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BBC bosses hit back over a Countryfile segment focusing a Black women’s walking group.
Viewers were left unhappy over the feature – which appeared in an episode on Sunday, January 10 – and lodged complaints with the broadcaster.
Responding to the complaints, a statement from BBC bosses said: ‘The feature on the walking group was part of a programme where the overall theme was to encourage people to make more of their connection with the British countryside during the coming year, including trying to get outdoors more to exercise where possible.
‘For a variety of reasons, as the presenter explained, it has been the case that historically some groups have felt less able than others to take part in outdoor activities such as hiking or mountain walking, so any initiative which seeks to redress that balance is to be welcomed.
‘The walking group in this programme is one such initiative and is a reminder that not only is the beauty of the British countryside there for everyone to appreciate, but that all are welcome to enjoy it and to safeguard its wildlife, landscape, and traditions for the future.’
However, the statement did not go into detail on what had sparked complaints.
The Countryfile segment, presented by Anita Rani, introduced viewers to Rhiane Fatinikun, founder of the Black Girls Hike group – which provides Black women with a safe space to explore the outdoors.
The group was launched in Manchester in 2019, and has spread to the Midlands and London – with members encouraged to try a string of new activities, including climbing and paving.
Speaking about their walking sessions, Anita asked why there are so few Black and Asian people in the countryside – sharing a statistic that members of those communities were ‘half as likely’ to take part in hiking and mountain walking.
Source : Metro, 22 Jan 2021
Footballer Marcus Rashford has followed his free school meals campaign by launching a book club to help children enjoy the escapism of reading.
The Manchester United and England star has teamed up with Macmillan Children's Books to promote reading and literacy.
Books were "never a thing we could budget for as a family", he said.
"I only started reading at 17, and it completely changed my outlook and mentality." He said reading shouldn't be for "just those that can afford it".
The 23-year-old continued: "I wish I was offered the opportunity to really engage with reading more as a child.
"There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me. I want this escapism for all children."
Macmillan said the scheme would see a large number of books being given away to children from vulnerable and under-privileged backgrounds.
Rashford added: "We know there are over 380,000 children across the UK today that have never owned a book, children that are in vulnerable environments. That has to change."
A spokeswoman for the publisher said it would work with Rashford and charities to "find the most effective mechanisms to reach the children who need them".
Rashford's life stories
The project will begin with an illustrated non-fiction book called YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice And Be The BEST You Can Be, which will be aimed at children aged 11-16, and published in May 2021.
Each chapter will start with a story from Rashford's own life and will cover such topics as the value of education, positive mentality, understanding culture, and female role models.
Carl Anka, a journalist for sports media group The Athletic, and Katie Warriner, a performance psychologist, will help write the book.
Rashford will then publish two fiction titles for readers aged seven upwards. Meanwhile, the Marcus Rashford Book Club will give away books from the publisher's existing roster "with the aim of championing the works of creatives from all backgrounds".
Rashford said: "My books are, and always will be, for every child, even if I have to deliver them myself. We will reach them."
"Let our children read that they are not alone and enable them to dream. Equip them for obstacles and adversities they might face. Allow them to relate to characters by making sure people of all race, religion and gender are depicted correctly and representative of modern society.
"No matter where you grow up, talent should be recognised and championed. Under the Marcus Rashford Book Club young writers, illustrators and creatives will be seen and they will be offered a platform to shine."
The striker has received national praise for highlighting the issue of child food poverty, and his campaign resulted in a government U-turn to announce free meals would be provided to disadvantaged children over the Christmas holidays. He was awarded an MBE last month.
Source : BBC News, 17 Nov 2020
Many young women arrived in the UK from the Caribbean with a dream to be a nurse. It was a dream that many had to wait a while to realise, for a reason most did not expect. Racism.
Quite a few of these young hopefuls got jobs in hospitals, not as nurses, but as "orderlies" as they were called then. These were the people who cleaned the hospitals.
Disappointment may have been their immediate emotion but all used the opportunity to learn about hospital life, and the reality of life in the UK through the reactions and reluctance of many patients and visitors to seeing Black hospital workers.
After many applications and requests for nurse training, the door was opened for some, but only as State Enrolled Nurses – a second-tier position below State Registered Nurses.
Many young nurses worked their way up enhancing their employability and chances for promotion, but they were still blocked by racism most of the time. Their resilience, courage and determination sustained them.
Roll on twenty years and in 1964, Daphne Steele was appointed the first Black Matron at a hospital in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Another 20 years on and another young woman started her training in Whitechapel, London. Her name – Donna Kinnair.
Kinnair started her academic life pursuing a degree in mathematics, but took to nursing with enthusiasm and vigour. She widened her healthcare experience by working with HIV patients, and by working in an intensive care hospital setting and as a Health Visitor in the community.
Kinnair was following in the footsteps of the pioneering Windrush Generation who became nurses and showed that their professional competence could extend outside of the hospital and upwards towards leadership.
Kinnair didn’t stop there though. She continued her academic and professional development with a Masters’ Degree in Medical Law and Ethics and focused on child protection work, becoming an expert adviser.
