Celebrating Black History Month

We are so proud to serve one of the most diverse cities in the world, and even prouder of the culture and histories of our staff, so all month we’ve been celebrating Black History Month.

Hundreds of our staff all over London joined together this month at events to celebrate their cultures, the diversity we have within our organisation and, most importantly, to talk about the work we still need to do to ensure we are representative of our communities.

At the final celebration event this week, over 150 staff came together to share food, stories, listen to music and talk about their cultures, histories and experiences working for us. We also asked everyone why diversity is so important to us at London Ambulance Service, and what Black History Month means to them. Watch this video to see what they said.

Melissa Berry, our diversity consultant, said: “Diversity is so important to us as we want to reflect the communities we serve, celebrate difference and ensure we are an inclusive place to work.”

Staff join together to celebrate Black History Month
Over 150 people came to our Black History Month event to celebrate the diversity and history of all our BME staff

Raja, Technology Enhanced Learning Lead, said: “To me, Black History Month is the celebration of all different cultures, not just black and African culture, but all the BME cultures and histories. It’s been great to celebrate it at work with my colleagues, and it’s so important we all feel welcome and included.”

The celebration event was also an opportunity to talk about the work we’re doing now, and what we want to do in the future to become the most diverse and inclusive organisation we can be.

Black History Month celebration event Heather and Melissa
Our Diversity Consultant, Melissa, and Chair, Heather Lawrence, join members of our BME staff network at the celebration event

 

Khadir Meer, Chief Operating Officer, said: “If we’re not a diverse organisation we are not tapping in to all the talents, skills and experiences that a diverse workforce and diverse people bring. As a public-funded body, it’s really important we have no barriers in place for BME people to be able to work for us.”

Cathy-Ann, General Manager, said: “I have worked here for 25 years and I have seen the changes we’ve made and the growth of diversity in our workforce, especially in our control rooms. It’s great to see the richness and culture of where I work.”

Okezi, Elijah and Abidemi joined their colleagues to talk about why diversity is so important to us at LAS

Katherine, People and Culture Business Partner, said: “Celebrating diversity is important because we need to acknowledge and celebrate people from different walks of life who bring in different skills, knowledge and experiences. The more of a mix of backgrounds and knowledge you have in your workforce, the more you’re going to get from your people, and the richer our service will be.”

But there’s more for us to do to ensure we equally represent our diverse city.

 


Melissa said:
“Of the 8million people who live in London, around 40% are from a BME background. We don’t currently represent this level of diversity and we know we have lots to do. We are committed to

Roselyne (left) is originally from Zimbabwe and said she only realised the real need for Black History Month when she moved to the UK

working hard to make sure, in the future, our workforce – in both our frontline and support teams, and across all levels – represent the communities we serve.