Originally from Wales, Sharon decided to return home to Brecon in 2009 to find her work life balance, after settling in England for over 20 years. Her devotion to patients and commitment to career progression has seen Sharon named ‘Health Visitor of the Year 2017’. Sharon explains:
“I moved away from Wales at the age of 19 to train as a nurse in the army, because it had always been my ambition. I gained so much life and career experience, I even met my husband in the army, but I always knew I wanted to return to Wales.
“After finishing my Registered General and Sick Children’s Nursing in the army, I undertook further training as a Health Visitor. I loved my work as a Health Visitor, but working and living in Colchester, Essex wasn’t for me. I returned home to mid Wales in 2009 with my husband and to bring up our two children, hoping to discover the work life balance I struggled to achieve in Essex.
“I am now a Health Visitor Lead in Powys, and feel I owe so much of my success to the Powys Teaching Health Board and the flexible learning opportunities that are available in Wales. On my return to Brecon, the health board part funded my Master’s degree in Infant Mental Health and allowed me time aside from my work to complete my studies.
“Career progression is hugely supported here. In my job, I am the health visiting team leader for the South of Powys Health Visitor team which allows me the opportunity to support staff working in community settings and parent’s homes. It has also provided me with the opportunity to shape and influence the health visiting service in Powys and at an “all Wales” level. Also, earlier this year I was lucky enough to receive the ‘Health Visitor of the Year 2017’ award by the Journal of Health Visiting. It makes the job so much more rewarding knowing that my role is widely valued.
“I am a mother of two and easily manage my time between work and home. I love to go rambling in the Brecon Beacons and have recently started challenging myself to take part in half marathons – my countryside location is perfect for this!
“If you love working in a small team and friendly environment, and for a health visiting programme that truly values the patients’ needs, then Wales is the place for you.”