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Goodbye & Goodluck to our interpreter, Denisa

The story of how Denisa became the MASH Romanian interpreter:

In summer 2012 Europia, a local charity, put Denisa in touch with MASH as she was looking to do some volunteering while studying languages in the UK. Denisa took a volunteering role in the MASH centre greeting service users and making refreshments. She also conducted outreach in the massage parlours and she was involved in the late night street outreach delivering services to some of our most vulnerable service users.

Approximately four years ago Manchester began to see Romanian sex workers on the street and this was something we had not seen before. Over time the numbers of Romanian women increased and MASH identified that we needed to develop service delivery to ensure we were meeting their needs. The main issue at this time was the language barrier so in order to engage with the women we began to use ‘Language Line’. This service was not always effective so in January 2013 we took on Denisa as a translator so that she could deliver a more personal service to the women.

Denisa would spend time with the MASH case workers accompanying service users to meetings with doctors and other health care professionals, translating at meetings between MASH, sex workers and the police. Denisa spent time at the drop-in centre approaching Romanian women and chatting to them about the different types of support available.

Denisa left MASH in June 2013 to study in Madrid. She told MASH that she has gained lots from her experience, that she feels more confident as well as gaining a huge amount of relevant professional experience.

Tina Threadgold the Operations Manager at MASH, commented that the team really benefited from and valued the input from Denisa saying:

Without the use of a Romanian interpreter there would be many barriers for the Romanian women on the street and their needs would not be met. Since Denisa joined us many more of the Romanian women have accessed mainstream health services and the MASH sexual health clinic. They are much better informed and equipped to deal with issues they may be faced with. The MASH team have also increased their knowledge and understanding of the Romanian women.’

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