South Asian Heritage Month 2023
South Asian Heritage Month runs from 18 July to 17 August every year. It seeks to raise the profile of British South Asian heritage and history in the UK through education, arts, culture and commemoration, with the goal of helping people to better understand the diversity of present-day Britain.
The theme for this year’s South Asian Heritage month is “Stories to Tell”. Our stories are what make us unique, and they connect us to each other in profound ways. Whether you express yourself through art, writing, music, fashion, or food, there are so many ways to share your experiences and celebrate your heritage.
People of South Asian heritage are a significant part of the British population, with about 1 in every 20 people in the country being of South Asian heritage, and over 10,000 people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. South Asian heritage has influenced and helped Britain in many ways, but especially within the healthcare sector by providing remarkable contributions to the NHS. In the early days of the NHS, South Asian doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals played a crucial role in filling workforce gaps and delivering medical services.
Dr Priya George, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Clinical Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Chair of the ICS’s steering group for EDI, said: “South Asian Heritage Month is a time when we reflect on our rich culture and heritage, which makes us who we are.
“The NHS has long recognized the value of a diverse workforce, appreciating the unique perspectives and skills that individuals from different backgrounds bring to the table.
“Nurses and other healthcare professionals of South Asian origin have been instrumental in providing compassionate and high-quality care to patients across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. Their dedication and empathy have been key to building trust and understanding within our diverse communities.
“As an EDI lead, I would like to ensure that we are all aware of the value that diversity brings to our workplaces and the environment we work in allows each one of us to feel included, heard and valued, where one can bring one’s whole self and be accepted, allowing us to grow and reach our full potential.
“To mark South Asian Heritage Month, the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (STW ICS) has been organising events celebrating our diversity.”
Members of the STW ICS Black and Minority Ethnic staff network have organised a curry night on Friday, 25 August, to mark the occasion and plan the next few months for the network. If you would like to attend, please contact Priya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Telford & Wrekin Council Race Equality Group hosted a Chai Café for members of staff to enjoy traditional food and drink, henna tattoos, traditional dress and Bhangra music.
For Shropshire Council, Lois Dale has produced an article on poetry (insert link) to showcase South Asian Heritage and give an additional perspective for people on the topic.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust celebrated with a South Asian Heritage stall at both of their hospital sites. The stalls provided traditional artefacts, food and support from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team.