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Black History Month: Tanoh's story

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Tanoh Danso with his mother EEAST BME Network

As part of Black History Month, EEAST paramedic, Tanoh Danso, talks about his Ghanaian heritage, career and diversity within the Trust:

This month marks five years since joining East of England Ambulance Service, qualifying as a paramedic two years ago.

I had known for about 10 years that this was potentially the ideal career, however, my mum was apprehensive to say the least:

“Paramedic??? So you just want to drive people around??”

With my mum being of Ghanaian heritage, her knowledge of the ambulance service was limited – given that Ghana had no national ambulance service when she grew up. Also, her generation, that raised kids born in the UK, had dreams of them being able to undertake roles that “can be done back home”; i.e. nurse, doctor, lawyer, engineer or teacher. 

Recently, the roles of ambulance staff have been seen in a consistently positive light amongst today’s society. As well as pride amongst her family and close friends, witnessing the work taken to achieve paramedic status has changed my mum's perception of the role of the paramedic for society and the part her son, and his colleagues, play in modern-day healthcare.

Wealth of diversity brings a wealth of knowledge, new ideas and a diverse model of care provision. Currently our service consists of 2.5% operational staff from a BME (black and minority ethnic) background. The recent introduction of the EEAST BME network will hopefully allow the Trust to extend the work done around recruitment, to develop a service which can better represent the society we serve.

Tanoh's story was also featured in a BBC Bitesize video earlier this year. Watch it online now.

You can follow the EEAST BME Network on Twitter: @EEAST_BME

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