When we read Tina's nomination by her daughter Emma, we knew she had to be one of our winners. Tina enrolled to train as a nurse at the age of 60 and is currently a nurse and a mental Health Worker with the NHS. As we know, nurses and Doctors are real-life superheroes which has never been more evident than in 2020 with many of them putting their lives, families and mental health at risk to help those most in need.
Here's a snippet from Emma, Tina's daughter about her Mum: 'My Mum is an absolute hero - the most selfless person I know - she puts absolutely EVERYONE before herself, never giving herself a second thought. Without a doubt she is the strongest, most independent, bravest, most, wonderful woman I know! She absolutely deserves to feel wonderful.'We asked Tina some questions to find out a little more about her life and her thoughts on the past year...
Different to say the least. Of course, it has also been difficult as for so many people, isolated and unable to see their families during the months of lockdown but I am so grateful that I was able to get out and go to work every day - to do my bit.What have you learnt/discovered in 2020?
How people can so quickly come together and stand united when faced with a common cause. There was a real feeling of comradery in 2020 one that I wasn't sure truly existed but I am so glad it does and that we were all able to pull together as one.What are three things you are going to take with you after this year?
- Humility and gratefulness that I can continue working when so many others have faced redundancy or are on furlough.
- Always look for the good. Even during a global pandemic with all its awfulness and tragedy, I have become really aware of how nature has benefited. From the air we breathe to the birds themselves who genuinely seem to be chirping louder.
Although I was born in the UK, my parents moved to Africa when I was 6, eventually settling in Zimbabwe. It was here I married my husband John and we were blessed with 4 children.
As they completed their university courses, all but one left the country for greener pastures overseas. Their leaving coincided with changes in the country that left us feeling uncomfortable which meant we returned to England and that's when I decided I wanted to do something with my life to give back, and start nursing.Your daughter told us you enrolled for nursing at the age of 60, proving that the world really is your oyster. What advice would you give people who want to change their career?
Age is just a number, it’s what’s inside that really counts... Never let a number come between you and the fulfilment of your goals in life.Can you tell us a little bit about your journey with the NHS? When did you start, why mental health etc…
I only joined the NHS at the start of 2020 prior to that I worked for private and charitable organisations. I’ve always been interested in mental health so when I was given the opportunity to go to university in Devon and get a BSc(Hons) in mental health I jumped at it.
I couldn't have known what I was in for at the start of 2020 but it has been an incredibly rewarding time and I am so grateful that I was able to help when the NHS needed it the most.
Interesting, energetic, exhausting, rewarding and stimulating, often all at once.What can we at home do to help support the NHS?
Continue to do what you’re already doing. Stay safe, remain socially distanced, wear a mask, wash hands for 20 seconds and use sanitisers. It might all sound like old news now but it really does help and it only works if we all stick to it.What are three things people can do to look after their mental health in this new world that we are living in?
- Live a balanced life that includes sufficient sleep, healthy eating and regular exercise.
- Find a good listening ear when difficulties arise and share them- Listen to your body, it so often tells us what we need to do to take care of ourselves.
The many positives that were still there even amongst the many negatives. This could have been from the smallest smile from a stranger to seeing communities come out in force to help those who are lonely and self-isolating.
If you need help (never be afraid to ask for it) you can visit the below.