Cysters removes cultural barriers and tackles exclusion issues around reproductive and mental health – working especially with under-served communities (in particular people of colour and people from ethnic minorities, LGBTQI+ people, and those under the poverty line).
Living with chronic conditions herself, Neelam knows the isolating potential of illnesses, and the stereotypes that surround them, particularly when it comes to issues of fertility, identity and tradition. Cysters is gender inclusive, and has representation from those who identify as male.
Cysters is working to change the narrative around reproductive and mental health and create a seat at the table for people of colour when it comes to health policy – while connecting people for peer-to-peer support. Cysters holds support groups across Birmingham and online on reproductive health issues. It helps to tackle period poverty, runs smear awareness events within marginalised communities, and delivers workshops with faith groups and medical professionals – to ensure everyone can access emotional support and vital medical treatment.
Neelam applied to The Multiplier programme for the peer support it could offer her – because she didn’t know many leaders she could relate to. As an ‘accidental advocate’ she wanted to make systemic change but was keen to access guidance and to share experiences with people on a similar journey.
Over the years I've had the pleasure of speaking to inspirational individuals.. ✨— Neelam Heera ✌ #BlackLivesMatter 💪🏾 (@neelamheera) February 13, 2021
But.. Meeting @KimLeadbeater7 & @DavidLammy was by far the best. Being in a virtual yet intimate room and speaking to these individuals has been the highlight of my week. pic.twitter.com/LDqRRY53Z1
The Cares Family believes in Action, Voice and Power to make change at the local and national levels. Neelam was selected for The Multiplier as these themes are reflected in her work. She has created an inclusive space, encouraged people of all ages to share their experiences, and leveraged the collective power of underrepresented communities to compel real change in the healthcare sector.