Dedication is rewarded for long-serving nurse leader

Community learning disability nurse Sharon Willey, who has received the Queen's Nursing Institute Long Service Award.
Community learning disability nurse Sharon Willey, who has received the Queen's Nursing Institute Long Service Award.

A long-serving community nurse has received national recognition.

Dedicated Sharon Willey has been honoured with the Queen’s Nursing Institute Long Service Award after clocking up 36 years of care.

We can all make a difference.

Sharon Willey, Community Learning Disability Nursing Service Lead

Currently working as Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Learning Disability Nursing Service Lead, Ms Willey began her career at Northgate Hospital in Morpeth, joining as a nursing assistant in 1979.

She started training as a learning disability nurse in the same year, and after qualifying worked on long-stay wards for adults and children with learning disabilities.

She later became a community nurse development worker, supporting two people who had collectively been in institutional care for 65 years to live in the community.

Two years later, she was appointed a community charge nurse in Blyth Valley, and later Wansbeck, before promotion to a nurse team leader, managing the learning disability nursing teams in south east Northumberland.

In her current role she helps to develop services to further support people with learning disabilities in the community.

She said: “When I started nursing training I realised I wanted to make a long-term positive contribution to supporting people with a learning disability to live valued lives in their local community.

“We can all make a difference by improving life opportunities, choice, control and good health and wellbeing outcomes for people with a learning disability.”