• Helen

Our Caring Heroes

I stood by an open window, the time was 20.00 hrs and on the National News I heard that in solidarity we were asked to applaud and clap for our health-service workers, here in the UK, as we stand united against Coronavirus. I saw a girl emerge first from her door and I shouted:

" Let's Clap for our National Health Service."

With that everyone who had been waiting started the applause. It echoed everywhere and when we paused and went inside, we saw the news on the TV where it was still going on, up and down the land, every city North to South. I remarked on social media afterward that I wished I was back in my nurse's uniform and that I was standing alongside our caring heroes.

So with that introduction, I commence this English to Care blog page. What a start to document such a historic moment in all of our civilisation. We will hopefully look back on this, if we all survive this pandemic, to say that we were part of history, supporting our fellow health-care workers.

Why was I not in a uniform? Why am I not on the front-line? Well, I left the NHS about eight years ago. I had been working as a nurse for nearly thirty years, both in hospitals and in the community and I needed to rest and change my career for my own health and well-being. So that's when I went to work in education, trained in English as a second language and that's how English to Care was born.

Now, it is my passion and my privilege to be here on this website writing this and hoping many of you will be able to translate and make sense of the words I am using. You see language is such a complex thing, isn't it? What we say can be interpreted in more than one way, can act as a touch of the hand or the giving of one's heart. What you will read here will be from my heart as I try to help people become who they want to be in their health-care roles. To have the English language they need to succeed.

As I promised on my Facebook page this week, this web page will be a place for teaching material for the OET nursing exam and general English support. I want to find out from you what you need from me.

People can be shy but I would appreciate you commenting and talking to me. Being in an online world can be a strange place. You think no-one notices but I know people are watching, reading and my following has grown, and for that, I am very grateful and encouraged.

People who know me personally know that I can talk too much. I have had to learn to listen more over the years but writing comes easily to me. My friends know that what I do I always give 100%. I'm not saying I am perfect with the English language, native speakers seldom are. We can make language mistakes and I'm no exception but I look at and edit my work very carefully and always welcome any constructive feedback on my writing.

So this is the personality and the human side of me as I start this writing journey. Tell me which country you come from, your life and work. What you hope to achieve and what are your struggles? When we have conquered this virus we are all going to be needed more than ever. Let's build the language skills ( speaking, listening, writing, reading) we will all need, based on care and compassion, to deliver the very best care we can to those who are sick and vulnerable. For me, there can be no greater achievement than this.

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