About us

Vanclaron was originally set up by its current CEO, Dr Edith Iheama who, having been an NHS Public Health Practitioner herself, leading a range of health promotion programmes, found herself becoming an asylum seeker in the UK. Her experience from that process and the impact it had on her and her young family’s mental health, led Edith to found Vanclaron to fill the gap in the community where there was no provision between clinical referral to NHS services and nothing. Edith specially realised that there were a set of issues facing certain communities, including refugees and asylum seekers, such as stigma, isolation, cultural barriers, language difficulties and gaps in mainstream services to meet the needs of those communities.

Vanclaron’s main aim is to work with and empower groups and individuals from the vulnerable, underrepresented and marginalized communities especially the BAME community, to take control of their mental health and well-being, which is often neglected due to various reasons: stigma, financial pressures and deprivation, lack of culturally specific services, lack of appropriate information, lack of practical support, lack of trust and belief in mainstream service providers, etc. Our core purpose is to play a key role in tackling health inequality within these communities, thereby working towards breaking the often-associated perpetuating cycles of health and socio-economic inequalities through generations.

Our longer time mission as a social enterprise is to influence the shape, design, development and provision of health and wellbeing services to be inclusive in a way that enables every community to have the capacity and the confidence to choose positive physical, mental health and wellbeing through participatory education and empowerment. Our flagship CHATS project (Community Health Awareness and Training Service) has in its heart bringing communities together, creating connections, tackling loneliness/isolation and strengthening communities to work together and champion the change they want to see.

Frequently, the people we have supported become ‘community assets’ alongside our staff, helping others to make crucial changes to their behaviour and choices so that they can enjoy life to its fullest.


Our vision is:

"To empower individuals and communities to take control of their health, thereby breaking the perpetuating cycles of social and economic inequalities through generations."


We are a social enterprise with a mission:

“To shape the design, development and provision of health and wellbeing services to be inclusive, in a way that will enable every community to have the capacity and confidence to choose positive health and wellbeing.”

Values & Beliefs

We put our core values at the heart of everything we do. Our core values underpin all our work. We use these to inform services, make business decisions and form partnerships with other organisations.
We believe in:

  • Investing in our people… by recruiting local people and people with lived experience, helping them to develop their skills and knowledge
  • Being the best… at providing competent services that meet the needs of every individual, community, funders or buyers of our services
  • Social value… by providing free services that benefit the deprived local communities in which we work
  • Innovation… by creating new ways of working which continue to make our services more efficient, engaging and fit for purpose
  • Empowerment… talking to our clients to build on their skills, knowledge and engagement so that we can break barriers and create new solutions


Our approach is to work with individuals and communities to achieve better health and well-being. We empower individuals and communities to make positive choices about their lifestyles to improve mental and physical health and self-esteem.

Our staff and volunteers are the bedrock of what we offer. We have an eclectic group of people who come from various backgrounds, some with lived experience, speak multiple languages and possess a variety of formal qualifications. Wherever we are working, our team members directly reflect the community they are serving and this is a key component of our offer.

All our services centre upon the principle of collaboration, which involves our staff working alongside clients to produce positive and sustainable outcomes. We believe strongly in our clients and they can be the most powerful factor in improving their own lifestyles.

Our overarching ambition is to improve the well-being of whole communities with an emphasis on long-term social value. By empowering individuals and training community members, we believe that we can facilitate a culture of health and well-being within a community.


Our service delivery and outcomes are dependent on people. We believe in training and supporting our staff and volunteers to be the best they can be whilst encouraging and motivating our clients to be the at their best.

Our staff are recruited from the communities in which they work, enabling them to understand local, cultural and faith issues. They communicate effectively with those whose health and well-being they are working towards improvement.

Frequently, the people we have supported become ‘community assets’ alongside our staff, helping others to make crucial changes to their behaviour and choices so that they can enjoy life to its fullest.


Dr. Edith Iheama (Ogochukwu Edithmadonna Priscilla Iheama) - Director & Chair

Dr Edith is the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Vanclaron CHATS, trading as CHATS- Community Health Awareness Training Service. Edith is a medical doctor by profession. She has obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Sugery (MBBS) degree from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria. In 2008, she moved to the United Kingdom to study for Masters in Public Health (MPH) at University of Wolverhampton and obtained it in 2010.

