignored or silenced. This ensures their needs are recognized and addressed for a healthier future.

Research and Innovation 


At CAHN, we are persistent in our pursuit of a stronger evidence base. We gather increasingly relevant data and insights to expose the complex factors driving health disparities within our community.

We deliver high-profile research and development work, which places us in a position where we can accurately and authentically represent the views of our community to policymakers.

Learning and Development Academy 


CAHN goes beyond community education. We invest in both community members and healthcare professionals to bridge the gap and achieve health equity.

Our Learning and Development Academy offers targeted training and workshops. These programs:

  • Raise awareness of health conditions that disproportionately affect the Black community.
  • Equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge, cultural competency and understanding needed to deliver culturally sensitive care and address the specific concerns of their Black patients.
  • Promote cultural and racial awareness within the workplace, fostering a more inclusive environment for Black Caribbean and African people.