NURSES who came to Bradford from India to work with mental health patients have celebrated ten years in the city.

The 30 recruits travelled to Bradford in 2004 to start careers as mental health nurses at Bradford District Care Trust. After undergoing adaptation training, language tests, mental health training, and registration with the nursing midwifery council, the team pursued careers in the NHS.

Now, a decade on, 15 of the nurses are still working for the Trust in a range of mental health services. They are Bobee Jain, Jean Margaret Samuel, Liju Parathottal Anthony, Jayasankar Devaraj, Prashant Wasnik, Raj Rajasekar, Jentin James, Devansena Jayaraman, Mohna Karunanithi, Mohan Thamdapend, Neera Kumar, Suresh Ramaiah, Silvakumar Veerabadran, Bala Kathirvela and Anushree Shirodkar.

Mr Jain, who worked as a community psychiatric nurse for the Trust, said: "I arrived in Bradford with only a 15kg suitcase. I was nervous as I did not know anyone and hadn’t travelled abroad before. Little did I know ten years later I would be a qualified, registered mental health nurse and have my own family here in Bradford!

"The celebration day was a great way to all get together with our families and mark our achievements both personally and professionally.”

The event was attended by more than 80 people, including family, friends and colleagues, and included celebration lamp-lighting, traditional Indian dance, singing and presentations.

Jayasankar Devaraj, a mental health nurse at the Trust, said: “The celebration gave us an opportunity to see the differences between us now and at the time when we first came to England – it’s a memorable life event to me.”

Each nurse was presented with a small commemorative souvenir and certificate to mark the occasion. Community matron Julie Megaw and nursing professional lead Rebecca Bentley made the presentations.

Mrs Bentley said: "Overseas nurses make a very valuable contribution to patient care bringing their experiences here to people in Bradford. We thanked the nurses for their commitment and contribution since 2004.

"There was a real sense of achievement at the event and a real family atmosphere. The whole day left me feeling really proud.”

Prashant Wasnik, assistant ward manager at the Trust, said: “I was already a qualified nurse when I came to the UK. The celebration day was unforgettable and important as it shows that we have been practising as a good nurses who are caring for clients and carers."