Amanda Simukai

Amanda Simukai pic small

Amanda was born and grew up in a small province of Gweru in Zimbabwe, where she lived with her family until they all migrated to the UK in the late 1990s. After moving to London with her family, Amanda followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a nurse, before settling in Wales with her partner and child. 
Amanda says: 

"I arrived in the UK when I was 9 years old as the last of my siblings to make the trip to London to be with my family. My parents are still based in London, and I like to go and visit them as often as possible and enjoy some of my mother’s amazing home cooked meals, even though I am now very happy to call Wales my home.  

"My mother was a midwife back in Zimbabwe and continued her nursing career when she moved to the UK. She was a huge inspiration to both me and my sister to enter the nursing profession. Although I had already completed a Psychology degree at London South Bank University previously, I felt like I hadn’t found my own path and spent a few years working in retail, before deciding on becoming a nurse at 25.  

"I then attended Huddersfield University in England to obtain my nursing degree. Although I had never heard of the place before, after doing some research on Huddersfield, I knew this was the right place for me.  

"I qualified in 2018 and then moved to Birmingham, England to pursue my nursing career at a Priory Group Hospital as a CAMHS nurse, which would later impact my future career.  

"During my time working in Birmingham, I met my future husband and became pregnant with my daughter. Following my maternity leave, we decided to move to Wales – which is where my husband is from. As I was now based in Cardiff, Wales with my family, I began looking for a post in CAMHS and eventually found an opportunity with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  

"I was in the CAMHS Crisis Team for six months and later joined the Interventions Team as a Nurse Therapist. I currently practice talking therapies, which can involve anxiety management and other mental health disorders such as OCD and low mood, while covering the whole mental health aspect of care. I really enjoyed this work as it was largely autonomous, and you can manage your own caseload for patients - who will literally remember you for the rest of their life.  

"Since moving here, I have found Cardiff and Wales to be a totally different environment to London, even going as far to say it is the opposite end of the spectrum. I have found Wales to be a friendly and welcoming environment. You can literally walk down a street and a complete stranger will say “good morning” to you, which is something I was not used to previously coming from London. I found that there everyone is in such a rush, barging into you and not acknowledge you – coming to a community like Wales is amazing. 

"With a young family, I also find that living somewhere with clean, fresh air and having nature right on your doorstep makes a big difference also. Just minutes from my front door I can go for a hike and explore the mountains or visit the seaside. I feel this makes a big difference to me and my families health and wellbeing.  

"I admittedly didn’t know much about Wales before moving here and was even surprised that they had supermarkets like Tesco and Aldi! As it is a country with its own culture and language, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it is very similar to England in most respects as everyone here speaks English and Wales, with Wales having all the same modern conveniences as other parts of the UK.  

"I have enjoyed living and working in Wales so much that I have even convinced a newly qualified nurse friend of mine to move here. As the cost of living is so much cheaper in Wales compared to London and other parts of England, it also makes a lot of sense for people looking to start their own families to move here. 

"Working in Wales has also given me a new approach to my career and professional goals. It has allowed me to be more flexible as my manager is very understanding should any family emergencies arise, such as childcare issues. This has been a great help to me personally.  

"As there are so many opportunities to progress within NHS Wales, I want to give myself the best possible chance of success, so in terms of the future, I would like to undertake a nurse prescribing course soon and even see myself going back into some sort of education. 

"I’d definitely recommend Wales to anyone thinking of moving and working here. Even if you just want to come down for a weekend visit and have a look around - you will see how special and welcoming it is. Especially if you are looking for a more rewarding work/life balance and more affordable housing."   

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