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Black History Month: Ade's story

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Adeshina and Cynthia Oseni

To mark the end of Black History Month, Adeshina Oseni, Cloud Technologies Specialist from the Information Management & Technology (IM&T) team tells us what it's like to be a dual nationality parent at EEAST:

Mary Seacole exemplifies us all. She was determined to care for sick people, and nothing was stopping her.

As dual nationality parents – British and Nigerian roots - working in the ambulance service, we have to juggle childcare, holidays and school trips like everyone else. Often it means our holidays can’t be in the same period, but one overriding principle remains; that at least once a year, we all have that time together.

Our eldest once asked a question. Looking up at her mum, she asked: "Why do you wear greens and don’t drive an ambulance? And dad doesn’t even wear one, yet works with the service?" A loaded question. So, we created a scenario for her.

"Imagine when the paramedics need to have a rest after a long day, where would they rest?". She replied; "at work", looking confused. Dad continues; "So if there was nobody managing the offices where the paramedics relax in between calls, or the place wasn’t tidy, or their lovely ambulances weren’t clean and shiny, ready for the next call, would they be able to carry out their job easily?". We could see her little eyes lightning up, but her sister looked on with interest now.

"The estates department takes care of the offices and operations support takes care of the fleet. We all play a little part in every single operation that's carried out." Her little sister interjected; "No wonder it’s called operations support!" Still not convinced, she said "But you are not operations support, you're just IT and mum's admin?"

"Yes, I work in IT and mum works in the frequent caller team" dad replied, not liking being called "just IT". "Mum's team is an interesting team, as they deal with those who call frequently but do not necessarily need immediate assistance. So instead of sending precious resources, like ambulances and paramedics on to these callers, they deal with such cases so that the ambulances can go to those most in need."

Mum added; "Dad's role is also very important though. Without his team, it would be chaos. Remember all the nights he has when on-call or must go back to work to sort an issue out? The IT team makes sure all the technology required is in place, for the staff, for operations and for paramedics, especially with their toughbooks."

We all have a part to play and the work of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups within ambulance services, and the NHS as a whole, is great. For instance, the IT Team has recently carried out several migration projects to Azure including email, GRS and mobile devices, which I have been heavily involved in implementing. Of course, all this was possible as Cynthia is actively supporting me with the “home team”.

Please contact the BME Network for our latest news, or follow us on Twitter: @EEAST_BME

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