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Retired Bedfordshire nurse highly commended by national charity

Rita Henman (Right) with her Highly Commended Award in the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ category of the national Sue Ryder Incredible Colleagues Awards, alongside volunteer Dave Cant from sister hospice in Gloucestershire, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court, who won Incredible Colleague of the Year

Rita Henman, who nursed at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, received the recognition at the palliative, neurological and bereavement support charity’s ‘Incredible Colleagues Awards’, held in Leeds yesterday, Tuesday 8th October.

After 42 years serving and caring for the local community in Bedfordshire, 22 of these years as a Sue Ryder Nurse, Rita recently retired.

Her Sue Ryder nursing career has seen Rita support hundreds of local Bedfordshire families both as part of the team operating the 24 hour Palliative Care Hub helpline supporting families in their own homes, and providing expert and compassionate palliative care in the hospice’s specialist inpatient unit.

On receiving her commendation Rita said, “Today has been a wonderful experience celebrating with Sue Ryder colleagues from every corner of the country. It was quite overwhelming to be there among so many inspiring people and I am delighted to have received a Highly Commended Award from the charity that means so much to me.”

“Not only does Sue Ryder help people at end of life, but they help loved ones and families recover after they have experienced loss so they can carry on living too. It has been a huge honour to be part of the team supporting families in Bedfordshire.”

Despite retiring, Rita is not leaving Sue Ryder completely, already signing herself up to volunteer at the retail shop on site at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.

Rita added, “It is so lovely to be carrying on helping to support a place which I hold so dear to my heart. It means so much to feel like I am still doing my bit for a charity that makes such a huge difference to so many people.”

Allison Mann, Interim Hospice Director at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice said, “It was a privilege to be with Rita as she received her highly commended award and be among so many of inspiring Sue Ryder volunteers and colleagues. We simply could not be there for local families when it matters without their commitment, dedication and compassion. Rita’s recognition is so very well deserved and everyone at the hospice wishes Rita a long and happy retirement.”

Rita’s commendation from the national charity celebrated her ‘ability to provide care and support to people during the most vulnerable times of their lives, displaying an incredible sense of emotional awareness ensuring that the correct level of support is given to those in need.”

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is currently recruiting nursing staff like Rita who have a passion for providing excellent, patient-centred care. For the latest vacancies visit: www.sueryder.org/jobs or email: contact.stjohns@sueryder.org.

Also shortlisted from Sue Ryder St John’s at the awards were Head of Support Services, Donna Rutter in the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ category and Spiritual Care Coordinator, Birgitte Grace, in the ‘Compassion, Respect and Inclusion’ category.

For more information on Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice visit: www.sueryder.org/stjohns.

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