International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.
In celebration of International Women’s Day 2023, we wanted to celebrate some of the amazing working women in our own Practice team.
Introducing four fabulous women who have their own inspirational stories. (L-R) Sarah Culpan, Lesley Berry, Carmel Rhodes and Debra Gilbert.
Sarah Culpan: Lead Nurse Care Co-ordinator
Sarah left college with qualifications in art and design initially before she realised her dream was to become a district nurse. After completing a nursing qualification in Sheffield, Sarah found there were no vacant district nursing roles so embarked on a two-year nursing role on the respiratory ward in a local hospital.
Sarah is married to Mark who is in the military, and they relocated to the midlands when Mark’s work required a move. Sarah worked for a number of years in the Nottingham community nursing team before they made a home in Melton Mowbray.
Sarah then took a role as a community nurse locally and then four months after welcoming her first child, Sarah embarked on her Specialist Practitioner qualification in district nursing!
Sarah comments “I was approached to join LHMP in 2014 and I’ve loved developing my role and the care coordinator team. I feel privileged to have the freedom to shape the team to the needs of our patients. We focus on patient support, case management and putting things in place to ensure patients are supported at home.”
Sarah shared that she remains committed to developing the team and herself and this is never more evident than in her recent Cavell nursing prize awarded in September 2022 for her outstanding contribution to nursing.
Sarah leads a team of nurse care coordinators who provide support to patients with complex care needs.
“People often say to me that I must have a hard job but I feel like I have the most rewarding job I could ask for. I feel very privileged to care for the patients I do. Being able to make a difference in just a small way makes my job every bit worthwhile.” said Sarah.
Sarah’s mantra is Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.
Lesley Berry: Nurse Care Coordinator
Most of us know Lesley as a nurse care coordinator but others may know her as the landlady of The Chumley Arms in Burton le Coggles or maybe as the manager of the local farm shop attached to the pub!
Lesley is married to John who is a chef and Lesley was a practicing nurse when an opportunity came up for the couple to run the local pub in 2009. They jumped at the chance and with the support of the local community, have made it a roaring success. Lesley continued in nursing until 2011 when she left to focus on the family business.
In 2015, Lesley and her husband were contacted by a TV company requesting them to take part in the TV show ‘Four in a bed’. The show invites four business owners to visit each other’s premises and feedback by paying what they felt the stay was worth. After a day of making sausages and a night spent at the pub, it was a hands down win for Lesley and John!
Thankfully, Lesley returned to nursing and now splits her time between running the pub, managing the community farm shop and caring for our patients. Lesley is affectionately known as ‘Mrs Organised’ and it’s clear to see this is an essential skill for a woman with three working roles!
Lesley’s mantra is: There is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.
Carmel Rhodes: Reception services
Carmel has been working at LHMP since 2018 and is woman of immense empathy and strength. Carmel joined the Practice 18 months after the tragic loss of her 19year old son, Thomas.
Carmel comments “There are no words to describe the impact on a family after the loss of a child/young adult. I have always been open and honest about our family experience and sometimes we have better days than others. Soon after starting at LHMP, I was made to feel very supported by my team. Not just by my closest work team, but by all my colleagues. I feel strongly that we should be more open and honest with our feelings and seek the support we need. I consider myself lucky to come to work every day and feel supported, especially if I’m not having a great day.”
“As we celebrate women all over the world today, I am celebrating all the amazing women I work with at Latham House who truly make a difference in people’s lives every day, even if they don’t realise it.”
Carmel and Tom’s friends ‘Forever19Tom’ hold an annual football tournament every August, which is near Tom’s Birthday all funds raised are donated to Mind and the Air Ambulance and they would love your support if you’d like to attend future events.
Carmel’s mantra is Never underestimate the power of listening.
Debra Gilbert: Nursing Associate
In 1984, In the era that was ‘Jim Bishop’, Debra joined LHMP on a work experience placement and spent a year in the Casualty department working with the lovely nurses like Hazel Armstrong. It was then Hazel’s husband who tempted Debra over to commercial business where she worked for several years managing the exporting and importing of engineering machinery.
A growing family followed, and it was then that Debra felt the pull back to the health & care sector.
In 2002 Debra became a carer in the community followed by a move to the Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU) at Glenfield Hospital before returning to LHMP in 2016 as a receptionist before progressing to be a qualified HCA.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Debra began a Nursing Associate foundation degree in 2020.
Debra comments “After many, many years out of school I cannot say it was easy to return to education and at times I really thought I couldn’t finish it BUT, with the excellent support of tutors, management, and colleagues I carried on and I’m delighted that I completed my foundation degree.”
Debra continues “I like to learn new things, and get the little grey cells working, but would I do it all over again? Probably!”
Deb Gilbert is known as a ray of sunshine around the Practice to both staff and patients.
Debra’s mantra is: Believe in yourself, trust your judgement, and go for it.
This is a snapshot of just four fabulous working women who are an inspiration across not only our organisation but also with our patients, community and the families and friends they support every day and who support them in return.
We hope that by sharing these stories you can draw inspiration and strength or just make four fabulous new friends.