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Join a celebration of Black History Month
09/10/2018

​Members of the public are being invited to book free places at a celebration of Black History Month being held near Ipswich.

The half-day event at Wherstead Park on Monday 22 October is being hosted by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in collaboration with the East of England Co-operative Society and UNISON, the largest trade union for health workers.

Staff from NSFT and colleagues from its key partners, such as neighbouring trusts, county councils and Norfolk and Suffolk police, as well as Co-op staff will attend "Black History Month: Celebrating Past, Present and Future Contributions", but places are also available for members of the public.

Ravi Seenan, NSFT's Head of Equalities and Engagement, said: "As a diverse multi-ethnic society, it's important for all of us to be equipped with knowledge of black history, heritage, achievements and contributions so we can all be proud to feel a sense of belonging.

"It's essential that people within our Black and Minority Ethnic communities feel valued, included, recognised and celebrated.

"The day will include guest speakers, music and African-themed food, and we're planning for it to be vibrant as well as educational and entertaining.

"As an NHS organisation, it's particularly fitting that the focus of Black History Month this year is the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, as well as the arrival of the Windrush at Tilbury Docks just 13 days before its creation."

Speakers will include Wendy Irwin, Head of Equality and Diversity at the Royal College of Nursing, who will talk about Windrush and the NHS, and Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE, author of The Incredible Power of Staff Networks and founder of The Power of Staff Networks consultancy.

The day will be compered by life coach Rasheed Ogunlaru and will also include a panel discussion and members of the NSFT BME Employee Network Group sharing their own stories.

Mark O'Hagan, Joint CEO, East of England Co-op, said: "We're really pleased to be able to host this exciting event at Wherstead Park as part of Black History Month.

"It is set to be an inspiring and uplifting day, celebrating the diversity that makes Norfolk and Suffolk a fantastic place to live and work."

Carol Briggs, UNISON Branch Secretary, NSFT, said: "We're delighted to support this celebration of Black and Minority Ethnic communities' contribution to Britain, its diverse culture and especially the NHS.

"Our Health Service simply couldn't run without BME workers and it's right that they are celebrated as we say a big happy 70th birthday to the NHS during this year's Black History Month."

The conference facilities and the lunch, which will mark the end of the celebration, are being provided by the East of England Co-op.

* Anyone wanting more information or with queries about the event should either email equality@nsft.nhs.uk or phone 01473 266289. 

To book a place, visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BHM2018NSFT

Caption: Ravi Seenan, NSFT's Head of Equalities and Engagement

For press enquiries, email: nsft.communications@nsft.nhs.uk