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Published: 18 October 2022

Inspiring stories at our long service awards

What do Michael Palin, an antiques dealer, auntie Jean and a host of other family members have in common? They've all inspired people in our teams to start a career in the NHS. We found out more when we celebrated more than 2,245 years combined service at our long service awards.

More than 100 people with service from 15 to 40 years joined us in person to celebrate, and each colleague had a different story to tell about who or what inspired them and why they are so passionate about their roles. Chief Executive Mairead McCormick reflected on her own experience of looking up to her auntie Jean, who cared for older neighbours and Gertie, a neighbour who was a registered nurse, working in the local hospital. Mairead said: “This is all about positive influence and I believe your stories will be heard by many. I know several of you have encouraged your own families into a healthcare career. I’m sure they will encourage future generations, who will eventually be the people caring for us.”

A total of 578 people were recognised this year for milestones of five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years’ in the NHS, with a combined service of 7,615 years.

In the film below we hear from colleagues about why they are so dedicated to the NHS and #TeamKCHFT.

Who inspired you?

We asked colleagues at the awards what or who inspired them to begin a healthcare career.

“Many years ago I volunteered with elderly patients that had aphasia. It was this experience that encouraged me to explore a career in speech and language and that led me to working with children suffering with speech and language difficulties. I remember 15 years ago being sent as a speech and language therapy student to Thanet from Birmingham and crying to my tutor because I was being sent so far away. However, the minute I started working with the Children’s Therapies Team I knew I wanted to be a part of it and I haven’t left since!”

Maria-Loukia Bratsou, Locality Clinical Manager, Children’s Therapies

“I wanted to be a nurse from when I was seven years old. I had a trip to A&E and what happened to me there inspired me to become a nurse. Everyone thought it was a childhood dream and that I would change my mind, but at 18 I started my training and I’m here I am today. I love my job. It’s really rewarding. I work with lots of different people who have been inspiring role models to me.”

Jane Thackwray, Clinical Services Manager

“I wanted to do medicine originally. That was my plan at school and I took all the right A-levels to do that. It was when I did two weeks work experience in a hospital that I got to try different areas and found actually physio was right for me. I love my job, it’s really changeable and in the AHP world you do have different avenues to explore which is why I’ve stayed. I love the patient satisfaction too and I really get a kick out of making people feel better.”

Jasmine Cullander, Physiotherapist, Clinical and Quality Lead