Representing local health and care organisations, the Sussex Turning the Tide Transformation Oversight Board is marking the 73rd anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush.
Those on-board left their homes in the Caribbean to build a new life in the UK and helped the country rebuild after WWII.
Co-chairs for the Sussex Health and Care Partnership BAME programme Turning the Tide, Adam Doyle (Chief Executive Officer of Sussex NHS Commissioners and Integrated Care System (ICS) Leader) and Lola Banjoko (Executive Managing Director, Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group) recognise the anniversary as:
“an opportunity to celebrate and thank the Windrush generation and to remind ourselves to strive for our Sussex Integrated Care System (ICS) core values to be rooted in fairness, humanity, diversity and inclusion.”
The Turning the Tide Programme is working to identify and address inequalities that exist within our populations and within the health and social care workforce, and ensuring targeted and focused interventions to address vaccine inequalities.
My Grandfather and Gran- Aunt were both part of the Windrush Generation, leaving Jamaica. Both worked hard to help to build the railway network and London Transport service but I can recall stories my parents told about the great injustice they suffered. My Grandfather has passed away but my Gran-Aunt can still recall difficult experiences she faced as a young girl and over the years. She recognises the great progress made in multicultural Britain today and is proud of her contribution but says there is still so much more to do to create a just society.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust honours the contributions to the NHS and to Sussex society of the many nurses and healthcare staff who came from the Caribbean and from Guyana. Those who left behind their friends and families to live in nurses accommodation and to train and work in Brighton General Hospital and other hospitals throughout Sussex from 1948 onwards.
Through their sacrifices and compassion, countless lives were saved and the health of the people of Sussex improved immeasurably. The members of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff network can today see much further because we all stand on the shoulders of such giants.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
My mum’s friend came here as a nurse from Guyana smartly dressed, buoyant with an invitation to work in the England. My Mum recalls that they were very unprepared for the reality of the weather and the reception from white British public. Despite this they worked with optimism and a sense of pride and dignity and contributed to the building of the NHS and helped so many people recover from illness.
A Sussex Turning the Tide Transformation Oversight Board Network black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Chair