In this episode of Our Voices, we hear from Emily, a midwife from Southwest England who thrives on being able to connect with her patients.
She begins by talking about how the pandemic has impacted the amount of time she actually gets to spend with them due to the time spent applying and removing her PPE, which has to be factored into her 20-minute appointments. She longs for the time when doing this will once again become unnecessary so that she can go back to focusing only on her patients’ needs and concerns.
Having an interest in other people is something that Emily has inherited from her grandmother. Emily describes her grandmother as being someone who has “dedicated her life to helping other people”. Learning about some of the things her grandmother has done is fascinating: she opened an orphanage when she was younger and, despite “not having a penny to her name”, when her husband’s parents needed to go into care, she got a loan to open a residential home so that she knew they would be looked after. Such acts have made a profound impression on Emily, who sees her grandmother as an inspiration.
As part of her job, Emily provides home visits to her patients. One such visit made a particular impression. She was visiting an asylum seeker who had two young children, one of them as the result of rape. The woman and the children were living in a tiny room, which Emily describes as smaller than her bedroom. Due to the fact that the woman had no documentation, she had been unable to secure suitable housing. Emily describes the woman as looking “sad and defeated”.
Spending time with her own two young nephews outside of work, Emily could not help but continue to think about the woman. The circumstances of her life seemed so unfair and she wanted to do something to help her. Naturally, she went to her grandmother with these thoughts, knowing that she would feel the same way. After talking together, her grandmother decided that they had to find a way to help and so she decided to make her own property, which she had previously planned on renting, available for the housing of asylum seekers.
Reflecting on how the struggles of the pandemic have affected her and the people she has visited, Emily talks about how blessed she feels to have the job she has and to have such things as a house and a garden. Seeing how some people have struggled, she appreciates that she’s “been very lucky and there are people who haven’t been very lucky” during this time. As a result, she makes it her mission to “be as kind as I possibly can”. Her kindness and interest in others has now led Emily to volunteering with charities which assist asylum seekers such as the woman she met. Through her work and her volunteering, it is her continuing mission to make a difference.
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