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Meet the mums of West Suffolk

In honour of Mother's Day, we are recognising the remarkable women who work side-by-side with their sons and daughters to provide care and support to the residents of west Suffolk.

Some of the mums that work at our Trust are mothers who have passed on their dedication to healthcare to their children; this unique bond fosters a supportive and collaborative work environment that benefits both patients and staff.

Carol Holt and J-P Holt

Carol Holt is a clerical officer and has worked at the Trust since 1997. Carol works regularly with her son John-Paul (J-P) who is a cancer care navigator. Part of Carol’s role means she works as the receptionist in the same department as J-P.

Carol said: “From a very young age, J-P has always loved to help in any way he can. He has a heart for people and is thoughtful, kind and I love seeing him at his happiest when he is making people smile.

“When J-P started working at the West Suffolk Hospital after he finished school, I remember telling him that this was his opportunity to build a career, work hard, and learn that everyone’s role is vitally important. We are both very passionate about working with the Macmillan team so it’s a pleasure supporting each other professionally and personally.”

J-P feels his mum has inspired him to go into a career in healthcare: “Both of my parents have worked in healthcare, and they are incredibly caring people. I saw the difference they made to people’s lives through their work, and I knew I wanted to do that too.”

When asked what he enjoys most about working with mum, J-P replied: “We understand each other so well, personally and professionally. To be able to support each other in our work and empathise with each other when times are hard is something that is priceless to me.”

Sonia Denny and Rebecca Rolfe

Nurse Sonia Denny works in the early intervention team based at West Suffolk Hospital and offering intensive, integrated support to people in their own homes. She has recently celebrated the huge achievement of working for the Trust for 50 years. Her daughter Beckie Rolfe is a heart failure nurse who works closely with patients within the community and in their own homes.

While Sonia says she does not regularly work closely with Beckie, she loves hearing from patients who frequently tell her that her daughter has visited them in the past which makes her feel very proud. “Rebecca always lights up the room with her smile and puts people at ease. She is a very caring person who shows great empathy for her patients and is a great listener,” said Sonia.

Beckie passionately acknowledges the role her mum has had in her career in the NHS so far: “She has inspired me. Even as a child at school, my mum worked in the community looking after people in their own homes. I was always interested in what she did and enjoyed listening to her stories.

“My mum is the most kind, strong and loving person you will ever meet. She has always supported me and encouraged me to go that little bit further, even if I didn’t believe in myself, she would and would push me to achieve things I didn’t think I could do.”

Helen Kroon and Lucy Kroon

Helen Kroon has worked at WSFT since 2001 and is a medical staffing manager who has a very strong connection to the West Suffolk Hospital for a number of reasons. “Both my parents worked here before I started, and I was born at the hospital when the maternity ward had only been open six weeks. As well as this, my daughter Lucy was born in the same exact ward – so it was only natural for her to become a part of the Trust family too!” said Helen.

Helen’s daughter Lucy Kroon is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) at the Trust. While Helen is non-clinical, she said she learns a lot from her daughter: “Listening to Lucy's day makes me better at my job as well, as it gives me a greater understanding of what clinical staff must deal with.

“It's difficult to know what I'm most proud of. Lucy is a naturally kind and caring person, who has always wanted to help others. I'm proud of the compassion she shows toward her patients and colleagues.”
Lucy has highlighted how working with her mum has been a positive experience in her time at the Trust: “I am extremely lucky to have a close relationship with my mum but working at the hospital together has brought us closer.

“I am so proud of my mum; she has worked so hard to get where she is, and she is respected by so many people. She has inspired me to be determined, to work hard, to not be afraid, to be kind, to listen, and to be myself. I would not be where I am today without her, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

Marilyn Lucas and Amy Ranner

Marilyn Lucas is a maternity care assistant at West Suffolk Hospital and has been working in the NHS since she was 18. Her daughter, Amy Ranner, is a newly qualified emergency department nurse.

While the pair have yet to work alongside each other at the hospital, Marilyn reports she’s already very proud of what Amy has accomplished in her new role, stating: “I am always hearing from colleagues really good reports of how kind and caring Amy is in her job. When she graduated, me and my husband were so very proud of what she had achieved.”

Amy has been at the Trust for nearly a decade and has worked her way up the ranks to registered nurse – despite initially wanting to be a primary school teacher: She recalls: “When I was doing my GCSEs, mum spent several weeks as an inpatient at West Suffolk Hospital and when I would visit her, I saw how rewarding a nursing career is and how much of a positive impact the nurses had on my mum’s recovery.”

Amy adds that her mum is a very compassionate person: “She’s very kind and caring to all those around her. If I need something, my mum would always be there for me – you are never too old to want your mum, especially when you are poorly!”

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Top left: Carol Holt and J-P Holt, top right: Sonia Denny and Rebecca Rolfe, bottom left: Helen Kroon and Lucy Kroon, bottom right: Marilyn Lucas and Amy Ranner

Top left: Carol Holt and J-P Holt, top right: Sonia Denny and Rebecca Rolfe, bottom left: Helen Kroon and Lucy Kroon, bottom right: Marilyn Lucas and Amy Ranner