Why did you want to join FNF?
I was always looking to move back into the charity sector, but it had to be the right job to make me leave a much-loved job in the NHS. I had become very much a media specialist in the NHS and missed working across a variety of comms as I did in previous charities. This role allows me to use my broad range of comms skills. I am the first Director of Communications, Marketing and Events for the Foundation and the scope and potential to make an impact is immense. Having the name of Florence Nightingale connected to our Foundation is a gift.
On a personal level, I feel very proud to work for the official charity that supports nurses and midwives in the name of Florence Nightingale who herself was a trailblazer, challenging the norms of society. We are continuing her legacy empowering and developing nursing and midwifery leaders to improve patient and health outcomes through our scholarships. I couldn’t think of a better cause to raise money for – the team are dynamic, creative and focused which makes me get out of bed in the morning and tell the world about what our scholars do in the name of Florence Nightingale.
What is your greatest achievement?
In career terms, it was managing NHS70 at NHS England/Improvement. Media coverage secured for NHS70 included over 300 national and regional print articles, over 100 hours of broadcast coverage and ten major programmes broadcast as part of BBC NHS Season, and a 90-minute Current Affairs special featuring Simon Stevens. There were also eight major programmes broadcast as part of ITV NHS Season averaging 3m viewers. Sky and Channel 5 covered the anniversary for a week and on the 5th of July, BBC Breakfast covered the birthday for three hours.
Thanks to the success of NHS70, I have developed fantastic relationships across the media and NHS, all of which will prove crucial when sourcing stories to gain maximum coverage for the foundation. We are a small team and I feel I have fitted in with perfect ease and my honed skills are ready to lead them through a high- profile campaign. I am also starting from a great advantage point because our scholars – the nurses and midwives who are the very fabric of health and social care – sell themselves without even realising.
What is your new role at the Florence Nightingale Foundation?
I am the first ever Director of Communications, Marketing and Events. I hope to raise our profile during the Year of the Nurse and Midwife that is being held to mark Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. It is a great time to be a part of the Foundation and the team are great to work with.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
I want to use this year to really highlight the impact of what we do and to position us as the official charity of Florence Nightingale supporting nurses and midwives – we were created as a living memorial to her work and while we have a fantastic reputation in the health sector, there is little public awareness about what we do. Within one year of completing an FNF course, our scholars go onto more senior roles and drive improvements in healthcare.
I also want people to know that Florence nightingale was more than a nurse who carried a lamp, not to detract from the comfort this brought so many wounded soldiers in the dead of the night, but that she was a statistician, a suffragette, a public health reformer, a woman who defied the patriarchy and saw the world for all the opportunities it offered. She is rightfully the face of modern nursing and I want her name and our name to be on everyone’s lips during 2020 and beyond.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
I was invited to dance on stage with Sister Sledge! I also spent ten minutes trying to take a photo of me with George Clooney, but the rubbish disposal camera I had (it was about fifteen years ago) wouldn’t work. But the lovely George stayed put until I got a good picture!
How do you unwind?
I like nothing more than watching a good boxset or TV show that I can binge. I love Stranger Things, The Crown and am a life long fan of Friends. I can watch it over and over again. I also love the cinema and usually go once a week. I also like nothing better than going away for long weekends with my lovely husband Dave and the other love of my life, my dog Luna.