Lived experience: working with women experiencing homelessness and housing precarity

In this discussion, CaCHE Intern, Nadia Ayed, speaks with Yvonne Insh, a retired midwife and lactation consultant with more than 35 years working in the NHS.

Yvonne is African American born and was raised in Harlem, NYC. Having moved to the UK in 1971, she settled down and studied nursing in Aberdeen, Scotland, and midwifery in London. In her extensive career, Yvonne supported homebirths, births in the hospital setting, postnatal support and care, and specialised in providing infant feeding/breastfeeding education and support. Yvonne is committed to empowering mothers from the BAME community and addressing implicit bias and racism she has encountered in the healthcare system.

In this interview, Yvonne shares her experience of working with women experiencing homelessness and housing precarity, as well as her own lived experience of homelessness. She describes the significant discrimination she has experienced throughout both her personal life and professional career due to her race and gender. Yvonne speaks at length about her housing need as a mother and her struggles in procuring appropriate and secure accommodation for herself and her family.

This experience is echoed within her professional work, whereby there were continual barriers to her supporting mothers experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse. Yvonne and colleagues display an ongoing commitment to supporting women and demonstrate great creativity and perseverance in navigating systems, institutional barriers, and the status quo.

Listen to the full discussion:

This is part of the CaCHE Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiative, which aims to support and encourage people to talk about their experiences of housing and home.

Views expressed by participants may not represent the views of CaCHE.

Learn more about previous CaCHE projects related to this subject:


Date: December 6, 2021 3:10 pm


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