Black History Month

Celebrating 30 years of Black History Month
in the UK

October is Black History Month, and this year is extra special as Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust joins the rest of the country in celebrating 30 years of recognising the contribution of African and Caribbean communities to our society.

Black History Month was launched in the UK on 1 October 1987 following a campaign by Akyaaba Addai Sebo who worked for Greater London Council (GLC) at the time. The GLC selected October as Black History Month to coincide with Marcus Garvey celebrations and the London Jubilee.

Black History Month recognises, rewards and celebrates the contribution made to our society over many years by the African and Caribbean communities. During Black History Month we remember and celebrate the important people from the past and also those who contribute and to and help our society today.

The origins of Black History Month go back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson, editor of the journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in the USA. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who influenced the lives and social conditions of African Americans: former president, Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.

Our African and Caribbean NHS Heroes

BEING a staff nurse is a hard and demanding role. Balancing that while raising three children is even harder. Yet this is something that Tsitsi Banza excels at.
Tsitsi, 40, from West Bromwich, has been nursing since 1998, and has worked for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust since 2001, when she moved over from Zimbabwe. She said: “I always wanted to be a nurse, even when I was a child. My mum was a nurse, and seeing her in action really inspired me to follow her into nursing.”

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WHEN LIFE comes full circle it is a pleasure to see, and Sonia Williams is a great example of just that!
As a child, Sonia attended Leasowes School on the very site on which she now works at the Leasowes Immediate Care Centre.
Sonia has been an Intermediate Care Nurse at Leasowes for around 11 years, a few months before it was first constructed in 2004.
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MUM to Thaila Dymond, Corrine Dacosta (28) is a Neonatal Sister for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
She arrived in her current role through a life-changing experience when at only 27 weeks pregnant she delivered her daughter and embarked upon a marathon six months as Thaila was cared for in the neonatal unit.

DYSLEXIA may try to stop some people in their tracks, but you don’t have to let it succeed. That is exactly the attitude of Jenny Green, Paediatric Ophthalmology Sister for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.Jennifer (known as Jenny), did not know she had dyslexia when her school teachers told her that she was not smart enough to be a nurse. Almost 35 years into her nursing career she tells us how she proved them wrong!
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NOT MANY PEOPLE would mix a laboratory assistant and a rapper but in Ricky Dragon you get both.
Ricky, 42, from Handsworth, is a Medical Laboratory Assistant at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. His role includes testing a wide range of medical samples from patients across Sandwell and Birmingham.
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DESPITE being only 27-years-old, Nadine Monk from West Bromwich, a medical secretary at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH), has spent nearly a decade working for the NHS. 
Nadine started her career at the Manor hospital after earning her Medical Secretary diploma and has been the sole secretary in Diabetes and Endocrinology at SWBH for the past seven years. She has been fundamental in helping the team improve its quality of care. She initiated the idea of setting up virtual consultations, which helped doctors to consult with patients by using Skype, Face Time or over the phone. This idea has helped the Diabetes team to win the award for Transformation at the Trust’s Annual Staff Awards 2014.
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THE key to running a great health service is having the right people, with the right skills, in the right places. Brenda Jumi helps put the pieces in the puzzle together.
Brenda, who lives in Warley, is the Workforce Redesign Manager for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals (SWBH) NHS Trust. Her role is to ensure that health service teams have the right staff with the skills and competencies to help deliver care to all members of the community. Read more here