A grandmother is enjoying a double celebration after she was named the UK’s best nurse just weeks after marking her 50th birthday.
Julie Noble, who is a carer at Jack Dormand Care Home in Horden, was given the honour as part of the prestigious National Care Awards 2017.
The award was given to Julie in recognition of her “outstanding clinical and managerial qualities”, while demonstrating “a high level of dedication” to residents at Jack Dormand, which is in Fourth Street.
To celebrate her incredible achievement, the HC-One-run home held a party with staff and residents, with the company’s chief executive officer Justin Hutchens attending to congratulate Julie.
Julie, who lives in Easington Lane and has three children and seven grandchildren, has been a nurse at the home for four-and-a-half years.
She credits her traditional upbringing, as the youngest of nine children, for instilling in her a love of people and a desire to make a difference for the people she supports.
Julie said: “The whole thing has been just lovely.
“I’m not an attention-seeking person really. I like to just come in and get on with my job, so to be recognised like this is something a bit different.”
After a portfolio was sent down to judges, Julie had to journey to London to answer questions before a panel.
“I couldn’t believe it when they told me I’d won,” added Julie, who used to work at Sunderland Royal Hospital before moving into the private care sector when she wanted a different challenge.
“Things like this don’t happen to people like me, but I’m delighted.
“We have great residents and amazing staff at the home, and HC-One is a brilliant company to work.
“I worked for Four Seasons before and they were great as well.
“They really do believe in caring for people.”
As well as a surprise party where Mr Hutchens congratulated Julie, kind messages and presents have flooded in for her.
“I’ve even come into work to be told that a gentleman has offered me to use his caravan for a week’s holiday.
“How nice is that? It’s been overwhelming.”
The National Care Awards are the UK care sector’s leading annual national awards ceremony.
The awards are highly coveted by social care professionals, and winners are recognised as being at the very pinnacle of their profession.