Nurses from York Hospital come together to celebrate cultural diversity
Image by York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals
Team members from all different parts of the world came together at York Hospital for a Festival of Culture where staff spent a week sharing, enjoying and learning about their colleagues’ cultures earlier this month.
York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has over 350 international nurses who play an essential role and contributions came from staff from India, Pakistan and Nepal, Philippines, Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.
Emma George, Assistant Chief Nurse at York Hospital, said: “Sharing our cultures is such an important part of helping our international colleagues thrive, and we’re proud to see it done so well in York. The full week event, which was driven by our international nurses in their own time, was amazing and really built the team spirit. The staff loved learning about different cultures and the family party was extraordinary – full of joy and happiness. We look forward to having a similar event annually to continue to embrace our cultural differences and understanding.”
The week involved food, music and dancing, and culminated in a family party in the grounds of Bootham Hospital with around 200 people joining in.
Tara Filby, Deputy Chief Nurse at the Trust, added: “We are really proud of all our staff who have organised this festival. It’s a wonderful acknowledgement of how welcome our international nurses have felt at York Hospital and a real testimony to the team spirit in York. The family party was incredible and I’m sure it will stay in people’s minds for a very long time.”
Liz Alice Alinaitwe, Ward Sister, organised the first ever celebration of cultures at Scarborough Hospital last year and was keen to promote and share the different cultures at York Hospital. She joined the Trust as an international nurse in October 2019 and supports internationally recruited nurses to feel a sense of belonging, as well as helping them to build their careers.
Alinaitwe explained: “I wanted to celebrate our cultural diversity by showcasing different types of cultural expression so people could appreciate the different arts and cultures of the world. It also promotes social inclusion, awareness, and a feeling of belonging. Each culture has different traditions and customs and the more we all know about our cultural background, the greater the understanding and tolerance.
“It was a fun filled day involving food from different cultures, games and we all danced to different tunes from different nations – it was a great time to bond with other staff.”