Many Faces, One Purpose: Celebrating Team BCHC | Charity News Blog

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Many Faces, One Purpose: Celebrating Team BCHC

In celebration of 75yrs of the NHS, BCHC Charity funded the ‘Many Faces, One Purpose’ photography project as part of our Arts & Culture in Health initiative which aims to celebrate the diversity of Team BCHC staff.

Maryam Wahid photographs Emunene for BCHC CharityWorking with local award-winning photographer Maryam Wahid, portraits of a selection of BCHC staff were taken to create exhibitions around the Trust. The project was funded in order to celebrate the diversity of people working within BCHC, showcase the people who make it work, promote inclusion and diversity within the NHS and wider community, provide a platform for underrepresented groups within the NHS to be heard and seen, and to create beautiful imagery for art walls within the Trust.

Maryam said, “I want to take the time to get to know the people I want to photograph and build a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. This will help us to understand their perspectives, experiences, and aspirations, and enable us to capture more authentic and meaningful images.”

32 BCHC staff took part in the venture, with photographs taken at Moseley Hall Hospital throughout July 2023. Naomi Ocansey, Internal Communications Manager, said, “I wanted to take part as I felt it was important to reflect the diversity of the NHS, particularly given my mixed race background… Taking part is my way of encouraging the conversation around how we must embrace people from different backgrounds with differing experiences to add to the richness of the NHS.”

A portion of the gallery wall showing 9 framed portraits of BCHC staffThe first of the Charity’s gallery displays opened at Moseley Hall Hospital on 27th November 2023, with many staff attending to see the stunning collection of portraits. Each photograph was framed with a mount designed by Cherie Gregory; a floral pattern made up of flowers from all of the countries represented by the people photographed for the exhibition. Dietitian Oluwatobi David said, “Diversity means the opportunity to finally be included in spaces, places and positions that historically have been out of reach to people like me, both on the basis of my race and sexuality. As such, being in a Trust that values that diversity creating staff networks such as the BAME and LGBTQ+ networks is very important to me. These networks convince me that I have a place here and a platform to be heard on issues that not only mater to me but can improve the wider provision of service.”

Stacey Taylor, Charity Engagement & Communications Lead, who took part in the project and attended the unveiling, said: “I am so honoured to be a part of this truly inspirational gallery. Maryam really made me feel at ease and was clearly very interested in my story about my journey to discovering my asexuality; often referred to as the ‘invisible orientation’ due to lack of representation. The gallery is just a snapshot of our beautifully diverse workforce, and I am incredibly proud to represent the Ace community.”

Della Thomas stands proudly next to her photograph on the wallResponse to the display has been fantastic, with feedback from staff, visitors and patients being very positive. One member of staff said that they loved the new feature as it “reminds me every time I see it that I am welcomed here at BCHC”. The Charity have already started scoping locations across the Trust to install more galleries and other artworks to help spread this positive message of inclusion, as well as provide stimulating pieces to brighten up BCHC spaces.

Sinead Kelly, who works for the bank as a Rehabilitation Assistant with EICT Central explains why she decided to take part in the ‘Many Faces, One Purpose’ project: “I feel projects like this are an important tool in letting staff and patients realise the diversity of the BCHC staff community, thus letting them feel their views, beliefs and sexual and gender orientations are understood and respected. It puts a very human face on BCHC.”

BCHC Charity would like to offer our thanks to Maryam, all the staff who were photographed for the project, and the volunteers from MACE Group who helped us to frame all the pictures ready for our Estates Team to display.

“The NHS must welcome all, with a culture of belonging and trust. ​We must understand, encourage, and celebrate ​diversity in all its forms.” – NHS Peoples Plan 2020

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