Sutton Health and Care Charge Nurse, Leonie Brown, has been honoured with the task of escorting the Lamp Carrier through Westminster Abbey at the 57th Florence Nightingale Foundation Commemoration Service.
On Wednesday, 11 May 2022 at 6.30pm, nurses, midwives, VIPS and supporters of the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) are gathering at Westminster Abbey for the annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service. Together they will celebrate the life and work of Florence Nightingale and celebrate the nurses and midwives of today who are following in her footsteps.
Leonie Brown, a Sexual Health Charge Nurse and Education Lead at The Rosehill Clinic based in St Helier Hospital, is one of two nurses to escort the Lamp Carrier. During the ceremony several significant processions take place. FNF Alumni process the Lamp, gifted to the Foundation by Sir Dan Mason OBE in 1968. The Lamp is then passed to students to signify the transfer of knowledge and expertise between the nursing and midwifery generations.
Leonie Brown said: “I am truly honoured to be chosen to take part in such a prestigious event. I am so proud to be representing sexual health nursing, Sutton Health and Care and Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
“Sexual health nursing is a unique speciality with more than meets the eye; I chose to work in Sexual Health so that I could help reduce the stigma still attached to sexual health issues. It is a privilege to work with people when they are at their most vulnerable.
“In 2019, as a direct descendant of Windrush, I was lucky to be one of the 44 offered the opportunity to be on the FNF Windrush Leadership Programme for BAME nurses or midwives who are or were descendants of the Windrush generation.
“Getting a greater understanding of leadership styles, leading with greater presence and impact, confidence building, influencing change, and being part of the Alumni are just some of the amazing benefits the Leadership Programme has helped me with.”
This year’s service will be especially poignant, in addition to the procession of the Roll Honour which recognises the nurses and midwives who lost their lives in the Second World War, a Roll of Honour recognising the nurses, midwives, nursing associates and health care support workers who died during the pandemic will be processed by the UK Chief Nursing Officers.
Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, The Right Honourable Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Maggie Throup, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Vaccines and Public Health, and Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and Chair of the Labour Party, will be attending the Service.
The Covid 19 pandemic resulted in the 2020 Commemoration Service being cancelled, and last year’s event was significantly restricted. The Foundation are therefore delighted that this year, ca. 2,000 guests will join together on what is the eve of the 202nd anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (12th May 1820).