A Senior Clinical Educator was one of a lucky few nursing and midwifery colleagues from across the country to attend a prestigious reception to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace yesterday (14 November).
Lindy Garrucho, who supports and advocates for international nursing colleagues at UHDB, said she was shocked and excited to receive a letter in the post informing her that she had been invited after she was put forward for the opportunity by her manager.
Earlier this year, it was announced that His Majesty would be hosting the event to commemorate his 75th birthday for those who are globally educated and work in nursing and midwifery roles, with Lindy one of around 400 NHS colleagues selected to attend.
The event paid tribute to the UK’s international nursing and midwifery workforce, and recognised the multitude of backgrounds and cultures which contribute to the health services across the four nations.
Reflecting on the special occasion, Lindy said: "I knew that my name had been put forward but I never thought I would be chosen which means a lot to me.
"It was a really amazing day and the weather didn’t put anyone off - everyone was so excited. I met lots of people from different backgrounds and it was just an incredible experience.
"Before I went into the Palace, I was terrified. I had to catch my breath because the enormity of it dawned on me, and I realised I was going to see His Majesty The King and be in the same room as him."
Since joining the Trust in 2018, Lindy has made great strides to support her international colleagues. Working with the Learning and Education team, she has supported Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to pass their competence tests which has aided them to become registered nurses and midwives in the UK.
She also plays a vital role in supporting the wellbeing of internationally educated colleagues thanks to the creation of welcome packs.
Lindy said she is part of the Professional and Practice Development Team who help to 'empower and encourage her' and she is delighted that in her new role as a Senior Clinical Educator for International Nursing she gets to maximise her passion.
She said: "When this opportunity came up it seemed perfect. My role focuses on pastoral support for our overseas nurses which is something I am really passionate about. My team has always empowered and encouraged me and shares the same enthusiasm and vision to help internationally educated colleagues, so it feels special that I can honour them and the work we do at this special event."
Sharing further insight into the special event, Lindy said everyone came together to sing happy birthday to His Majesty The King after he spent time speaking to and getting to know as many of the attendees as possible.
Lindy added: "He looked very pleased and spent a lot of time talking and getting to know everyone and was very pleasant.
"I am extremely grateful to UHDB for giving me this opportunity and to represent the Trust. It was an incredible honour and something I will never forget."