Recite Me

Black History Month: The sense of belonging

Black History Month: The sense of belonging

Welcome to NCH&C’s Black History Month blog series. Black History Month is celebrated every October, and is a chance to share and learn more about Black history and culture. As part of our BHM celebrations, we asked some of our Black colleagues to share their experiences of working at NCH&C. This article was contributed by Clemence Engamba, Project Manager in the projects and investments team. 

The sense of belonging

Belonging is related to sentiments such as feeling socially connected, mattering, being able to identify with. These expressions are closely matched to the feeling of being accepted, included by people around us. “Belonging” is the word that comes to my mind when I think about my experience of working for NCH&C and within the NHS.

Since joining the NHS, I have been privileged to be part of transformational changes within the primary care sector. As a project manager, it is my role to participating in driving changes as part of the vital services that we provide at NCH&C. It is humbling to see the immense trust the public places in us as NHS workers and I strongly believe that it takes extraordinary people to meet other when they are at their most vulnerable. Yet, what has moved me the most is to find out how accepting and compassionate colleagues are not only with patients but with other colleagues as well.

When I moved to the UK a few years ago, I went through several challenges, from learning English to gaining a clear understanding of the job market; amongst other things. I took every opportunity to learn, gain new skills and develop both personally and professionally. I went back to university and started from afresh. At times, it felt like a lost battle and I often wondered whether I would ever fit in. The sense of belonging can be quite a difficult thing to achieve specially when we feel different and sometimes are reminded of our status in unfortunate moments. This is not something I have had to worry about, since joining the NCH&C.

As we celebrate Black History Month, to be heard, seen and listened to has never been more important. The topic of diversity in our communities and workplaces must now more than ever be highlighted. I am proud of all the good work that NCH&C has already been doing to level the playing field for all staff, regardless of their background, and I look forward to what the future holds in my journey.