Meet The Team: Sonia Davda, TLS interpreter

Every month, we introduce you to one of our team. This month, meet Sonia Davda, one of our interpreters who works in Gujarati, Urdu, Hindi and English.

Tell us about the role you do for TLS.

As someone originally employed as an interpreter, I have been able to develop and grow in TLS. Not only do I assist the patients in bridging the linguistic gap between them and the health professionals in Gujarati, Hindi and Urdu, I also assist with ACE assessments in the dementia memory clinic and support the doctors and nurses in creating the reports of the patients. Working at TLS has allowed me to combine my passion for languages with my desire to support those in need of mental health care.

What’s been your favourite project at TLS?

I would say that dementia is my main focus of work with the memory clinic. As someone who has seen the impact of dementia first hand through my mother’s experience, I am passionate about finding ways to improve the lives of those affected by this disease. Through my work with the memory clinic, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the latest research, treatments and care strategies for dementia. In turn, using the knowledge learnt to help improve the lives of patients has been extremely rewarding for me.

What has been your biggest challenge?

One challenge has been balancing the demands of interpreting with the need for quality patient care. As an interpreter, it can be difficult to maintain a neutral position while still conveying accurate information to both patients and doctors. However, by building strong relationships with patients and actively listening to their concerns, I am better able to support them in navigating the health care system. It is my immense pleasure and privilege to be working with extremely professional and caring professionals, and I have built a great rapport with them.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?

If I didn’t do my current job, I would love to become an interior designer. Designing my own home and Zen garden has been a passion of mine, and I find it extremely fulfilling to create a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Such work would allow me to use my creativity, attention to detail and problem-solving skills to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives – just like I am in my current job!

Tell us something interesting about you.

One interesting thing about me is that I have a passion for fusion cooking and art and craft. I enjoy learning about the traditional methods and techniques used in Indian cuisine and experimenting with different flavours and spices. In addition, I find great joy in creating unique pieces of art and craft, such as handmade gift bags, greeting cards, artificial floral displays, decorating mirrors, candles. Creating “Best from waste” is my passion. When I’m not cooking or crafting, you can find me with my nose buried in a historical novel. I love exploring different time periods and immersing myself in the cultures of the past. I also enjoy penning down my philosophical thoughts in the form of poems. Whilst I was in India on my holidays, I learned to play the table, an Indian musical instrument.

If you could meet someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

If I could meet someone, living or dead, it would be Mahatma Gandhi. As a source of inspiration to me, his unwavering commitment to justice and equality is something that I deeply admire. What I find most impressive about Gandhi is his humility and his humanity. Despite his incredible achievements, he always remained grounded and dedicated to serving others. It would be an honour to meet and learn from such a great leader and advocate for peace.

What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?

Although I am conversant with lots of medicines, I’d like to do a course on medication to enhance my knowledge and also to a do a refresher course in AMPSAR. Finally, food for thought which resonates with Thomas Odem: I have no desire to move mountains, construct monuments, or leave behind in my wake material evidence of existence but in the final recollection, if the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon anyone’s face or a touch of joy within their then in living – I have made my mark.

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