Our colleagues at Shelton Care Group recently raised the idea of doing more to educate on the diverse backgrounds and cultures of their team mates and the people we support.
Their most recent colleague survey fed back that more time could be taken to learn and understand the cultural differences of our colleagues. Shelton Care’s Regent Road registered manager, Donna Walklet and her the team, made it part of their You Said We Did action plan to deliver.
Tochui, a new support worker at Regent Road who has lived in the UK since October 2022, was delighted to share some insights into the native country he had left behind, sharing how his culture has inspired his passion for care. During the next team meeting, time was set aside for his spotlight session on everything Nigeria.
He firstly introduced himself using his full name; Tochukwu Okenna Udomba and explained to the team that he is from South East Nigeria. More specifically, from the Igbo tribe and a native of Umuenwere Amafor Isingwu in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.
Tochui explained the Nigerian culture and the importance given to care:
“In my country, having cultured children is deemed a great achievement and pride of any parent and their elderlies. Children take care of their parents in old age until they die, we barely have nursing or care-homes. The elderly becomes the responsibility of their children, this helps us live communally, united as possible because we live in same house. Caring for older people and people with learning disabilities was easy for me to fit in because it’s what we do back home naturally, we clean our aged parents, prepare their meals, take them around the community and give them the best life possible. Bringing a smile to someone is a great honour in itself.”
He talked to his colleagues about why he knew he was right for this role:
“Adult care represents home far away from home. This sector teaches me to love, respect and take care of people the same way I would want my elderly family to be taken care of. Arriving in the UK, however, gave me a different perspective due to the care homes put in place by society. I applied for this role because caring for people is a natural habitat for me.”
He went on to share with his colleagues the many differences he had observed between British and Nigerian cultures; the way elders are treated with the utmost respect in Nigeria, the importance of marriage, child discipline, education, and religion.
Tochui talked about the communal lifestyle in Nigeria:
“We all live together in same house as one big family, nieces, cousins, aunts, nephews. We live together, eat from same plate, and take care of one another. Neighbours look out for each other. We know ourselves to the latter. We party and hang out a lot.”
He said of his experience at Shelton Road so far:
“Working with a wonderful team of colleagues, seniors and managers has only made the role more interesting.”
He ended by asking his colleagues: “To really feel more at home, I would like it if we always greeted and replied to greetings. Saying a good morning takes nothing out of anyone.”
We agree, Tochui!
Along with the Regent Road team, we thank you for sharing your story.
“It was very educational, it helped us understand Tochui’s culture more. He made it fun and interesting. It helped us learn how to welcome him, and others from different cultures, into the team.” Caitlin Oakes, Support Worker
“Tochui’s talk was interesting. It was nice to listen about different cultures and hear the comparison in care in different cultures. There was a lovely atmosphere and a good thing to introduce to our team meeting.” Nicole Longson, Responsible Support Worker