Celebrating Mother’s Day across our hospitals
To mark Mother’s Day, we spoke to some of the amazing mums and daughters who work for us here at St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group…
Robyn and Julie
Robyn and her mum, Julie, both started out in different careers before joining Epsom and St Helier.
Robyn, who works in the Emergency Department reception, has a son, Louie, and became a hairdresser aged 16, managing two well-known salons before “taking the leap” and going alone.
Then Covid came along and she was unable to work – so she joined our temporary staff bank, before eventually being made permanent in this challenging but rewarding role.
Julie, meanwhile, previously worked in banking and for a staff association, where she took voluntary redundancy.
When her mum had a heart attack, Julie spent eight weeks going backwards and forwards to St Helier to visit, and when she started to recover Julie signed up with a temp agency.
She secured a job in Emergency and Medical Services at the very same hospital – and Julie was eventually made permanent and now works as a Directorate Co-ordinator in Anaesthetics.
Speaking about her relationship with Robyn, Julie says: “Family is a very big part of our lives. I would say that we are very close. Robyn is always my first point of contact if I have something to talk through. We speak regularly throughout each day.
“I admire my daughter’s work ethic. As well as looking after her son and running a home, she works in a very challenging environment.
“We can often be seen doing a handover of my grandson in the car park as I leave for the day and she comes in to start her shift!”
The love and respect is mutual – with Robyn describing a close relationship.
“I look up to my mum and can’t thank her enough for everything she has done and does for me and my son,” she says.
“If I ever need her she is there 24/7.
“We speak all the time, normally starting with a phone call when one of us is driving in to work.
Then we check in with each other regularly during the day. We speak every night, too, and FaceTime at bedtime with my little boy.
“Our favourite thing to do is go and get our feet done together! We love a garden centre trip or IKEA. We spend most weekends together and if my mum is having my son on a Saturday while I work then we go out for dinner after.”
She jokingly adds: “Lots of people like to ask if we are sisters! I quickly say, ‘No, she is my mum’.”
Lily and Gillian
Clinic Management Coordinator Lily was inspired by her mum, Gillian, to join the NHS.
Aged 18, Lily started her journey in the health service as a healthcare assistant in Epsom Hospital’s SWLEOC (South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre) – where Gillian was also based in the same role.
“I lived at home then so we would commute there and back together,” says Lily. “Although we were on different wards we would have lunches together and formed the same friendship groups, when we went out for drinks and dinners.”
Lily switched roles and worked as a receptionist at St Helier in the Outpatients Springall Unit.
But mum and daughter weren’t apart for long, as a healthcare assistant job came up that Gillian successfully applied for. Lily did move into a new role shortly afterwards as a Patient Pathway Coordinator – but the pair continued to see each other regularly at work.
Lily’s daughter, Elsie, also attends the on-site Woodlands Nursery – so Gillian and Lily will often drop her off and pick her up together.
Summarising their time working together over the years, Lily says: “It has been so special, it’s brought great comfort to me and we’ve had lots of fun!
“I am so grateful to have such a special mum, I love the bond we have and being able to go through everything knowing she is and always will be right by my side.
“My mum and I are so close, we have the best relationship and I feel so lucky for that. She is my best friend and we do everything together.”
Gillian added: “Lily and I enjoy each other’s company, and lots of people comment on how alike we are in personality.
“I can’t imagine a day where we don’t work in the same place.”
Jane, Melissa and Tara
It’s often said that St George’s is like a family, but for Jane, Melissa and Tara, it’s exactly that.
Mum Jane and daughters Melissa and Tara work together in the Emergency Department, all as receptionists. They were often seen on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E when it was filmed at St George’s from 2014 to 2021.
Jane has worked within St George’s Emergency Department for 44 years! She said: “Working there for so long means it has been a big part of my family’s life. My twin sons also work for the NHS so when the girls joined I was very pleased. Some people may think it’s the worst thing ever living and working together but I absolutely love it.”
Melissa loves working alongside her mum. She said: “I started this job because I always wanted to follow in my mum’s footsteps. St George’s is a big part of all our lives for many reasons so being able to work here with my mum is amazing. The relationship we have is very special, even more so that we work together.”
Tara has been part of Team St George’s for 14 years, she finds comfort in her mother being at work, she said: “I love working with my mum because it’s like having your home comforts at work. If it’s a tough shift mum is there to always make it better, usually with a cup of tea. I’ve worked alongside my mum for 12 years now and I love it.”