Diversity’s voice to creating positive change


Susan_Popoola_thumb.jpgWhy would you like to be a BAME staff representative?

"I believe that I am approachable and an effective listener that is equipped with skills and experience to effectively represent my colleagues.

"I believe that I can accurately reflect their feelings, challenges and issues to the membership. I want to work jointly with the membership to find solutions to, and improve, staff morale and wellbeing. I want to influence change and improve their trust in the the organisation.

"Being a member of the BAME community, I would like to allow not only our voices, but all to be heard, which is key to producing positive change. I want to make NAViGO more diverse and inclusive and develop greater understanding by collaboratively working together to create a pathway for BAME staff, service users and hard-to-reach communities that have barriers due to cultural diversity.

"Voices can be heard but not listened to and I hope to ensure the that your voice is listened to by sharing feedback from meetings with you in the communication style of 'you said, we did'.

"My aim is for staff to feel comfortable talking about any issue, especially the BAME community of NAViGO, and have the reassurance that it is being addressed. I want all staff to know that I am here to represent them."


Tell us about you and your experience.

"Hello, my name is Susan Popoola. I was born on the island of Trinidad. I have lived in England for over 20 years.

"I have been employed as a qualified nurse within NAViGO for more than 10 years. During this time I have worked with various service user groups, their carers and relatives. Over those years I have functioned within various roles, such as practice supervisor for students and RESPECT instructors to my colleagues, to name just a few.

"I consider myself a people person and, based on my past experiences, I am not shy to deal with issues and escalate them to the correct platform through the appropriate channel. 

"I want to represent you because I am passionate about the responsibilities of this role and I believe that I can bring awareness of issues and ensure responsiveness to them by being the conduit of communication between the BAME community within NAViGO and the membership.

"I want to represent your views in consultation that would create positive change."


If you are elected as a BAME staff representative, what do you want to achieve?

"I would work with NAViGO to eliminate fear of discrimination and prejudice to allow staff to reach their full potential.

"I would work with NAViGO to change the perceptions that career opportunities are predetermined by ethnicity, colour and nationality.

"I would work with NAViGO to ensure that staff and service users feel safe and positive in their work and service environment.

"I would work with NAViGO to ensure support and encouragement is offered to the NAViGO's BAME community, to address unmet needs.

"Our differences are what makes us all unique and it deserves separate and specific attention. Information is needed to enhance existing knowledge. I would like to bring all ethnic backgrounds of NAViGO together and hold a cultural week which ends with an event that would showcase all the brilliant people that work and receive services from NAViGO. This can include music, dancing, arts, foods, beliefs and customs."


How do you intend to engage with the membership to ensure their voices are heard?

  • By being a committed, valuable rep and advocate for members by building trust and restoring hope that the system can work fairly with effective representation
  • By consistently keeping members engaged and updated through effective communication and convenient dissemination of information
  • Setting goals and outlining specific actions undertaken to meet those goals
  • Identifying members' attendance-competing factors, finding ways to address them and highlight the importance of BAME meetings and encourage attendance.