Celebrating the brilliance of star nurse Cheryl

Posted on in Awards, Staff

A nurse from Teesside has become a winner of a Cavell Star Award. Cheryl Honeyman, a specialist nurse for paediatric spine working at The James Cook University Hospital was nominated for going above and beyond for her patients’ families.

Cheryl was inspired to become a paediatric nurse after a hospital visit with her youngest child.

“My son had a small operation,” remembers Cheryl “but the nursing care he received was not very good. I thought, I can do a better job than this!”

After completing an Open University course in health and social care, Cheryl secured a place on a new paediatric nursing course at Teesside University and qualified in 2003.

She’s spent the last 16 years caring for children at James Cook where she is now a specialist nurse for paediatric spine, looking after children with spinal conditions from deformities to back pain and neck problems.

“It’s hard work and very intense at times but such a rewarding career. When you’re caring for children it’s not just about them, it’s about their families too. My role allows me to follow patients from their first clinic visit right through to discharge from the service which could be up to 18 years of age. So it’s a long time in which to get to know the families of the patients and lovely to know you have helped them through their childhood.”

Cheryl was nominated for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her patients’ families.

Jane, whose daughter had scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine, has experienced first-hand the amazing care offered by Cheryl,

“She is one of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met,” says Jane.

“Cheryl supported us through every single step of the way, particularly in the absolutely terrifying months immediately after we had seen x-rays of our daughter’s debilitating spinal curve and coming to terms with how this would affect her plus what we as a family, and she as a scared 12-year old, had to face.

“Cheryl was our person through our daughter’s 10-hour long spinal correction surgery, with us post-operation in PICU and there for us in the months and years that followed as our daughter slowly recovered.

“We as a family cannot ever thank her enough, she will always be a part of our family’s life.”

Nursing charity Cavell Nurses’ Trust launched the Cavell Star Awards in 2018 in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare.

Nominations are being sought from nursing teams throughout the UK for that special team mate who has shown exceptional care for either their colleagues or their patients and patients’ families.

Each Cavell Star Award winner receives a medal, presentation case and pin badge as well as invites to attend special Care & Cake parties, celebrating of the nation’s nursing professionals.

Cheryl said: “It was such a surprise, I was so humbled and honoured! I was really grateful to be recognised in this way by Jane and her family. No matter how tough things are and how hard the work is at times and how 24/7 the role can be, when you know you’ve made a difference like that to people’s lives it makes everything worthwhile.”

The Cavell Star Awards are in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare and sponsored by NEXT, NHS Improvement, National Garden Scheme, Health Education England, NHS Professionals, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Alexandra, British Journal of Nursing, The Embassy of Belgium in the UK and Thornbury Nursing Services & Scottish Nursing Guild.

John Orchard, chief executive at Cavell Nurses’ Trust, explains: “Thank you to our partner and wonderful sponsors for making the Cavell Star Awards happen.

“We know there are nursing professionals up and down the country who show exceptional care every day, often in very difficult circumstances and sometimes when their own life is falling apart.

“You can say a big ‘thank you’ to your colleagues by giving them a Cavell Star Award!”

John continues: “Cavell Nurses’ Trust is here for nurses when they’re in a crisis, so we are really excited that the Cavell Star Awards are proving so successful at boosting morale for nursing teams working extremely hard in very challenging situations.”

Healthcare professionals wishing to nominate a nurse, midwife or HCA for a Cavell Star Award can find out more at https://www.cavellstarawards.org