Sen’s life did not begin in Salisbury but in the city of Manila, Philippines where she was born in 1976 and grew up with her Mum, Sister and Gran. Life was challenging in many ways but her family understood that gaining a good education was the key to a better future and made many sacrifices to ensure that Sen and her sister were able to achieve that.
Sen always wanted to be a nurse: a vocation that was about caring for others but also knowing it provided a sound, professional career with good future prospects. After successfully gaining her nursing degree and registration to practice in the Philippines at age 19, Sen eventually found fulfilling work in the country’s only specialist orthopaedic hospital, still based in Manila. The idea of working abroad then became a possibility and Sen was persuaded by her friends to join them in applying to work in Salisbury, UK.
In 1999 Salisbury District Hospital, like the rest of the NHS, was finding it difficult to recruit enough nurses from the UK and had decided to venture to the Philippines – a country that had a glut of nurses at the time. Sen, and her friends were interviewed and offered jobs so on 7th April 2000 Sen, and 10 others arrived in London. They arrived in Salisbury, with very little baggage, to begin a new life in a totally different country, a different culture and a different language
Sen talks about how welcome she felt, both in Salisbury District Hospital and the wider Salisbury Community, although at that time she and her colleagues stood out as they were some of the first foreigners in Salisbury. The hospital had publicised their arrival so everyone seemed to know about them.
Hear about her first impressions of Salisbury and of the hospital, where she was allocated to nurse at the Spinal Treatment Centre due to her previous nursing experiences. Sen has now been nursing there for 21 years, gaining promotions and career development throughout.
A saying that Sen has always used as a guide to life: “No matter what knocks you down in life, get back up and keep going. Never give up, great blessings are a result of great perseverance”
Finally hear about the people who have inspired Sen and her wise words about dealing with prejudice and how she now tries to inspire others. A life appreciating the richness of friendship and community, respecting others and finding one’s own way.