Wigan midwife who carried on working after lottery win is chosen to take part in Florence Nightingale exhibition

A Wigan midwife who landed £1m has been chosen to be part of an exhibition to mark 200 years since Florence Nightingale was born.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 9:10 am
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 9:11 am
Ruth Breen celebrated her lottery win at the DW Stadium in 2014

Ruth Breen was a £1m EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle winner in 2014 and continued in her role as a midwife due to her sheer passion and love for the job.

She’s now been selected by the Florence Nightingale Museum to be part of their upcoming display to honour the woman who inspired the nursing movement.

Ruth, who lives in Poolstock, said: “I will be part of an online exhibition where I will write a blurb on why I’m still working as a midwife.

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Florence Nightingale inspired the nursing movement

“Some people will say I don’t have to as I can afford not to do so and I should give it to someone who needs it more.

“But I’m not just going to give up working because I’ve won a few quid as being a midwife is a vocation not a job.”

The exhibition celebrates the pioneering nurse whose influence continues to resound today and it also shows her battles for the rights and independence of women.

Its aim is to tell the story behind the “lady with the lamp”, highlighting her true character and many achievements.

Mum-of-one Ruth said she was “really excited” to have been selected for the exhibition.

The 40-year-old, who has been a community midwife for 11 years at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m quite startled to have been chosen for the exhibition.

“The museum said I reflected the spirit of Nightingale because I’ve chosen to carry on working following my lottery win.

“There are 287,000 nurses and 22,000 midwives in England who would have been just as deserving of this.

“But I love working as a midwife and it’s very rewarding seeing the joy of families as they bring someone new into the world.

“I have a load of money but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have to work.

“It takes a three-year degree to be a midwife and it’s really competitive so it’s not the kind of job you can just get into like that.”

And Ruth said she has tried to continue on with life as normal in the five years since her lottery win.

She said: “I’ve got a partner Simon Dart and a 16-year-old daughter, Lucy Breen, but I live in a three-bedroom semi-detached home and have a BMW and we try to live life as normally as we can.

“£1m is a lot of money but you still have to be careful as it can easily go as it has with other people.”

Nightingale in 200 Objects, People & Places runs from March 8 to March 7, 2021 at the Florence Nightingale Museum on London’s South Bank in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital.

The hospital was transformed by Nightingale herself.