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Hello, I am Sakhbinder Kaur, a first generation British-born Indian. I have been an NHS member of staff for 34 years. Being brought up in 1960s Stoke-on-Trent, in a predominantly working-class white community, it was clear from a very young age that hardship was almost commonplace for individuals that looked like me. However, these adversities made me who I am today.
My heritage defines me and what I stand for - it is my identity. Yes, I am Punjabi but I am also British, I was brought up on egg and chips but also chapattis and curry. Growing up as a female in a Sikh household, the values instilled in me early on fuelled a burning desire to become a pillar of change; to go against the grain. To become a figure of hope for the generation that will follow and to make a difference in our society. Honest earning, sharing and the promotion of equality and diversity are just some of the core principles that have remained with me to this day.
As for most British-Asian families, a good education is paramount and of the utmost importance. I attended Church schools, both primary and secondary, during a time integration was a new concept. Alongside academic studies, I partook in sports and arts, encouraging collaboration and creativity which allowed me to gain confidence and take pride in my individuality, despite the name calling and physical taunts all due to my uniqueness. Concurrently, I was able to build lasting relationships with others and in some cases, even made lifelong friends in spite of our cultural differences.
Being the eldest sibling of seven and having an arranged marriage, I was once a young parent myself. I am no stranger to responsibility or duty of care and have always relished challenge and opportunity. This led to a career in the NHS spanning over three decades…and I’m still going. Having practiced across a multitude of disciplines, the ability to remain resilient and determined are attributes which have absolutely been the foundation of my accolades and achievements.
Unquestionably, my culture and upbringing has played a hugely fundamental role in being able to elevate myself and most importantly, those around me. I was destined to help others, to spread love and positivity.
Life happens and remember “if you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward” Martin Luther King Jr.
THIS IS ME: Sakhbinder Kaur, a first generation British-born Indian. Specialist Nurse: Asylum Seekers and Refugee Health Team. HV Specialist Community Public Health Nurse BSc (Hons), RM, RN and previously a Family Nurse, Practice Nurse and sessional lecturer.