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Compassion, inclusivity and belonging - Supporting a more inclusive NHS

This Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2021 (10-14 May), Solent NHS Trust Chaplain, Emma D'aeth, speaks about compassion, inclusivity and belonging and what supporting a more inclusive NHS looks like. 

What does the word ‘belong’ mean to you?

What does it feel like to be belong?

I was very taken by the words of Pat Wadors, the Chief HR Director of LinkedIn. She changed the diversity conversation to ‘belonging’. ‘Like most people’, she said, who don’t belong, ‘I accepted it and walked away’. She goes on to tell the story of how, as a child, she wanted to follow her brother into the Little League - a junior baseball team. But being a girl they said, she couldn’t join. However, her sisters argued on her behalf until the coach checked the rules and let her join.

But here is the sting in the tail, yes, she was included as the only girl in the team but she didn’t feel she belonged. They hid her baseball mitt and taunted her for being a girl, until she hit an amazing score and she was accepted by her teammates.

Since then, she has seen it as her mission to bring belonging into the diversity conversation, it is the missing part of the equation.

We each have a story to tell, to be psychologically safe to bring our whole selves to work, to express ourselves and our identity. Stories draw people into worlds other than our own - this leads to greater understanding, compassion, and kindness.

We all have those ‘belonging moments’ of acceptance and affirmation.

Let’s not hide them. When we listen and celebrate to both what is different and common to all of us, we become wiser and more inclusive.

Sometimes we do not have the language to talk about difficult issues, we can say we are having a bad day because we are feeling physically unwell, but can we say we are having a bad day because of discriminatory events in our workplace? Our own struggles have always had an impact on our personal journeys.

Sharing knowledge and stories which are poignant and moving, increase our sense of belonging.

Let there be compassion, inclusion and belonging, and it begins with me.   

 

Emma D'aeth, Trust Chaplain 

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

pals@solent.nhs.uk

 0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

Email: InformationGovernanceTeam@solent.nhs.uk

Phone: 0300 123 3919

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
Southampton
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at:

communications@solent.nhs.uk 

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.