Black History Month – Yetunde Lolade Abiodun’s story

October 16, 2020

Photo of Yetunde

As part of Black History Month, we spoke to Yetunde Lolade Abiodun, mental health nurse at EPUT, about her experiences within the NHS.

I am the second generation of British Black African born in Lambeth of Nigerian Heritage and, since the age of 10, I wanted to be a nurse. My parents insisted that I should study a different course, which led me to complete my first degree in English Language and Literature Studies. I finally fulfilled my real dreams in 2005, at age 32, when I graduated as a mental health nurse from Middlesex University London.

I joined EPUT in 2016, having worked in various health sectors for 15 years and completing my return to practice course at Anglia Ruskin University under EPUT funding.

Alongside working with the NHS, I worked in Africa for seven years with help from various health related funding from DFID, Global Fund, Centre for Disease Control and prevention -CDC, PEPFAR, USAID, Elton John Foundation and Walter Reed Projects. These projects were in relation to HIV and AIDS, addressing issues on injecting and non-injecting drug users and providing support for LGBTQ people in Nigeria. I have co-written various research papers published in reputable journals on these marginalised groups in Africa, especially Nigeria.

As a senior programme coordinator in Population Council Nigeria, I headed and co-established the first sexual health clinic for gay men in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria.

I have a great passion for working with patients with mental health issues and those in difficult health terrain and I believe that everyone has the right to receive good healthcare. My hobbies include reading and travelling around the world.

My current role is ECT Lead Nurse in the ECT clinic at the Linden Centre and I am a BAME network member within the Trust. Being a BAME network member has enabled me to have involvement in the ongoing equality improvement scheme within the Trust.

I draw inspiration from Martin Luther King and my quest for knowledge has no boundaries. I believe that everyone is unique in respect of their race, gender, sexuality and religion. The truth is that we can be the best we can be if we are not divided.