NIGHTINGALE FELLOWSHIP HONOURS DAME EILEEN SILLS ON HER RETIREMENT
Dame Eileen Sills, recently retired Chief Nurse at Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT), was presented with a framed Nightingale Badge on Monday 24th August via a Zoom meeting with several of the Nightingale Fellowship Trustees and past Council members. This is a rare award which was given to thank Eileen for her 15 years of support to the Fellowship and championing excellence in nursing care during her time at GSTT.
Following the call, Eileen responded as follows:
‘To everybody in the Nightingale Fellowship I can’t thank you enough for the lovely surprise that I received. I was very touched that you had wanted to honour me in this way especially as I have always wanted to be a Nightingale! I have had a fabulous 15 years at the Trust, it hasn’t always been easy but it has been a privilege to lead the profession and to have nursing held in such high esteem. The relationship we have developed with the Nightingale Fellowship has been precious and without your support the Nightingale Nurse Award and Academy would not have seen the light of day. I think between us we have managed to place nursing and midwifery in its rightful place. I didn’t want to retire, but I have had to accept that my health and my family have to come first. I had been so looking forward to the 2020 celebrations, but I am sure we will have ample opportunity to celebrate in 2021, as we see the Nightingale Garden open in the summer of next year.
I want to end by saying thank you to you all. With very best wishes, keep safe and I look forward to catching up at the AGM in 2021’.
Zoom photographs taken by the President
Dame Eileen in her garden
The framed Nightingale Fellowship badge
The Nightingale project for a plot at Brookwood Cemetery is now complete and Hilary Brian has given the following update to share with you:
‘The Cemetery is under new management and there is now a beautiful entrance building with a full-time receptionist. There is now a legible (!) map which I am including here in case anyone would like to visit. Julie Davies and Joan Le Vasseur worked very hard over the years to establish the plot’s boundary and who is buried there and Pauleene Hammett galvanised her gardening team to dignify the site. Thank you to all those people and also to all of those of you who so kindly donated money to enable us to purchase the picket fencing and identify the plot with the board. I have emailed the management to thank them as the plot is being very nicely maintained – there are no fallen branches, the bushes have been pruned where they are near to graves and, clearly, it is regularly strimmed. I drove around the whole Cemetery and didn’t see another plot bounded and identified as neatly as ours. Our ‘sisters’ are truly resting in peace’.
The Nightingale 200 Challenge – ‘Cutting no corners’
The Florence Nightingale Museum, located at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, serves as a unique resource for those looking into the history of nursing. It is visited by nurses from all around the world and school children, as well as many tourists to London. In 2020, the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the Museum launched a new exhibition – Nightingale in 200 objects – and was set for a spectacular year of visitors. Unfortunately, the Museum has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now struggling to stay financially viable. This is where YOU can help.
We are calling on ALL NURSES to rise to the challenge of saving this important Museum. The ‘surgical glove’ has been thrown down to all of you by a 91 year old Nightingale Nurse.
Please commit to 200 hospital corners, or some other task, and ask friends and family to support by paying direct to the:
… and don’t forget to visit the Museum website where you can still purchase books and gifts. More importantly, to visit the Museum once it reopens and keep this valuable resource available for generations to come.
Help for the Nurses in Lebanon
An Appeal is launched to help support the nurses in Lebanon who have been affected by the current crisis there. Some of these nurses, who have had their homes destroyed and have been injured, are trying to return to work but cannot leave their damaged homes unsecured. If you feel you would like to donate, you can do this via the following routes:
Following the auction at Hanson’s Auctions held on Friday 19th June we are delighted to be able to advise you that it raised a huge total of nearly £20,000 for the Nightingale Museum at St. Thomas’ Hospital.
The sale proved to be immensely popular with nothing remaining unsold and some big bids on a great many lots.
The money raised will be enormously beneficial to the Museum and everyone at the Nightingale Fellowship is delighted to have been able to help in promoting the event.
David Green, Director of the Museum is even more delighted and commented:
‘In addition to thanking Charles Hanson and his team who generously offered us their services for our first ever fundraising auction, we would like to thank all donors, bidders and supporters who helped us raise £18.5k at the event; a sum that will very much support our battle for survival in the coming months. Whilst the Museum will need to continue to fundraise, as we expect our visitor numbers to be significantly lower for some time in the wake of the pandemic, the income from this event will make a significance to our future and our ability to still offer education services. We hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did.’
A big thank you to everyone who contributed and bid on the day.
The Nightingale Fellowship Chapel Service -12th May, 2020
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby blessed a new commemorative Florence Nightingale artwork at a special service celebrating her life. The artwork was donated to The Florence Nightingale Fellowship and was blessed by the Archbishop at St Thomas’ Hospital Chapel on International Nurses’ Day (Tuesday 12 May), the anniversary of her birth. This year is the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and the World Health Organisation has declared it ‘The International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife’ in her honour. The artwork, a visual timeline of Florence Nightingale’s life, was created by the villagers of Dethick, Lea, Lea Bridge and Holloway in Derbyshire, where her family lived. The artwork is now displayed at St Thomas’ Hospital and cards and prints will be sold in support of the Florence Nightingale Museum, which is at risk of closure due to the impact of the covid-19 lockdown on their finances.
During the Chapel service the Archbishop also blessed the new Nightingale Fellowship Altar cloth, Lectern wrap and Chaplain’s stole and gave thanks to NHS staff and remembered those who have died during the pandemic. It also included contributions from nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital and the current President of the Fellowship, Gillian Prager. The Nightingale Fellowship was due to welcome over 600 of The Nightingale Training School alumni to a special service and tea party at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. This is where in 1860 Florence Nightingale founded the first professional nursing school, and Nightingale nurses trained there until 1996. Nightingales across the world have been encouraged to have virtual tea parties to replace the planned gatherings and photographs will be available on the Fellowship website. The Fellowship is also calling on nurses to help raise funds for the Florence Nightingale Museum by getting sponsorship for performing 200 nursing tasks – such as bed-making. To support the Florence Nightingale Museum visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/6ws3a-save-the-florence-nightingale-museum
Gillian Prager, The Nightingale Fellowship President, said: “The 12th May holds a special place each year in the heart of every Nightingale Fellowship member, many of whom are still practising nurses and midwives. For many this will be whilst working at the front line against the world’s worst pandemic and we salute them all. On the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth we are eager to show our support to the Florence Nightingale Museum, and solidarity with all NHS staff. We are proud of the response by nurses all over the world to COVID-19. Florence’s teaching and example shines through them all.”
The Fellowship commissioned Church Textiles, a Derby based company to design and create the Altar frontal, Lectern wrap and Chaplain’s stole, to celebrate the bicentenary and provide a lasting legacy of The Fellowship and its connection with St Thomas’. The Nightingale Fellowship is the alumni association of those nurses who trained at the Nightingale Training School, at St Thomas’ Hospital London, and / or its successor organisations since 1860
The Fellowship is delighted to accept and honour the work undertaken by the villagers of Dethick, Lea, Lea Bridge and Holloway in Derbyshire, to celebrate their famous resident whose family home was Lea Hurst. A local retired nurse – Mary White – has brought the project together in record time and this was blessed and is displayed at St Thomas’ Hospital, with cards and prints being sold in support of The Florence Nightingale Museum and Lea Village School.
Virtual Tea Parties
Nightingales across the world have been encouraged to have virtual tea parties to replace the planned gatherings and these will be taking place across the internet with photographs on the Fellowship website to come.
For further information, and photo images, please contact: