I have chosen to share a tribute to a very dear and well respected colleague Lorraine Cameron (pictured left).
Lorraine and I worked closely over several years as part of the wider Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Equality Diversity and Practitioner Group. Lorraine worked tirelessly as the head of ED&I at Bradford NHS and across the whole Equality Diversity and Inclusion agenda as part of the regional group and also decorated nationally in recognition for her work.
It is with deep sadness that I share this tribute in remembrance of Lorraine Cameron’s contribution to improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across the Yorkshire and the Humber system.
Beverley Powell, Development Manager, Yorkshire and the Humber Leadership Academy
A tribute to Lorraine Cameron, who sadly died on 7 June 2019, from the Yorkshire and Humber NHS Equality and Diversity Leads Network
Lorraine, Head of Equality and Diversity at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust (BTHFT), was an active and valued member of our network since its inception. For many years she was an enthusiastic and trusted member of our planning group.
She was a well-respected leader in the field of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Lorraine always liked a spreadsheet and she was our data queen. She did a lot of work in her trust to set targets for employing more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people at all levels of the organisation. At network meetings she shared with us the graphs and charts she’d produced to keep the trust board up to date with progress. Lorraine helped many of us who were in the habit of taking a “hearts and minds” approach to our work to see that using clearly presented statistics was a method more likely to influence board members and senior managers. This is now exactly the approach outlined in the new national WRES Model Employer initiative.
She also made a really positive impression a couple of years ago when she ventured over the Pennines to our sister network in the North West and shared her approach to using workforce equality data with equality, diversity and inclusion leads there.
Lorraine introduced and led Project SEARCH at BTHFT– providing paid internships at the hospital to people with learning disabilities. Lorraine loved this project and it has won several national awards. It has been really successful in showing many hospital staff and managers that there are lots of jobs in a hospital that people with learning disabilities can do really well and in supporting many learning disabled people into paid employment at BTHFT, in the wider NHS and with other employers. Lorraine was very generous in sharing her learning from this project with our network and in supporting network members to set up similar projects in their trusts.
There is so much we’ll miss about Lorraine – not least her great chairing skills which helped us keep on track with our packed meeting agendas. We all appreciated her dry sense of humour which helped us through our discussions about contentious issues.
For her this job was political, not in the sense it is often used at work to mean manoeuvring for personal gain but about redressing power imbalances and fighting for social justice. She brought to her work and our network energy and passion that we all benefited from. Sometimes she was impatient; especially when we failed yet again to see what was to her completely obvious. She was equally impatient with abstract idealism and her practicality and ability to “cut through the crap” often helped us to solve problems. Her honesty was refreshing and she leaves a hole in our network that is impossible to fill.
Lorraine and colleagues receiving an award for their Project SEARCH work