At Askham Village Community, we’re taking time to appreciate our wonderful team and celebrate diversity inclusion as we approach International Nurses Day.


We’re passionate about encouraging our workforce to flourish with a beautiful array of cultural variations and traditions. It’s an opportunity for both staff and residents to learn more about the world around us, and listen to some wonderful stories.

Keep reading to discover how we embrace cultural differences at Askham:


Diversity Inclusion: Celebrating a Variety of Cultural Backgrounds

We’re incredibly proud of our dedicated team, who go above and beyond to ensure our residents are comfortable and happy. Not only do they deliver exceptional care on a daily basis, but throughout the pandemic, our carers bravely stepped outside their comfort zones to ensure that our services continued to run as smoothly as possible.

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on Florence Nightingale’s birthday; one of the most influential nurses of all time. In addition to celebrating the quality of care delivered to our residents, we’re also championing the incredible diversity that our workforce embraces.


Diversity Inclusion: Sharing Our Stories

Our founders, Salma and Salim Giga, were both born in East Africa – and together, they built and developed the Askham business in the 1980s. From the very beginning, they were passionate about promoting diversity inclusion amongst their community; an ethos that is proudly being carried forward by their daughter, Aliyyah, who oversees our services.

Shainy Mathew, Lead Nurse at Askham, joined our team from overseas in 2011. Originally from India, she saw the opportunity to move to the UK as a way to further her skills in social care – and since joining the team, she has progressed from a registered nurse to a management position.

When asked about her eleven years at Askham, Shainy said: “What I love most about Askham is the teamwork and community feeling, as well as the supportive directors and management who help us deliver the best quality of care for clients.

“Askham always supports employees from various nationalities, and we are all treated with equality. In fact, many of the residents express a keen interest in my heritage and it has become a talking point throughout my career. I think the fact I have been here for eleven years speaks volumes to the way I have been treated, not only as an employee but as an Indian woman.”

Another success story comes in the form of Lead Nurse, Maryia Petkova, an integral senior figure at Askham, whose culture is rooted in Bulgaria. She has been settled in the UK since 2014, and was inspired by her grandmother who was also working in the country as a lead nurse. Taking into account that she had come from a medically trained family, we offered Mariya the opportunity to blossom within a fair and diverse workforce.

When asked about her experience of working at Askham, Mariya said: “My grandmother was always a role model to me, so when she decided to retire, I was keen to follow in her footsteps and Askham gave me the opportunity to do so. The best part about working here is seeing the success of the team’s hard work.

“I love that the senior management and owners are very approachable, and I always feel supported. I also enjoy discussing my heritage with residents and see it as an opportunity to forge relationships, not create barriers — something I really think is down to the culture of Askham.”

Lead Nurse Anju Antony also comes from India and since arriving in the UK in 2012, has delivered exceptional standards of care, with the continued support of professional training that goes beyond mandatory levels and focuses on improving her leadership skills.

Anju said: “Askham has played a significant role in my professional life and it’s through their motivation and support, I became a lead nurse. Throughout my career here, I have never felt that my Indian heritage has been an issue and like many of my colleagues, I enjoy it when residents interact with my culture, so I often wear traditional Indian necklaces or clothes — which they love!”


How We’re Continuing to Embrace Diversity

Shainy, Mariya and Anju are just three examples, from a team of over twenty nurses at Askham, of how the entire Askham Community endeavours to continue broadening our cultural roots beyond the UK, and the result has been a compassionate workforce that treats each other with respect and dignity.

We also hold an annual celebration of cultural diversity, which is set to take place on the 17th May and will call upon food, music, dress and more to further recognise the diversity of our staff and residents.


At Askham, we’re always welcoming new residents and staff into our growing community. For further information, please contact 01354 740269 or visit our website.