BAME staff on the road to inclusion

Edited by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

“The NHS depends on black and minority ethnic staff to provide high quality, reliable and safe care to patients.” (The Guardian, 2018)

The creation of the NHS 70 years ago coincided with the beginning of a wave of immigration from the Commonwealth and colonies. The British Nationality Act of 1948 affirmed unrestricted movement within the Commonwealth. In 1962 Enoch Powell, the then Conservative health minister launched the Hospital Plan – which envisaged the NHS expanding due to a short supply of skilled staff. Because of their value to the Service their contribution was recognised.

Unfortunately, today many BME staff are experiencing a different NHS which is not as successful or rewarding compared to non-BME staff.

The NHS Leadership Academy state that they hold the principles of equality and inclusion at the heart of everything they do and all that they stand for – the NHS is a universal service and are committed to developing a leadership community which is representative of the groups they serve.

Is Britain a Christian Country? And what does that even mean?

By Heather Tomlinson
A new poll has found that less than a third of visionaries believe that the UK is a ‘Christian country’. The latest data on whether the public considers the UK to be a ‘Christian nation’ doesn’t hold too many surprises. But I hope it can help us to think more deeply about what it really means to be a Christian.
The data, from a ComRes survey by the Faith Research Centre, showed that just 31% of young adults aged 18-24 considered Britain to be a Christian country, compared to 74% of those of pensionable age: 41% of the young adults thought Britain had no religious identity.
Whether or not you consider the UK to have a Christian identity depends somewhat on whether you consider the terms ‘Christian’ and ‘British’ to be a compliments or not. A militant atheist who considers the term Christian the same as ‘narrow-minded bigot’ is not likely to identify with it. So it’s not surprising to see that as atheism has become more popular in the younger generation, so has describing Britain as ‘Christian’.

(Full article via Premier Christianity Magazine)

Fairtrade gold medals for Rio 2016?

RioLondon 2012 offered the UK a significant opportunity for green leadership. The question is, will the country’s leaders making the most of it today?

The gold medals at Rio 2016 might contain a drop of FairTrade gold, as part of Solidaridad’s (working towards sustainability) ‘On Our Way to Good Gold’ campaign, which promotes the compliance of artisanal and small-scale mining groups with the Fairtrade and Fairmined standards.

Four years on from London 2012, public debate about its legacy is taking off again. Are fair gold medals the sort of initiative for which its efforts to raise the bar on sustainability can claim any credit? Not directly: Solidaridad, the European Youth Olympic Festival and the city of Utrecht were working to improve the social and environmental impact of the sporting landscape long before 2012.

There were disappointments in London – notably the scrapping of a 130-foot wind turbine in 2010, which robbed the Olympic park of a highly visible symbol of sustainable energy. The environmental credentials of some of the sponsors were also questioned.

LOCOG fell short of its target to recycle 70% of the waste arising from Olympic venues (managing around 62%).

The ambassadors for Solidaridad’s campaign, is calling for the gold destined for the medals at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to be mined in a fair and responsible way. If their campaign is successful, the sustainable procurement standards pioneered at the London 2012 Games might just have played a vital role.


The ongoing debate about who is the best – Christian rehab versus Secular rehab

drug free

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

Apart from working as a Receptionist I spend my spare time promoting media concepts relating to social awareness. I believed then, and still believe today, that working towards the good of others enhances the profile. One of my assignments required undertaking a field research on behalf the Christian rehab versus secular rehab campaign. The written outcome had to be based around my quantitative and qualitative data findings in favour of Teen Challenge London which is a Christian rehab. At first I found this task both daunting and challenging.

The centre is the leading Christian rehabilitation and treatment clinic which is for men only. Despite that, it still made sense to research about the success of Teen Challenge London simply because I was working for them as a volunteer outreach worker. My role was to serve both men and women with serious addictions. As well as that, I witnessed first-hand one of the success stories of Teen Challenge because I met my then friend and now husband whilst serving and ministering on London’s streets.  My husband can testify that the Christian rehab is better than secular rehab because the Holy Scriptures, for example, can heal an addict in a way that helped him overcome his addiction and also emerge as better human being.

Also an independent research conducted in the United States informed us that over 70% of Teen Challenge graduates have remained drug-free.

When I worked for the NHS Primary Care Trust it was their responsibility to provide public health outcomes within the local area. Drug misuse continues to have a negative effect on the health, well-being, and quality of life of too many people. It also drains public resources. For example, crimes related to drugs cost the UK £13.3 billion every year – and according to go a Gov.UK policy document – prison is not always the best place for offenders who misuse drugs.