A Windrush Generation descendant, Kinnair was making a hugely valuable contribution to Britain in greater ways than those who came to England to be nurses could have hoped for.
She was showing what could have been achieved if racism hadn’t been a hurdle for Black nurses of the Windrush Generation.
Kinnair held a number of senior positions in both the healthcare and education sectors, underlining her talent, passion, belief and years of hard work. Her roles included being Strategic Commissioner for Children’s Services, Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine, and a Director of Commissioning. Kinnair was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2008 – in recognition of her achievements and contribution to the UK.
As an acknowledged leader and influencer, Kinnair was a member of the Prime Minister’s Commission in 2010, giving advice on nursing and midwifery. Being invited to teach medical law, ethics, and child protection in New Zealand, Russia and Kenya, as well as throughout the UK, confirmed her expert status and her skill of inspiring others.
Kinnair soon rose up the ranks from Head of Nursing at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in 2015, to Director for Nursing, Policy and Practice in 2016. Then, in August 2018, she was appointed acting Chief Executive and General Secretary of RCN, before the permanent position was confirmed in April 2019.
Kinnair’s professionalism and commitment to innovation and a quality service has had a tremendous impact already. 2020 has been a year in which her skills have been tested, as have those of the Government and others helping the country to deal with major and far-reaching issues. From the Covid-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black and Asian communities, to the urgent need for equality and inclusiveness in all areas of society – highlighted by Black Lives Matter protests around the world.
Kinnair acknowledged these issues and how they impacted on Black nurses when she marked Windrush Day on 22 June 2020.
“While it would be nice to think that the prejudices and barriers faced by the Windrush nurses were firmly established as a thing of the past, the reality is that change is painfully slow. The results of the Workforce Race Equality Standard tell us that there is still much more work to be done to create sustainable change in organisations.
Nurses still tell us about their experiences of racism and at RCN Congress this year we learned much about the importance of understanding the impact of race on health….”
In 2020, protecting nurses from Covid-19 has been a difficult challenge, as has been identifying why Black and Asian people have succumbed disproportionately to the virus, compared to white people.
Kinnair has shown leadership and is not afraid to be bold when it comes to ensuring the Government takes responsibility and responds to demands for improving the safety of the frontline workers she is responsible for.
At the start of the UK pandemic, nursing staff were expected to continue caring for Covid-19 patients without protective personal equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and aprons. The reality of the PPE scandal is that over 650 health and social care workers have now died of Covid-19 to date.
2020 may continue to be a difficult year for all, but Kinnair has set out the RCN’s demands to Government and health service leaders. Demands that will protect nurses and patients. Demands that will help care for people through the pandemic, while providing a way forward for a full re-opening of the other healthcare services needed. Demands that will train and equip nurses to meet a nation’s healthcare needs, at one of the most challenging times in our history.
Kinnair believes “Nurses, in all settings and sectors across health and social care, deserve to know that their safety and wellbeing is paramount to the UK Government, devolved adminisibbean Nursestrations and health agencies.” More than ever, knowing this is particularly important in 2020, and a definite priority for Kinnair.
In 2020, Kinnair was named in the Powerlist, a list of 100 most influential Britons of African and African Caribbean descent.
The Windrush Generation and their descendants, especially those who have been a part of the NHS journey and its development as a world-class service, have saluted Kinnair for her achievements and invaluable contribution.
In turn, celebrating the 72 year anniversary of the NHS in July, Kinnair acknowledged the invaluable and lasting contribution of the Windrush Generation who became nurses.
Professor Dame Donna Kinnair DBE was the toast of anniversary events 72 years after many of those first hopefuls made their way into nursing despite the many challenges they faced. Starting a long journey that would see The Windrush Generation and their descendants making an incredible contribution to the NHS and the health and wellbeing of the nation.
Source : Black History Magazine 2020
Black haircare has become a lucrative business and more Black entrepreneurs have found ways to create more diversity for product selection when it comes to Afro-textured hair.
Men’s haircare has also become a fast-growing niche with more black men looking for products to nourish their natural hair. After establishing a name for himself over in the U.K., this Black male entrepreneur is looking to bring his men’s care collection to the U.S. market.
Aaron Wallace is the brainchild of his namesake luxury haircare brand designed with Black men in mind. Wallace started creating his own products and his experiences with customers during his time as a barber.
“I was cutting hair daily and having regular conversations with clients, who were mostly Black men. I noticed that many of us suffered from similar issues with our hair and grooming and were finding it difficult to find the best solutions for our hair type. I wanted to change that and created a range of products that would solve those problems.”
Despite the challenges of entering a new, international market, Wallace looks forward to finally bringing his products to the U.S. “It’s been quite a challenge being based in the UK and having such interest from the US, mostly due to the challenges that come with shipping,” says Wallace.
“Shipping costs have been a big hurdle for us as it raises the barrier for our US customers, however, this is something we have now found solutions for so I’m very pleased to now be able to serve our US and Canadian customers…we want to be as accessible as possible and soon you will be able to find us on local shop shelves.”
Source : Black Enterprise, 23rd September 2020