Captain Tom’s legacy lives on

When Captain Tom completed that 100th lap of his garden on Friday 19th March 2020, nobody was quite prepared for the impact he would have on a nation that was caught in the grip of a global pandemic. As well as raising our spirits, Captain Tom also raised £33million for NHS Charities Together, a charity that focuses on the wellbeing of staff and patients looked after by care services, such as the NHS and Compton Care. The money was spent on a whole range of projects including wellbeing projects, such as break out spaces for staff, enabling them to take moment of calm in the midst of chaos or free pop up shops for staff and patients to use. The funding also supported organisations, such as Compton and we are so proud to say that Captain Tom’s funding has allowed us to hire a BAME Support Worker.

The role of the BAME Support Worker is a collaborative project between Compton Care and the Royal Wolverhampton Trust, Palliative Care team. The role is designed to offer support to patients and families who are living with an incurable condition who are also from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community. The BAME Support Worker will support families to access palliative and end of life services, taking into consideration cultural, religious and social needs.

Here is where I come in, my name is Shaheda Zaman and I’m the new BAME Support Worker at Compton Care. I have a degree in Nursing as well as being a qualified Teaching Assistant. I have worked for the Alzheimer’s Society, the Stroke Association and worked closely with the Education Department at Birmingham Council on a project aimed at supporting Bangladeshi and Pakistani supplementary schools. I’m delighted to be in this new role as it allows me to let people in the BAME community know that Compton is here and what services we can offer to potential patients and their families. Something I’m looking forward to, but will be a challenge, is shifting that perception of what a palliative care organisation is. I don’t want Compton to be seen as a place to fear but as a free service provided to anyone with an incurable condition who needs support with managing their symptoms, condition or pain relief. Part of my role is to increase staff awareness around the cultural and religious needs of patients from the BAME community and, in turn, make Compton even more culturally diverse and inclusive.

So know you know about me, I bet you’re wondering what I will actually be doing? I am here to support patients and families to access appropriate services at Compton Care, the Royal Wolverhampton Trust and in the community in a culturally appropriate way by addressing language barriers and raising awareness of cultural perspectives on end of life in relation to spiritual and faith needs. I will ensure that patients have access to culturally appropriate literature, to help them access the right services and organisations. I will also be working with multi-disciplinary teams to offer advice and guidance to colleagues around providing culturally appropriate care and conversations with patients and families.

The service isn’t yet open to professionals to refer patients but we’ll let you know when it is. You can always get in touch with me to ask me more about the service. I’d love to hear from you –  shahedazaman@comptoncare.org.uk

Shaheda – BAME Support Worker

Speak to Compton in person, call us on 0300 323 0250