Dr Edith is a versatile, highly motivated and proficient professional with extensive experience in leading Operations, Projects and staff in Healthcare and Community organisations.

Before moving to the UK, Dr Edith was a Junior doctor at Enugu state University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Parklane Enugu. She has since focused on Public Health Practice and has worked in both middle and senior management role in the NHS and private sector.

Among her many roles, Dr. Edith has worked as a Public Health Practitioner for Wolverhampton City PCT in the Contraceptive and Sexual Health (CASH) services team. She has led a team of Chronic Disease Educators for Health Exchange CIC, Birmingham. Before setting up Vanclaron CHATS, Dr Edith was the FGM and Health Project Lead for Mojatu Foundation in Nottingham.

CHATS Project is borne out of Dr. Edith’s lived immigration experience and its impact on her physical and Mental well-being, and the lack of expert and culturally competent services for BAME and migrant communities. While working or volunteering for many health and community organisations in Nottingham, Dr. Edith noticed a gap in well-being awareness and health needs of many in the BAME and emerging communities including Refugees and Asylum Seekers, as well as adequate statutory community health support.

CHATS project aims to address this and prevents patients from these communities to present in crisis stage which has huge human and financial cost.

Our company with its flagship Project- CHATS (Community Health Awareness Training Service) was borne out of Edith’s lived experience and insights from other refugees and Asylum seekers’ experiences. Our CHATS project is set up to tackle the health inequality within the vulnerable and deprived communities.

Farah Agha

Farah Agha

Farah Agha is originally from Paskistan, she relocated to UK from Dubai in 2020. Farah holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce. She has an extensive international experience of 12 years in the fields of Oil & gas and Logistics industries. She worked in Dubai for almost a decade and for the last two years, she is working for an international company providing logistics solutions for cell and gene therapy, clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, Dangerous and Radioactive samples used within healthcare as a life science logistics coordinator.

Farah’s interest and experience have afforded her exposure to the many facets which includes interaction with diverse personnel, managing and handling a variety of tasks with great success. In addition to this, Farah is passionate about helping others and contributing to the society. she believes that giving back is also a great way to get to know the society we are living in.

Farah joined Vanclaron in 2020 as a volunteer, she takes pride in volunteering for BAME community.


Cameron Duncan Lyon

Cameron hails from East Africa and holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from

Nottingham Trent University. Cameron’s main interests and strengthens are in devising and implementing innovative strategies to enhance company’s effectiveness, and utilising various approaches and tools to manage operations efficiently.


Mr. Peter Cook - Director, Finance

Mr Peter Cook is the Director of Finance for Vanclaron CHATS. Mr Cook has worked in several senior roles at Barclays for 40 years before retiring as the Director for Information Risk Management.


Dr. Fortune M. Khubile

Fortune is a medical doctor, born in Botswana. She obtained her MBBCH degree from South Africa. She moved to UK, where she registered with the GMC. Fortune worked for a private hospital in Birmingham and was a functional medical assessor for the DWP for many years.

Dr Fortune holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PGDE) from University of Cambridge Judge Business school, and Masters in Health Economics from University College London (UCL)

She has a strong interest in patient health education and health promotion. Fortune’s other great interest is in self-development and living the life that you desire. she believes that throughout the years her experience as a healthcare professional equipped her to uplift, encourage and empower patients holistically on heath matters, which return, contributes significantly to their overall well-being. As the language on health issues is not always straight forward, she also enjoy writing and conveying easy to understand health information from complex ideas, which is important in the contemporary fast-paced digital era.

Dr Fortune speaks English, Setswana and Zulu fluently. Her hobbies include Music, Reading (Motivational, Business, Self-development), Travelling.


Michael Kamanda

Michael is ACCA part-qualified Accountant, originally from Serra Leone in West Africa. He obtained a first class BSc Hons degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Derby. Michael is an experienced project manager. He was a former director for Tenel Platinum LTD and have also worked for the National Health Service (NHS). He is currently a finance office for a Windrush Alliance UK.