As someone who has fairly recently joined the charity, I’ve been keen to get out and about to understand the hospitals we support, meeting more staff and patients. 

Working in the Communications team at our charity means having a good understanding of the hospitals we serve, and gathering video, images and stories is really important to the role. The Horton is a really special hospital with a personality all of its own – and after a couple of short visits there, I wanted to do a deeper delve.


My goal was to meet more of the amazing staff and photograph them as teams or individually, to gather some new content to celebrate International Nurses Day on the 12th of May 2024.


I got there nice and early met with Yolanda Jacob, the Operational Manager, for a catch-up and to share my plan for the day. She was very excited for me to be there and discuss the importance of the hospital charity. I started at the Children’s Ward, meeting the fantastic Student Nurse, Ash, who had just joined the team and told me that he’s really enjoying working at the Horton.


This was followed by seeing Anna Brain, a Ward Sister in the Children’s Hospital who we met when we recently visited to capture the wonderful work by our Artlink programme, which has given the whole area an amazing makeover using bespoke murals to brighten the treatment rooms and bays. I then chatted with Rob Wilcock, also a nurse on the ward, who has taken part in many events for the charity over the years and very recently took part in the OX5 RUN at Blenheim Palace.


The Children’s Ward at the Horton has really benefitted from the support of our charity –  with toys and tech, such as playroom equipment and VR headsets, helping to distract children in pain and keep youngsters smiling. Much of the high-tech medical equipment there has also been funded through the charity.


I then went over to the Pathology Unit where I met Alfy, Miriam, Rose, Quiteria and Lynda who were very excited about having a group photo taken and shared their experiences on the ward over the past few weeks. I popped over to the Women’s Day Surgery and Diagnostic Unit Ward where I met Michelle, Tracy, and Sally! I recognised Sally’s smiling face instantly because she took part in one of the charity’s Artlink projects last year that celebrated the 75th anniversary of the NHS. Sally is immortalised in a personalised portrait stitched by the wonderful artist Harriet Riddell.


She loved the idea of sharing the various images of the nurses across all things digital to celebrate International Nurses Day. We had some fun taking the photos, while I quizzed her on local events the charity might get involved in. Sally was still answering phones and caring for those on the ward – a true multi-tasker.


If you know the Horton, the Maternity Unit is just outside the main building. I made my way over to where I was met by the lovely Stevie who was excited about the makeover at the entrance. She showed me around and told me all about the team. We took a fantastic group photo at the entrance in front of the pink wall – Natalie, Stevie, Olivia, Tanya and Julie thank you so much for sharing a little of your time during your busy schedule.


Finally, I headed over to the Endoscopy Unit - where I met Mishka at the main desk.  As soon as I mentioned I was taking photos for International Nurses Day I had nurses throwing themselves at me to have their photos taken! They shared their stories of why they wanted to work for the NHS and how much of a community they have been part of while working at the Horton. It was really special indeed.


I was also able to talk to them about the work of our charity and how we are able to fund specialist medical equipment, extra support for patients and staff and make the hospitals more welcoming and comfortable for patients of all ages. The lovely Enkio and Hayley are new to the Trust and very much looking forward to their future here and Claudette… well she was just a natural in front of the camera!

Special mentions to Suja, Simu, Soumya and Anie who also shared their experiences with me during my visit.


I am very much looking forward to spending even more time at the Horton to promote the work of the charity and sharing the impact of the work we do – it’s fabulous to spend time with the wonderful staff there!

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