Be Seen Be Heard Be Recognised

#BeSeenBeHeardBeRecognised was the hashtag for our recent International Nursing and Midwifery Association (INMA) Celebration event, and it certainly lived up to expectations. We reflect on the event in this blog from the day, written by Jeni Caguioa, FNF’s Head of Global.

The engagement programme started in November 2020 when we only had four associations at that time and now, we have scoped 33 associations from 26 nations. Bringing together associations that provide culturally sensitive pastoral care to internationally educated nurses and midwives who have come to the UK, I feel very privileged to work with INMA leaders who are passionate about advocacy work for their communities. We wanted to celebrate the work of the INMAs and share the impact of the recently concluded second round of small grants administered by Florence Nightingale Foundation, funded by NHS England.

England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May, is the sponsor of this small grants programme. This aims to advance the pastoral support, health and wellbeing and professional support of internationally recruited nurses and midwives in England; enhance the leadership and project management skills of the INMA leaders; and support emerging INMAs to establish their associations and work on their sustainability. Ruth delivered the keynote speech and expressed her heartfelt thanks for the contributions made by internationally recruited nurses and midwives. She also gave time to questions, ensuring that those present could truly ‘be heard’.


As part of the celebrations, participants themselves voted for several awards. Duncan Burton, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer and Director of International Recruitment at NHS England presented the recently graduated INMA Fellows with their certificates, and gave out the following awards:

  • Best Small Grants Project: Zimbabwe Health UK Association
  • Best Small Grants Presentation: Zimbabwe Health UK Association
  • Most Active INMA: Joint winners : Philippines – Philippine Nurses Association UK (PNA) and Filipino Nurses Association UK (FNA)
  • INMA Leader of the Year: Oliver Soriano (from Philippine Nurses Association UK)
  • Most Engaged INMA: Ghana Nurses Association
  • Most Engaged INMA Fellow: Primrose Magala (from Uganda Nurses and Midwives Association UK) 

“I have never before, in the ten years I have worked for the NHS, had time off to develop my leadership skills, and this is the first time I’ve had that opportunity. That has enabled me to support the Association, our members, and my community.” (Primrose Magala, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Association UK) 

The evening event was entitled “INMAs got Talent” which gave the Associations an opportunity to showcase their traditional dress through a parade of costumes by nationality followed by cultural presentations from Tibet, Philippines, India, Ghana, Jamaica and the Caribbeans.

  • Best Cultural Presentation: British Indian Nurses Association
  • Best Traditional Dress: Nepalese Nurses Association

Our theme of #BeSeenBeHeardBeRecognised was responded to by our CNO for England by her statement “I see you, I hear you and I recognise you.” The global majority on hearing this felt reassured of their value, filled with hope as they debated, connected and celebrated their work, culture and heritage in a day like no other.

The third round of small grants is open for applications (until 8 May) to help further improve the reach and sustainability of the INMAs. We also want to capture the individual impact of each INMA so please get in touch with our Impact Research Fellow on [email protected]

Follow the hashtag #BeSeenBeHeardBeRecognised on Twitter to see more photos from the day.

“The grant has enabled us to support nurses from Ghana to integrate into NHS England. From support with accommodation or registering with a GP, to providing a mentor or coach they can stay in touch with, to offload any issues to. Since the grant we have increased awareness of the support we can offer and increased membership of our Association by 10%.” (Josephine Ababio, Ghana Nurses Association)