Our people - celebrating Black History Month

Delroy Edwards, a Security Officer at King's College Hospital tells us about his role and what Black History Month means to him.

Delroy - Security Team

October is Black History Month, and during this important month, we are celebrating just some of the many black staff who work at King’s.

Delroy is a member of our fantastic security team - they work across our hospital sites and provide a crucial service.

Hi Delroy! Can you tell us about your role?

"Hello, it is great to see you! I am a member of the security team here in the Trust. I have been doing this role for 21 years and I have seen it evolve over the past two decades.

"The role involves ensuring that all members of staff have a safe working environment so that they can focus on providing support and and treatment to those who visit the hospital. It is just not about staff, but patients and visitors also need help."

How does the role challenge you?

"The role is very challenging and unpredictable, no one day is the same.

"The key in this role is to have the patience of a saint! Weekends are invariably challenging, especially in the Emergency Department.

"More and more people are now socialising after lockdowns, and we are seeing more people visiting our hospitals, especially with injuries related to alcohol consumption."

Delroy added: "At times, we as a security team deal with very aggressive members of the public visiting the hospital. It is these situations, which need careful negotiations to de-escalate.

"At King's we expect patients and visitors to respect staff, and not to threaten them verbally or physically. Staff work so hard caring for others and we expect visitors and patients to treat them with kindness and respect."

What do you enjoy most about your role?

"One thing I enjoy about my role is the variety!

"I also enjoy speaking to people, and I often spend large parts of my day directing people to various locations, wards, and departments across the hospital."

What does Black History Month mean to you?

"The theme of this year's Black History Month is "Proud To Be", and I can tell you that I am proud to be black and who I am. I know my history, and I want other people to learn and acknowledge my history also.

"It’s important that this dedicated month in October is for people to do all they can to learn about the history of people of African origin. Black people have made so many contributions in this country and yet sometimes it is not acknowledged by the society at large. I would like people to acknowledge our contributions on a daily basis, rather than just waiting for October each year.

"I am proud of the contributions I have made to King’s, and I want to share these experiences with those who will follow me. Now is the time to share and celebrate our culture and heritage; including enjoying food, music, and dance.

"The past two years have been tough for so many black people and many being affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am glad King’s is at the forefront supporting our security team and other colleagues across the hospital to join and celebrate Black History Month 2021."