Organised by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) the event in Brighton is the first of its kind in the South East.
It takes place on Wednesday at the BMECP (Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership) Centre in the city’s Fleet Street.
Millie Simms, a senior RCN officer, said: “For the last few years we have had a Black History Month event in the West Midlands to raise the profile of black and minority health staff and celebrate their contributions.
“This year, we are hosting celebrations in all nine of our UK regions, including the South East.
“This will hopefully be the first of many annual conferences.”
Millie’s reasons for helping organise the event come from her own experiences as a nurse.
She said: “I came over to the UK 20 years ago from South Africa so I can connect with the adaptations and changes you have to make when coming to England.
“I started in King’s College Hospital, London, and I really struggled with the accent and dialect.
“I couldn’t understand the patients and they couldn’t understand me.”
However, Millie found she got on well with everyone in the hospital.
She said: “The patients were, as the name suggests, very patient with me and they would always repeat things if I needed it and help me out.”
The event will recognise and celebrate the British black,
Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) contribution to health and social care over the past 70 years.
Millie said: “We want to look after staff coming from abroad, show that it can be done and support the NHS, that’s where my passion comes from.”
There will be interactive sessions throughout the day alongside a line-up of speakers that includes Paulette Lewis, president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, and Rajay
Herkanaidu, who will talk
about his journey from asylum seeker to senior manager in the NHS.
The event is open to everyone.
Millie said: “Although the title says Black History Month, and people might think this
excludes them, as long as you have been affected by the Bame community then you are welcome.
“If you’re celebrating diversity then everyone should be welcome.”
Source – The Argus . co .uk