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South East celebrates winners for Black History Month awards

11 Oct 2021

RCN South East was honoured to celebrate two worthy winners at this year's 'Making a Difference Awards', which form a central part of the region's Black History Month celebrations.

This year, the theme for the wider RCN celebrations is ‘Anti-racism – a moment for literacy and transformation’. 60,000 members from across the region were invited to nominate colleagues who had made a real difference in the delivery of healthcare.

The first winner was Gillian Martin, a mental health nurse and senior lecturer in the Higher Education Department, Health and Community Services, Jersey,

She was nominated for her commitment to improving the lives of those in her care through both role modelling best practice and sharing her knowledge with others. Gillian was also recognised for her role as part of the BAME Group in the Government of Jersey, which offers all staff of BAME background a forum that will provide support, development, and network opportunities. Gillian has also presented at conferences, sharing her thoughts and experiences about being a nurse from a BAME background.

On receiving her award, Gillian said: “I am honoured to receive this award. Diversity and inclusion is embedded in the Government of Jersey but diverse teams need to be supported in the right framework. 

“I am proud to part of the BAME Network in the Government of Jersey which aims to provide a safe place to enable staff (from any background) to express their views, as well as to encourage, challenge, and deliver high-quality practice and outcomes for the organisation. 

“We have different backgrounds and different experiences in the workplace and by sharing our journey, we can help the organisation to identify ways of supporting wellbeing and development of its BAME community.” 

The second winner was Patricia Mugwangi, a midwife at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust.
Patricia was nominated for promoting anti-racist behaviour and challenging bias, and for her instrumental role in establishing a vibrant and diverse MEDI (Maternity, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) Focus Group. Her proactive approach has also included a host of other initiatives to engage and raise awareness among staff. She has increased knowledge and understanding around the BAME agenda and has given staff the confidence to question and challenge assumptions and myths in clinical practice.
On receiving her award, Patricia said: “This award is for all women who are from ethnic minorities. As a Midwife and a Professional Advocate Midwife, I am the voice for the voiceless and those women that are not getting the care they deserve because of the colour of their skin.
“I am happy we are now talking about the disparities in maternity and now we are doing something about it.”
The awards were given out to the winners during the South East Black History Month event, 'Less Chat, Let's Act', which was held on 4 October, and was a webinar exploring how to be actively anti-racist with a distinguished panel chaired by Sue Tranka, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales.
The awards criteria are to nominate someone who works in the South East Region who:
  • is from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background, and/or may work with black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
  • is an ally who promotes the work of and supports black, Asian and minority ethnic background communities in the course of their work for example through mentorship or coaching.
  • is an ally who stands up against racial injustices and is known to actively call out inequalities and discrimination
  • is an individual who leads by example not just words
  • works in a nursing role across bands 2 upwards, or role equivalent
  • is key to the future of nursing (locally and/or nationally)
  • is a member of the RCN.

Page last updated - 12/03/2022