Black History Month

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Black History Month

Black History Month runs throughout October and this year’s theme is ‘Proud to Be…’. Traditionally Black History Month (BHM) is an annual celebration of the contribution that Black African and Caribbean communities have made both locally and across the world.  However, this year we are again using it as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of all people of colour and coming together in unity against racism, prejudice and injustice.

As part of this, staff from across the organisation have shared blogs about their culture, their achievements, why Black History Month is important to them and who inspires them. You can read them below. More will be added throughout the month. 

Hear from Carleen, Activity Co-ordinator

I was born in Tooting, London spending a short span of my childhood there. Still young my mother, of Trinidadian origin returned with me to Trinidad where I spent many years with my father and sibling. While there, I followed numerous career paths, eventually becoming a Teacher/Head Teacher for over 10 years. Fun fact: I was also involved in theatre arts drama and singing and travelled with a group around the lovely island for concerts. Four years ago, I decided to embark on a bit of world travel and because of lived experience, to further my studies in something which led me to a career in Mental Health. Hence, I returned to the England, where I settled in Nottingham and pursued a MSc in Psychological Well-being and Mental Health.  During breaks, I enjoyed “backpacking” which started with countries within the African Continent.

My job role as an Activity Coordinator.

The role entails researching, planning and delivering therapeutic meaningful activity to a diverse group of patients with varying mental health diagnosis. I follow an activity timetable which is planned as a team in conjunction with the Maples Department and The Live Team. Having a vivacious personality is a major part of the role which comes naturally for me with my “lively Caribbean colourful disposition” and winner smile. On my low days I prep myself with positive affirmations or lively music.

Why Black History Month is important to me.

Simply, it provides me an opportunity to reminisce on the achievements and contributions of Black individuals who have impacted my life and who have made a lasting footprint on the world. It also highlights the resilience of Black people even in the face of racism and other forms of oppression. Needless, to say it is bittersweet.

My Inspiration

My parents, a great example of individuals who encouraged me in the face of discrimination to believe in my worth and my abilities. They both achieved greatness in their careers despite having to face prejudice. My great-grandmother, a stalwart woman, taught me the principles of sincere generosity and helping the vulnerable.

My Aspirations and Achievements

My greatest aspiration is to continue to bring happiness and hope to the lives of the vulnerable. Currently, my partner and I support a vulnerable group of widows holistically in The Gambia. We also provide essential material to one secondary school. I aspire to expand this project, where needed, across The Gambia.

I will always hold dear, the feedback of former patients who have moved on to excel in their lives through furthering their studies or embarking on careers, and who have given credence to the inspiration and support provided through meaningful activity. This by far is my greatest achievement. 

 

 

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