Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) partnered up to celebrate the first ever South Asian Heritage Month, which takes place from 18 July – 17 August.

The awareness month recognises and celebrates the buddy organisations’ diverse network of staff, service users, patients and carers; as well as our rich communities. Colleagues from across the Trusts joined four sessions led by Asha Day and Doris Addo, LPT BAME network chair and NHFT BAME network chair, to discuss their backgrounds, cultures and childhoods.

Over the month NHFT and LPT hosted weekly sessions for staff to celebrate South Asian culture, focusing on health and wellbeing, religion and festivals.

Angela Hillery, Chief Executive at LPT and NHFT opened and closed the awareness month speaking to colleagues about her experiences and showing her support to celebrating South Asian Heritage month. She said: “We are fortunate to have such rich and diverse communities across LPT and NHFT, and we are delighted to have celebrated the inaugural South Asian Heritage Month.

“A number of our fantastic staff took the time to join our four one hour sessions on a variety of topics from cultural heritage and religion, to lived experience in a diverse Britain, as well as dance, food, health and wellbeing from across South Asia.

“Colleagues from all cultures have joined these sessions and this example of collaboration supports the work we’re doing to become an anti-racist and inclusive organisation. We will continue to celebrate our diverse network and we look forward to supporting Black History Month, and connecting with one another to share our experiences and cultures.”

South Asian Heritage Month aims to raise the profile of British-South Asian 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, as well as improving levels of social cohesion between the various communities.

Haseeb Ahmad, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at LPT said:

“The 4 hour long sessions have been outstanding. South Asian colleagues from both LPT and NHFT have pulled together to showcase the richness and diversity of South Asian cultures, tradition, entertainment and history from their personal lived experience. Colleagues of all backgrounds have benefited and this kind of collaboration of people of all backgrounds takes us closer to an anti-racist and inclusive organisation we want to create.”

To find out more about South Asian Heritage Month, visit: www.mminquarantine.com/south-asian-heritage-month