Home News The Kirkwood Spotlight - Jackie Holmes

2 Apr 2024 Community

The Kirkwood Spotlight - Jackie Holmes

Recently we have said goodbye to one of our amazing staff members Jackie Holmes who has worked for us for 17 years. Jackie is now putting her feet up and will hopefully be enjoying her retirement after long service with our charity. 

Jackie first came to The Kirkwood in 2007 and has worked tirelessly to help make our charity as accessible as possible to people across Kirklees. 

Working in Support and Therapy, Jackie has helped to deliver hundreds of wellbeing sessions in our region. 

On what her role was and how it has changed, Jackie reflected: “I've worked for The Kirkwood for 17 years as a senior staff nurse in Support and Therapy. Support and Therapy over the years has changed. When I first came to The Kirkwood, it was three days of day care and one day of drop in sessions. Then we gradually reduced down the number of day therapy and went to increase the number of drop in sessions out in the community. That way people could come in as and when they wanted. 

“When COVID-19 hit we all got redeployed. I was very lucky to have been redeployed onto the In-Patient Unit where I've worked before. I used to work as a bank nurse on the unit and so when we got redeployed I found it OK. 

“So I managed to spend a long time through COVID, both during the first and the second lockdowns where I was there, and then when we could go see people in the community again we took Support and Therapy out to the community. 

“So we're now going out into the community to the whole of Kirklees delivering our sessions. We're more accessible to patients and carers than ever before which is great.

“We put on wellbeing sessions. We have created drop-in sessions where we've got some groups where people come quite regularly, others just come to get information and advice. So we knew that the service needed to change and it had to fit people's needs.

“These sessions can take different forms, an example would be that we had a couple of self management groups or sessions that went over a period of alternate weeks, one for people with breathlessness COPD. We also had one for heart failure and we also had one for neurological issues. So all the sessions we create are to help patients feel comfortable talking about the issues they are dealing with in a comfortable setting.” 

Jackie has gone on her own journey through her career, she looked back with fondness and said: “Before I worked for The Kirkwood, I was a community nurse for 14 years.

“Quite a lot of the care that we did was with the palliative care patients, nursing people at the end of their life. A job came up for The Kirkwood and it fell in really well with my interest in working out in the community.

“Plus I'd also done the palliative care course with The Kirkwood and then it also fitted in well with the work/life balance I had going.

“Working for The Kirkwood meant I had the best of both worlds and hence why I banked on the In-Patient Unit, because I could keep my nursing skills up as well as developing the community work we were doing.

“I wanted to be a nursery nurse when I was growing up. However I went into nursing 41 years ago and that's what I've done my whole career.” 

Finally Jackie is proud to have worked for us for so long, knowing she’s made a difference to hundreds of patients' lives. However she is now looking forward to retretirement.

She said: “I am proud to have worked here for so long. I loved to provide the best care and support for people living in Kirklees and being able to deliver that care to the highest quality that we can for those that really need it. 

“I have felt valued in The Kirkwood movement. I think we are an amazing organisation that gives people the ability to come and see us and open up their lives and talk to us about the support they need.

“I am really looking forward to retirement. I think I've done my bit. For 41 years I have concentrated on looking after other people. I think it's only right now I get to do things I want to do. 

“I'm going to miss the patients that we deal with, the carers, the staff and the friends I've made along the way. They are all part of this wonderful movement we call The Kirkwood.” 

Everyone in The Kirkwood movement would like to wish Jackie a happy retirement. 

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