CARING and generous with her time, nurse Julie Bennett is an inspiration among her colleagues at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
She has been recognised for her devotion with a nomination for this year’s Best of Health Awards.
A big part of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal, the Echo recently reported on how Julie and colleagues Jessica Marchant, Hayley Agnew and Zoe Hutchinson have organised a charity ball to help improve developmental care equipment.
It will include incubator covers and overnight accommodation facilities for parents.
The unit cares for seriously ill and premature babies from across Wearside.
Speaking of her nomination for Hospital Nurse/Midwife of the Year, Julie said: “It’s a surprise.”
Julie admitted that she never imagined working in a neonatal unit after gaining her nursing qualifications.
The 35-year-old, who is mum to Kieran, 15, and Harry, five, said: “It never crossed my mind to work in this unit. I was looking at working with children with cancer. The job has its ups and downs, but I love it.
“It’s not a job where you can just go to work and then go home and forget it but I don’t mind.”
Talking about why she has thrown herself into fund-raising for the unit, Julie, who lives in Chilton, County Durham, and is married to Andy, 35, added: “There’s so much that we need that the NHS just don’t provide.
“I just took it upon myself to think ‘Can we do this?’ It’s been like having two full-time jobs as well as looking after a family, but I would do it all again because this is just the start of things.”
The charity ball in aid of the unit takes place at the Roker Hotel on Friday, March 8.
For more information about the drive or to buy tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is still time for you to nominate your Sunderland health hero for this year’s awards.
The deadline for entries is Monday, with judging scheduled for Monday, February 25, at Echo House.
The winners will be announced at a awards ceremony at the soon-to-be reopened Quality Hotel, in Whitney Way, Boldon Colliery, on Thursday, March 14.