Matilda AfonsoSouth Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is happening from 18 July until 17 August and the theme for 2022 is Journeys of Empire. SASH staff of South Asian heritage are taking part by sharing their case studies.


1. Why did you join the NHS?

When I first came from Goa in India, I didn’t actually know what the NHS was. My brother-in-law works at SASH and told me there was a vacancy in facilities, so I tried. I applied for the role and got it. I really enjoy my job. 

2. Tell us about your NHS journey.

I’ve been at SASH for two and a half years. I joined at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and I was so confused about which wards I could go into because COVID changed everything. Now I’m more familiar and really like my job and working for the NHS. I enjoy talking to the people and staff. People are kind and I am happy to work at SASH.

3. Describe your proudest moment.

When my daughter came to the UK. I am proud of both of my children and proud to be their mother.

4. What does South Asian Heritage Month mean to you?

It’s nice to have a month that recognises South Asian countries and its people. I feel proud to be celebrating South Asian Heritage Month.

5. What makes you proud about your culture and heritage? 

I miss my country. I love my India and my motherland. I miss all sorts of things about home. I miss the food, the colourful festivals, and families coming together. People like to spend time together. For any event, we’d all come together and talk late into the night. All the different festivals I have seen, Muslim, Hindu and Christian – everyone goes all out, and we have many different cultures in our country. I love to see all of them.

6. What is the one South Asian dish you cannot live without or what is your favourite South Asian food?

I love biriyani and different types of vegetables, some of which you can’t get in the UK. I have a sweet tooth, so also love gulab jamun and kaju katli!

7. If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing? 

I am happy where I am and only hope to encourage my children to study hard and follow their dreams.

For more activities, visit the South Asian Heritage Month website to discover a calendar of online events, or take a look at SASHnet to find out how we'll be celebrating at SASH.