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Black History Month – My first job in the UK gives me the chance to support so many people

First arriving at RMC as a client in 2015, Mam initially volunteered before securing employment as an accident and emergency (A and E) Resilience Support Project Officer at the charity in 2018. Based at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, she now supports the charity’s clients to improve their health and reduce pressure on A and E services.

I probably see about 40 people every day. Not always just RMC clients, but people from all different backgrounds who can be isolated and lonely, like the elderly. It is my job to ensure people are aware of and can secure the best and most appropriate healthcare for their needs, but it can also end up being much more than that. With elderly people, we work alongside Age UK, so I can refer clients to them.

With our clients, because of the language barrier and also a lack of knowledge about UK systems because they’re different to elsewhere in the world, many people regardless of their health issue go straight to A and E as that is the only thing they know about.

A lot of the time people won’t even know they are allowed to access health services like registering with a doctor or are worried to do so, and so a health issue that starts small can become very serious over a number of a years.

In these cases, I can refer them to RMC to register with a doctor. Something as simple as that can have a massive benefit for them and the health system. In other cases, people won’t know about other healthcare options so can come to A and E, even if they have a cold or perhaps a small cut. At this point, I can tell them about other options available like going to the GP, pharmacy or even self-care.

Apart from that, I often find out people might need additional support or help outside of health. It might be an immigration issue where they need to renew a visa, but don’t know how to, a housing issue or even improving their English and so again, I can refer them to RMC to get the support they need.

I am very glad to be part of RMC as a staff member. It was my first job and I am really proud to be part of a team that supports and improves the lives of so many other people.

It was my own experiences as a client that inspired me to volunteer, wanting to support others and I am happy I can do that now. It wasn’t only my issue they helped with. The charity also really helped me improve my confidence, language and communication skills. For that I am very grateful.

Black History Month in the UK takes place from the 1st to 31st October. This national celebration aims to promote and celebrate black contributions to British society, and to foster an understanding of black history in general.

Over the next week, we will be sharing the stories, experiences and successes from members of staff and volunteers at the charity to coincide with the end of Black History Month.

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