UK: Safeguarding lead Bea says inspired to work in palliative care by her Zimbabwean mum

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IT was watching how her mum looked after her grandmothers at the end of their lives, that inspired Beatrice Alberts to want a career in palliative care.

Beatrice, who goes by the name Bea, originally trained in accounting and working in a bank in Zimbabwe.

She and her husband and child emigrated to the UK in 2002 and she started her career in care as a healthcare assistant before joining Havens Hospices at Fair Havens in 2010.

Beatrice, who is now the social work and safeguarding lead at Havens Hospices, said: “Being in a different country was scary, but the people at Havens Hospices were so supportive. I was taught by the best and have found friends for life.”

During her time at the hospice, Bea decided that she wanted to become a social worker, so she completed an undergraduate degree in therapeutic communication and therapeutic organisations at the University of Essex whilst working at the hospice.

After completing her degree, she wanted to further her knowledge of policies and management, so she went on to study for an MSc in health and social care management and policy at London Metropolitan University before becoming a family support worker at Fair Havens in 2019.

She said: “I had a break from work during the pandemic and thought, maybe now is my time to become a social worker, everything happens for a reason. So, I applied to the University of Essex to study an MA in Social Work and was one of the students nominated to receive an NHS bursary to cover the cost of the course.”

Whilst studying for her Masters, Bea returned to Havens Hospices as a family support worker before becoming an assistant social worker.

After completing her course and achieving the highest grade possible, a distinction, Bea has now become a social worker and is a safeguarding lead for the charity.

“I’m very happy. Havens Hospices has been very supportive of me, they always ensured my education came first and helped me keep a good work, family and university balance,” said Bea.

As part of her new role, Bea will lead on the charity’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure fair treatment and opportunity for patients and families. She is very much looking forward to working with colleagues to achieve this.