Avril Archibald, registered children’s nurse in Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s (LPT’s) Diana service, has been awarded a prestigious national Cavell Star award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing in the NHS.

Avril started nursing over 45 years ago and is due to retire in November 2021. She originally trained as an enrolled nurse before converting to a registered children’s nurse.

During her career, Avril was involved in a project to set up a respite service for children with complex nursing needs to allow families a much-needed break from caring responsibilities. Over 25 years ago, the respite team joined other professionals providing care to children in the community, forming the Diana community children’s service to support more children, young people and their families across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Avril remains part of the management team for the service, which now offers acute and ongoing nursing care, Macmillan nursing, continuing care, respiratory physiotherapy, child and family support, training, special schools nursing and multicultural support.

A team member who nominated Avril for the Cavell Star awards said: “Over the years Avril has built up such lovely relationships with the children and families she cares for. They all love Avril, and she manages to have a really positive impact on them, even if she’s only met them a few times. I remember Avril meeting one little girl and she subsequently asked ‘where’s Avril’ every visit. A little boy with complex needs visited our office recently and was only interested in finding Avril’s desk – she was on her day off and he wasn’t impressed!”

Avril has an impact on the team she supports, and everyone has a soft spot for her, and she is definitely the ‘matriarch’ of the team. She very much looks after her team and is extremely proud to manage them. Everyone loves her ‘’Fruit Fridays’ when she turns up with fruit for the team.

Avril very much adores her own family and her main aim in life is to be a supportive wife, mum and grandma. She is also very committed to her Christian faith and her Church Community. Avril’s family originates from the Caribbean, and she embraces her culture and loves visiting her homeland. It is always lovely listening to all her stories of the special times she shared with her family and community and know she is equally loved and well thought of by them.

The team, with Avril’s leadership, has cared for so many children, young people and families over the past 25 years and Avril has been central to the team’s development and the excellent care provided.

The whole Diana service is proud of Avril’s lifetime dedication to nursing, in particular her care of children and young people with complex needs and she will be leaving a lasting legacy as she retires.

This award is the icing on the cake for her and will hopefully show her how proud we are of her.”

An inspiring national awards programme, Cavell Star Awards are given to nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who shine bright and show exceptional care. https://www.cavellstarawards.org/