Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is celebrating the contributions of its staff with South Asian Heritage as part of South Asian Heritage Month.
South Asian Heritage Month runs from July 18th until August 17th and was first celebrated back in 2020. The Trust is taking this time to recognise and celebrate the work of its staff who hail from countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Akshaya Rose Jacob, Staff Nurse on Shevington Ward at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary (RAEI) is originally from Thiruvalla in South India and spoke on why she wanted to work for the NHS, and what it means to be a part of WWL.
Akshaya said: “It has been a great pleasure working at WWL. I get to learn different things every day. It is a platform to grow my knowledge and skills.
“The NHS is the leading health care sector and it is great to be a part of it.”
Joby Mathew, Registered Nurse in Theatre Recovery and an Anaesthetic Trainee at RAEI moved to the UK from Wayand in Southern India three years ago and commented on his South Asian heritage and how he became interested in working in the NHS.
Joby explained: “I was born in a place called Wayand, a beautiful district in the state of Kerala, which is situated in the southern part of India.
“Kerala, a land of cultural diversity, is completely made up of a blend of various religions, communities, regional cultures and language variations.
“Before applying to the NHS, I did some research about the NHS online and from my friends who are working in the UK.
“The NHS is one of the largest health care systems in the world which always puts patients first and the staff go above and beyond to meet their needs.”
South Asian Heritage Month celebrations commence on 18th July which was the date when the Indian Independence Act gained royal assent from King George VI back in 1947.
August 17th is also an important date as it marks the publication of the Radcliffe Line back in 1947 which set the borders between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Jitin Joseph George, a registered nursing working on RAEI’s Winstanley Ward added: “I was born in the city of Lucknow in India and have worked for WWL for almost two years. Working for the oldest and one of the largest healthcare organisations in the world makes me feel proud.”
Toria King, Workforce Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at WWL said: “We are very proud as a Trust to have people from 64 different nationalities working with us. Of these, many are from South Asian countries and we really wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate and learn about their heritage this South Asian Heritage Month. I’m really grateful to Akshaya, Jitin and Joby for sharing their stories.”