“I do not see colour when looking at the people I work with. When it comes to recognising great people, I am colour blind. A person should be measured by their actions before their skin colour.”
Library and Knowledge Services Manager Jacqui Watkeys is supporting Black History Month as an opportunity to praise the Trust for its all-inclusiveness of its colleagues and the diversity that they bring.
Originally from Walsall, Jacqui lives in West Bromwich with her husband and two children. Despite living outside of the borough, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to work in an organisation that she was familiar with.
“As I was born here at the Manor, it seemed only right that I would apply to work here when a post came up! It seemed the perfect position for me to apply my skills and qualifications.
“Prior to working here, I had always been in a librarian-type role and had always fancied working in the public sector; particularly in an organisation as caring and hardworking as the NHS.”
When she started in 2001, Jacqui was initially based at the old post graduate centre. Over her fifteen year career with the Trust, she has seen the hospital and its services transform. This includes the relocation of the library and its colleagues to the Manor Learning Centre.
Having recently returned from maternity leave, Jacqui is helping to host both Black History Month and our Equality and Diversity campaign that will be following in November.
“I think Black History Month is an important campaign however I do believe that it is important to celebrate all cultures and not just highlight one in particular. It is essential to learn about all of our colleagues from Asian to Polish so that we create a shared appreciation of one another.
“Celebrating all cultures is crucial. We need to promote everyone’s history and create awareness around the contributions of all members of the Trust so that we do not become ignorant towards the people we work with. It is not just black lives that matter; it is all lives that matter!”
Having experienced no discrimination whilst working at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Jacqui is happy to advocate the Trust as a friendly and welcoming place to work.
“My experience here has been fantastic. There has always been a vast array of opportunities that I have always felt able to reach for. I receive great support from colleagues - they have been super, as has the Trust as a whole.”