In June 2022, we welcomed Ese Johnson to our team as Development Manager for Minority Ethnic Health.
In this role, he will shape our work with minority ethnic communities and extend our current projects communicating sexual health and HIV prevention messages.
We interviewed Ese to learn more about him, and about what he’ll bring to the role.
Why did you apply to be Development Manager for Minority Ethnic Health at Waverley Care?
One of my first experiences of Waverley Care came a few months after I had migrated from Nigeria to Scotland. I was having a tough time with my sexuality – and sexual health – and Waverley Care was there to provide support and strength when I had no one else to turn to. I can definitely say that without that support I would not be who I am today.
When the opportunity to work at Waverley Care came up, and with people from minority ethnic communities like myself, I had to take it. It was partly to become involved with the good work that Waverley Care does, but also to be there for people like myself as Waverley Care had been for me. I want to use this role to make sexual health services and information as accessible and representative as possible for all minority ethnic communities in Scotland. This desire comes from a very personal place – being HIV positive, an immigrant refugee, and a person of minority ethnicity in Scotland.
What previous experience will you bring to the role?
Before joining Waverley Care, I worked at Terrence Higgins Trust in community engagement and health promotion, and as a project manager engaging the public in sexual health service creation and delivery. One of the things I am most proud of is setting up the framework for Oxfordshire’s first community support project for gay and bisexual men and trans people. I also have experience of working on academic research focused on HIV infection control and the eradication of HIV-related stigma in the global context.
What are you most excited to work on?
I am most excited about interacting with people across Scotland from different backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. I look forward to bringing members of minority ethnic communities together to champion the promotion of good sexual health information, and to make sexual health services more representative of all of us.
What hobbies do you have outside of work?
I never tire of picking new hobbies, especially creative and artistic ones. In my spare time I like to sew, knit, upcycle, and repurpose furniture. I am also a budding social butterfly, so I enjoy being out with friends in a pub, hiking up a Monroe, or on a road trip to a remote part of Scotland. When at home, I’m almost always cozied up on the sofa with the TV on.
How can you be contacted?
Get in touch with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.