1 October 2020
Today is the start of Black History Month
Emily Kinyanjui, who works in the CNWL Harrow Memory Service has been featured in The Voice Newspaper ‘Black History Month’ special edition.
The Florence Nightingale Foundation has profiled stories from healthcare workers across the UK to celebrate this month.
Emily who is a Community Psychiatric Nurse spoke about her experience of working on the frontline as a BAME nurse.
Photo: Emily Kinyanjui, works in the CNWL Harrow Memory Service
Emily said: “It has been a challenging journey and I would definitely agree that there is systematic discrimination. As a BAME [individual] I have made a choice just to get on – after all I am qualified and there to do a job.
It should ideally not be an issue as no-one chooses to be born in the skin colour they are born with and previously I felt I had to work twice as hard as others.
I am fortunate to be working in a team with quite a few BAME team members and I fell well supported. Which makes work/life balance manageable.”
At the beginning of the Covid-19 response, Emily featured in the #NurseBehindtheMask campaign also run by the Florence Nightingale Foundation.
Photo: Emily featured in the #NurseBehindtheMask campaign
The Florence Nightingale Foundation provide BAME specific programmes, including BAME Windrush scholarships.
Emily has found support in her role with leadership and mentoring guidance.
She said: “The programme content was a boost to my confidence and self-awareness which in turn has made me embrace challenges and be more flexible and adaptive to change. I am more confident in the way I work and relate to others.”
Throughout the COVID-19 response the Foundation has recognised the specific needs of BAME nurses working in health and social care. They launched an emotional and wellbeing support services, and received funding for BAME nurses working in social care. Here is the link to the programme. For more information about the programme please click here