In celebration of International Nurses Day on 12 May 2021, a mental health and learning disabilities NHS Trust has turned an iconic image of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, into an inspiring mural.

The famous ‘Lady with the Lamp’ image has been recreated as a mural using photos of 180 nurses from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust – and, as a symbol to reflect nursing in 2021, a face mask has also been added.

Clare Parker, executive director of nursing and a proud learning disability nurse, at Pennine Care, said: “International Nurses Day marks the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday; what better way to celebrate the dedication and commitment for our nursing workforce than to create this amazing piece of artwork.”

Pennine Care provides mental health and learning disability services across Greater Manchester. Its nursing workforce makes up nearly a third of its staff with nurses caring and treating adults, young people and children in hospital and in the community.

Kameka Sarju, aged 36, is a mental health nurse at Royal Oldham Hospital and started as a nursing assistant with Pennine Care in 2012. Kameka said: “My grandmother was an auxiliary nurse from the Windrush era – she worked here in Oldham and she was most definitely my biggest inspiration to become a nurse.”

Oliver Nugent, aged 28, is also a mental health nurse at Royal Oldham Hospital and is just about to start a new position as a senior liaison practitioner helping people in mental health crisis who come into hospital. Oliver said: “It was really thanks to my dad that I got into nursing. I was working in a restaurant and he sat me down and told me I needed to focus on something new; he thought mental health nursing might be a career that I would be good and he was right, I absolutely love it.”

25 year old Amy Fletcher is a community learning disability nurse and graduated with a learning disability nursing and social work degree three years ago. Amy said: “I have a brother who is diagnosed with a moderate learning disability, autism and dyspraxia. Caring for my brother and growing up seeing the challenges my mother had to face gave me a passion to improve the care and welfare of vulnerable people.

“The best thing about my job is that I help people make their own choices and achieve a good quality of life. As a society we have a tendency to treat people differently because of their ‘disability’ but they have a right to make their own choices as much as I do.”

Mak Inayat, aged 55, is the named nurse for safeguarding children and looked after children and has been a nurse for 37 years. Mak said: “I was inspired to become nurse when I was a teenager. I remember working part-time at a supermarket and I helped a distressed man who was anxious whilst out shopping. I managed to calm him down and it felt good and rewarding and he was very appreciative of my support. Continuing to make a difference is what I love most about my job.”

Susan Griffiths, aged 47, is a liaison mental health manager working with A&E at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and Rochdale Infirmary. Susan said: “I’ve always wanted to know what shapes a person’s personality and to really understand what makes each of us unique. I love my job, every day is different, our team is always busy and you never know what challenges you are going to face.”


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