Following the launch of NHS Employers’ #WonderfulWomenDo campaign I have been reflecting on some of the wonderful women in my life.
I am surrounded by amazing women at work and also in my home life and I have been thinking about the women in my family - my step-grandma, my mum, my sister and my nieces. Quite often I’m asked who my role models are - it’s these amazing, strong women.
My step-grandma, Connie was the HR director for an organisation with 4,000 employees. She now uses her skills and experiences working for Crossroads, a local charity, which runs a food bank and supports people who lose their jobs. It helps them claim benefits, write a CV, apply for a new job and gain interview skills.
My mum, Elaine, worked in NHS mental health services. She also now works for Crossroads and runs a respite service for carers of dementia sufferers. Together, Elaine and Connie are a formidable force in their village, supporting those who are vulnerable to move on to a better life.
My mum frequently surprises me with her fundraising projects. Last year, with her fellow charity workers, she posed for a Calendar Girl-style calendar. My mum is 75, Connie is 91.
My sister has worked as a healthcare assistant in mental health and geriatric services since leaving college. She loves her job. She recently became an eco-warrior, saving trees in our town from being destroyed by the council and becoming a passionate, high profile spokesperson.
Her daughters are just as passionate about supporting the local community. My eldest niece is the partner of a local councillor. Rather than allowing the closure of public toilets in her village, she and her partner cleaned the toilets every weekend so that the council would keep them open.
My youngest niece works in a job where she looks after autistic young people who have had to move into residential care because their parents can no longer manage them. She has four children including a teenager and a one-year old and manages, with apparent ease, to combine the two responsibilities.
So I’m surrounded by hard-working, resilient women who are generous in the time they give to others. They are role models who encourage me to be courageous, make a positive impact on the world and support those in need.
Search for #WonderfulWomenDo on Twitter and give a shout out to wonderful women in your life.
Here’s to strong women - may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.