My name is Torkwase Holmes and I am a BAME Ambassador, based in the BBMR (British Bone Marrow Registry) office.
I have been part of NHSBT for the past 16 years. My work contributes to the saving and improving of patient lives nationally and internationally and involves speaking to doctors, nurses, clinicians, transplant centres and, most importantly, our donors who sign up to be bone marrow and stem cell donors.
In 2015 I applied to become a Donor Ambassador, which involves going out into our community and encouraging people to become blood, organ and stem cell donors. To be an ambassador you have to be passionate about what you are doing, know what you are aiming for and be confident enough to be able to approach the general public.
Our aim over the next three years is to support the blood and marketing team to recruit 40,000 new donors from the black communities in a bid to give sickle cell and thalassemia patients blood which will be more beneficial to them.
In the past two years I have attended many events to educate and recruit donors from the black community on the importance and the need for more black people to give blood. Working as a donor ambassador has given me the opportunity to meet a few famous and official people and get the support of many of them to promote the blood service and the work we do.
It is an enjoyable and rewarding feeling when you get people to sign up.
On Wednesday, 6 October, I attended the BAME Masterclass put on by Organisation and Workforce Development. I must say it was a pleasure and privilege to be one of the first to attend such a well presented class. It presented me with good insight and knowledge on my career prospects.
The course was fun to do as well as looking at the serious side of working in an organisation. It was a good opportunity to meet other BAME members that I’ve never met before.
People may ask why a BAME master class? I say because many BAME colleagues still have to try harder and face discrimination consciously or unconsciously in one form or another. But I must thank NHSBT for supporting these classes.
If you are interested becoming a BAME Ambassador and helping to save and improve lives, please contact Jazz Sehmi.