Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) are joining in with international celebrations for Black History Month (BHM), with a jam-packed schedule to celebrate their staff and recognise the invaluable contribution they make each day.

As part of how HHFT are celebrating staff for BHM, to conclude the month the trust is hosting a virtual awards night to recognise their ‘Unsung Heroes’ who are a Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) member of staff that have been nominated by their fellow colleagues for going above and beyond in their day to day work.

Due to COVID-19, celebrations this year look very different to what could have been with most activities being hosted virtually, however there are a range of activities happening throughout the month, including inspirational speakers and a food menu takeover across their three hospital restaurants, so staff and colleagues alike can enjoy food from around the world.

Hampshire Hospitals, which runs three hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester has also begun the first cohort of a reverse mentoring programme, which will launch during Black History Month, with the first cohort of mentors will be predominately made up of BAME colleagues.

This nationwide mentoring scheme will see senior members of the trust’s team take on a mentee role to gain fresh insight, perspectives and benefit from the lived experience and learning of less senior members of the team. The mentors will have reflective sessions to share how they are finding the experience and gain support from their fellow mentors.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, said, “We have wonderful colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures.  We recognise the compassionate care that all our staff provide to our patients every day, and it is great to take the time to celebrate that. We are very proud to celebrate our diversity and support our colleagues in recognising Black History Month.”

Many of the activities organised for BHM were done so by the trust’s Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) Champions group, a network of staff within the trust who not only support each other but help to shape things at HHFT.

Leon Ghulam, HHFT BAME champions group co-chair, said, “It is great to see how many more events are running to celebrate Black History Month year on year at HHFT, I am very proud of the work we have done to put this together to empower and recognise our Black members of staff, especially in light of COVID-19.”