Over the winter season many churches open up their doors and provide hot meals for the homeless in aid of their local homeless charity. As well as that, the charity helpline UK-Rehabs, have trained addiction counsellors who man a 24/7 confidential help-line throughout the week, they too understand that the Christian rehabilitation centre is not for everyone.  On the other hand, there is the typical secular clinic for example, The Priory, who will help the recovering addict go through detox followed by 4 to 12 weeks of intense psycho-therapeutic treatments that help him or her deal with the psychological and emotional issues associated with addiction.

As part of this debate, UK-Rehab quoted by saying that they would lean towards the Christian rehab because “the Christian centre offer one clear advantage over secular alternatives: and that is a sense of purpose.”

It also makes sense to recommend a Christian rehab especially if an addict was unsuccessful in their attempts of detoxification in the past.

For the person who is just trying to recover from an addiction – that person just needs to find the right group.

My qualitative research consisted of conducting interviews and questionnaires for a small sample of residents at Teen Challenge. They confirmed that a Christian rehabilitation centre would be their first choice. Though the programme can be very challenging, members of staff are always there to give constant support. The solid foundation developed through the Christian teachings allow those on the programme to develop a gifting and skill which they never realised was there. Today, there appears to be thousands of young people trapped in addiction, and by God’s grace a Christian rehabilitation centre like Teen Challenge will continue to reach out to the vulnerable in our society because they know this is God’s heart for our nation.


Christian ministries tackling mental health in prison


by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

According to the head of an independent review into suicides in prisons, the HM Inspectorate paper has documented that the rate since the 2007 review has increased by more than 50%.  This percentage was drawn from over 220 new prisoners who completed the reception screening form (GHQ12) which indicates primary or secondary mental health needs.

The Labour peer Lord Harris was asked by the government to conduct a review on how to reduce self-inflicted deaths in custody.  The major question that will be asked is are there interventions that could have been done which could have saved the government money – by stopping mental health needs ending up in the criminal justice system in the first place?  The BBC reported recently that  “obviously there will always be a core of prisoners who do need to be in prison. But, if some of the others were not inside, there would be more resources to make sure those individuals were supported and prison achieved its objectives in terms of rehabilitation.”

The Ministry of Justice covers transfers from prison to hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983. Their guidance also covers work with restricted patients detained in hospital and those discharged into the community.

The Orthodox Church (OC) in America claims that more than 2 million prisoners are being held in federal or state prisons or in local jails. Building and maintaining prisons is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Yet many of us feel that prison ministry is better left to the “professionals,” prison chaplains, or those specially trained for this kind of work. The OC also went on to say that everyone is called to undertake prison ministry because firstly it is a biblical command.  Secondly, many jails and prisons have no full-time or even part-time chaplains or any religious services at all.  Even in prisons that have chaplains, they cannot possibly minister to more than a small percentage of inmates there. And thirdly, statistics tell us that for every person incarcerated, there are three to five other people affected:  families, loved ones, and children.

The national newspaper for prisoners and detainees in the UK which is named, InsideTime, raised an issue which emphasized and agreed that prison chaplains should have keen interest and concern for all inmates.  Every prisoner should have the opportunity to speak with a chaplain. The article also went on to say that “a majority of prisoners may not wish to avail themselves of the opportunity, but at least people should be given the choice to yes or no thanks to the offer of a listening ear”.

Kingdom Keys is a Bible teaching ministry, passionate about teaching the truth of God’s Word in a clear, practical and effective way. They have found through the many people they met in prisons, “many genuinely want to change, some  convert to Christianity for the first time and others return from backsliding into a criminal lifestyle.”  The team  deliver a 4-week course within a national HMS prison; the theme for the weekend is entitled Battle of the Mind.  Satan never plays fair. And the reason why it is so intense is that your greatest asset is the mind. I know what it is like when you unable to hear God. My mind is distracted and I cannot seem to connect with God even when I want to connect to God. And I know whatever gets your mind gets me. So one of the most important things we need to be learnt and teach others is how to guard, strengthen, and renew our minds, because the battle for sin always starts in the mind.

However,  from within the prison walls of  HMP Brixton they are more than willing to announce that their prisoners are given access to faith-based services within the prison’s establishment.  ‘Faith in the Future’ is a six-week, full-time resettlement course.  It runs for 30 men, five times a year and covers victim awareness, budgeting, parenting, communication skills and employability. They discuss moral issues and have a module called Christianity Explored.  HMP Brixton went on to say that the course is open to men of any faith who are willing to explore from a Christian perspective the resettlement issues that might bind their minds or infect their conscience.

Lagos 2013 : Ebute Metta


Here is a community where being real and relevant is key. June to September is their rain season. I found out that they are on top of every breaking news item from around the world.  How they are viewed and portrayed by others around the world  is a concern.  The corruption in Nigeria is apparent to all who live there, however their motto is  “strive to over come it”.