Liz Walker – Nurse JHT 30/30

  • By JHT



I first learned of the James Hopkins Trust through their newsletter when working night duty on Battledown Ward at Cheltenham General Hospital. At the time I thought what a wonderful service it was as we were still admitting some children with disabilities onto the ward for weekend respite care at the request of the consultant. These children were not sick when they were admitted but the chances of them catching something whilst in our care was highly possible as the environment was not ideal. Time constraints on the already overstretched nursing staff meant that there was no time for play! They must have been so bored!

Moving on ten years and I am asked by a parent in the community if I would consider providing respite for their son and thus began my journey with the James Hopkins Trust. I still remember with great fondness the first and all the subsequent children for whom I went on to provide respite.

When I left the Children’s Community Team in 2003 I was offered a few hours a week in the Nursing Office as by this time the Trust was growing along with the workload and all the policies and procedures needed to be updated. I was promoted to Deputy Nursing Manager and part of my role, which I really enjoyed, was to go out and assess new families for possible respite in their home. When a Family Services Manager was employed to take over this task I took over other responsibilities such as the arrangements for training and mandatory updates, helping in the crèche as well as dealing with any day to day problems. No day was the same!

I finished my time as a trained member of staff at the Trust as Nursing Manger in 2013 when I retired. My husband Clive and I continued to volunteer at the Trust picking up the collection boxes around Cheltenham on a regular basis.

But guess what? I missed the children and the companionship of work colleagues, so in June 2017 I returned to the Trust working on the overnight stay unit as a Health Care Assistant (having let my nursing registration lapse) and loving the quality time I could spend with the children. Unfortunately I have had six months off sick this year but I hope to be back at James Hopkins Trust soon. I feel very proud and privileged to have been a part of this organisation in all of my differing roles and I have thoroughly enjoyed the variety of each and all of them.

Thank you Vance and Heather for setting up this much needed service for the people of Gloucestershire and for giving me the opportunity to meet and work with some beautiful people.


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