Kind Wigan nurse nominated for prestigious prize for helping countless children

Charlie Sherburn
Charlie Sherburn

A kind-hearted Wigan nurse who cares for children with cancer is one of just three across the country to be nominated for a prestigious award.

Sister Charlie Sherburn is in the running for Hays Recruitment “nurse of the year” award after being nominated by one of her patients’ parents.

Other news: Laura ticks off visit to Wigan's Uncle Joe's factory

Following a recent promotion, Charlie was nominated for her “true professionalism” and “fantastic sense of humour” as well as her empathy for others.

During her time there she has cared for Up Holland youngster, Theo Hamilton, who is currently receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Katt, Theo’s mum, said: “She’s amazing. I saw her the other day, she came running down to us to give us a hug and see Theo.

“She just loves us as much as we love her.”

The parent who nominated her has a son who was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma at eight years old.

Charlie has been credited for helping the little boy who had his world turned “upside down”.

The parent, whose identity has been protected and son referred to as “G”, said: “Charlie is a true professional, she’s supported me just as much as my son.

“There have been times where I have felt so anxious and unsure of the future and she has sat down with us and made us feel a million times better.

“She has a fantastic sense of humour and so much empathy for every single person on the ward.

“Nothing has ever been too much trouble for her and she always has a smile on her face that brightens everyone’s day.

“Charlie proved herself to be nurse of the year, staying by G’s bedside, talking to him, cuddling him, and making him laugh. To see his face when Charlie approached him made my day, he absolutely adores her.

“Sometimes he would refuse his treatment, but Charlie was the one person who he trusted and she gently supported him into co-operating every single time with her calm manner and soft voice.”

Charlie says she always wanted to be a nurse from a young age and has always had a caring side.

In an interview with Hays following her nomination, she said: “When I took my Duke of Edinburgh bronze, silver and gold awards, I did voluntary work at a local elderly home where I learnt to listen.

“I was torn between elderly care and children’s care, but ultimately chose children.”

Charlie undertook three years of graduate training at the London South Bank University and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Her placements included neuro-surgical, cardiac intensive care and bone marrow transplant, but my preferred area was haematology oncology.

She then spent a year at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit and day surgery, and then returned to GOSH for three more years in haematology oncology.

It was after this that Charlie relocated to Wigan, joining the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in haematology oncology paediatrics, before being promoted to sister last year.

“It’s a privilege to be with patients and families at such a difficult time, bringing a smile and being happy,” she said.

“It’s helpful to be a good listener, it makes such a difference. The role needs patience and good communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.

“Laughter and empathy are also so important and being able to pick up on when a family is in need.

“Seeing the resilience of the children and helping them to achieve improved outcomes is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

“It’s hard with every patient; you get to know them and forge bonds and are with them through their journey, and their check-ups.”

If she wins, Charlie will have £1,000 to donate to her chosen charity, Supershoes.

“Supershoes is a charity that makes such a difference, making bespoke shoes for children,” she said.

“Every kid likes new shoes - it’s great to see the children strutting around in their personalised shoes and gives them something to look forward to and a bit of normality.

“It makes them smile and be proud, and it’s lovely for the child and family to keep them.

“Each pair of shoes is designed and hand-painted specifically for a particular child or young person with a cancer diagnosis, capturing that child and all their favourite things.

“They are a reminder to that child of who they are beyond their illness, challenges and treatment.”

Charlie has spoken passionately about her love of the NHS, and has credited the example of other nurses for where she is today.

“We owe a lot to the NHS and would be lost without it,” she said.

“I feel very lucky to be part of it.

“When I see what it provides to children and their families I am lost for words.

“I have followed examples of colleagues and their good practice as well as developed my own ways to help patients and their families.

“I’ve received a lot of advice along the way, but my own personal motto is ‘Keep calm and sparkle!’”

The deadline for votes is August 30.

To vote for Charlie visit www.hays.co.uk/job/healthcare-jobs/nursing/nurse-of-the-year/charlie-sherburn/