Daily Archives: February 6, 2015

40 years ago Barbados teenager Marcia Rollins went to England to become a nurse

Black Caribbean nurses made a huge difference in England’s National Health Service

Marcia Rollins is from Barbados. She always wanted to be a nurse but opportunities were limited on the island so when the UK needed new recruits she joined thousands of other Caribbean people and left for the ‘mother country’.

“It was always my dream to be a nurse. England was seen as the mother country and there were opportunities in England moreso than here in Barbados to do nursing.

I was terrified but full of hope for the future…

My plans were to go there and study nursing and get back to Barbados as fast as I could.”

Marcia was just 19 when she arrived in England and intended to return to Barbados soon after her training finished. She actually ended up spending 40 years in the NHS making a unique and valuable contribution as a Registered Nurse and gaining a diploma in health care. She retired in 2008 and moved back to Barbados.

“It was always my dream to be a nurse. England was seen as the mother country and there were opportunities in England moreso than here in Barbados to do nursing.

I was terrified by full of hope for the future…

My plans were to go there and study nursing and get back to Barbados as fast as I could.

You had things that weren’t very nice – Get back to the Jungle. Take your black hands off me. Things like that were said to you. To be quite honest, I didn’t let things like that bother me…”

Then I had a family… two small children and going back to Barbados was a far dream. I have no regrets. I consider England to be a University of Life.”

Read the entire story at Black Union Jack

Also from the same era, see BFP’s Bajan Ralph Straker passes in the UK – One of thousands recruited from the Caribbean by London Transport in the 1950s

 

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Immigration, Race