Four new nurses have joined the team at Noah’s Ark – each with their own amazing stories!
Our new nurses come from entirely different walks of life, but all of them are captivated by joining the next stage of the Noah’s Ark journey at our new facility, The Ark. Read their stories below and hopefully you'll be inspired to apply to join them on their Noah’s Ark journey.
Maria went through three changes of profession, a move across the world, a brush with novichok and a religious experience on her journey from an early career in nursing to her new role at Noah’s Ark!
Having started out as a nurse and nurse trainer, she decided to move to Sydney, Australia and leave the profession, instead delivering training to corporate companies. She met her husband in Australia, had a daughter and then moved onto a second career as a fitness instructor and Pilates practitioner.
She returned to the UK ten years ago and moved to Salisbury, where she and her husband ran a goldsmith company. But the city has been beset by problems, including the infamous novichok incident, and the business did not work out.
So when her daughter decided to follow her mum’s career path into nursing, Maria decided that it was time to return to her first career, nursing. She went through the ‘hellish’ Return to Practice programme for nurses whilst her daughter simultaneously went through a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Maria promised her daughter that if they both made it through their respective trainings, they would both go to Lourdes, the pilgrimage site in France:
“My daughter had always wanted to volunteer at Lourdes. So when we made it through our courses, we went there together. I was the proudest mum in the world, working side-by-side with her to help the sick and the dying. That’s when I realised that I wanted to work for a children’s hospice”.
When Maria returned from Lourdes, an email popped into her inbox about a nurse job at Noah’s Ark and she didn’t hesitate to move from Salisbury to Barnet to begin her newest career.
“I knew the second I walked through the door of The Ark that this was the place for me.”
Emily had a once-upon-a-time been a fundraiser for Noah’s Ark, supporting the campaign to build The Ark by bucket collecting and marathon cheering. So she’d always had it in her mind that when the new children’s hospice building was opened, it was somewhere that she wanted to work.
“I kept on looking at the website, seeing how the build was progressing. But when I finally stepped into The Ark after its completion and met all of the other nurses, I saw the opportunity to shape something new and different. I realised that this was what I wanted to do”.
Emily had trained as a paediatric nurse at the Evalina before a move to Great Ormond Street Hospital. She’s passionate about palliative care, but felt that she couldn’t make a real difference within an NHS setting. That’s why when her local children’s hospice was recruiting for a new pool of nurses, she decided to apply and continue her long association with Noah’s Ark.
Melanie spent 25 years working in finance before becoming a nurse. She worked for huge media companies including Disney and Time Warner (now WarnerMedia). That was until one day she saw the TV programme Private Practice (a spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy) and her whole world changed.
Melanie decided to train to become a nurse, but unusually for a nurse she had a huge aversion to hospitals! That’s why after training she became a carer, particularly supporting children with complex needs. She worked as a specialist nurse in inclusive community special schools in Haringey, notably The Vale and Riverside School.
She also worked through agencies, including looking after a Noah’s Ark child, where she met Elisha, our Specialist Care and Nursing Team Manager. Once the two of them got talking, the decision to move into paediatric palliative care felt like a natural one for Melanie:
“It felt like I’d come full circle. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time looking after adults with mild disabilities. More recently I worked as a nurse on an end-of-life case. I wanted to work somewhere that put kindness and openness at its core and that’s why I’m so excited to be starting at Noah’s Ark”.
Jade’s postgraduate degree in Literature – with a specific focus on American poetry – is not a natural entry point into the world of nursing. She wanted to go into academia initially, but ultimately her desire to instigate change led her to a career in nursing.
Ever since she was a late teenager, she’s done bits of work within mental health settings. She was a support worker at The Priory, helping people transitioning back into the community, before continuing in a similar vein when she moved to London and begun working for CNWL.
But it never even occurred to Jade to work with adults in the long term – she always dreamed of developing a career working with children. She says that’s because “seriously ill children are incredibly resilient. They bounce back even when they’re told they can’t. It’s inspiring to work with”.
Like her new colleague Emily, Jade lives locally and also kept a keen eye for a significant period of time on our website, checking out up-coming nurse vacancies as soon as The Ark was completed. She lives a five minute walk away!
After leaving CNWL, she trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Every time she met a Noah’s Ark carer at GOSH, she said that they stood out for their “huge smiles and positivity – it made me want to wear one of those red shirts and join the smilers!”. And now she’s delighted to be donning the red shirt to complete our quartet of new nurses.
To join Maria, Emily, Melanie and Jade as a Noah’s Ark nurse, have a look at our current vacancies.