To mark Black History Month we’re asking some of our staff members to share their thoughts on what it means to them.

We had a chat with Reverend Pauline Dawkins, Healthcare Chaplain at St George’s and acting Chair of our BAME staff network, to find out more about her background and what Black History Month means to her.

What is your background and current role?
I have worked at St George’s for seven years and have been one of the hospital chaplains for a number of years. Additionally I am the BAME network’s acting Chair and it has been a privilege to support staff in the role and engage with the executive team on important matters for our black and minority ethnic staff.

I have always been passionate about working with people, from helping teach with my late mother who was a nurse at a community Saturday school, to my passion of supporting patients spiritually in their time of need in my role as chaplain. My faith and my passions go hand in hand.

What does Black History mean to you?
Black history means so much to me. Having grown up in Britain but not hearing about Black history in schools, I have been greatly informed over the years about the contribution of black people to everyday society in so many different ways. My identity is important and it’s heartening to know that even before I have done my bit others have really helped shaped this world.

Who is your favourite black hero and why?
I have so many black heroes that have inspired me. If I had to pick one it would be Harriet Tubman, who, with the help of so many others, created the “underground railway”. I’d choose Harriet because even when she escaped to freedom from slavery, she went back to help others. I really want my legacy to be one of not just doing what is best for me, but making a difference to the lives of the people I meet.