Gladys 'The Manchester Angel'

March 2021

Gladys Nkhola, who works at independent hospital Monet Lodge in Manchester, has been recognised for her contribution to compassion in nursing.

Gladys 2

The 75-year-old nursing superstar, who has been working 60 hour weeks throughout the pandemic, has been named the winner of the Compassion Award at the Markel Third Sector Care Awards.

Gladys has been dual qualified as an RGN and an RMN since 1976. Moving to the UK from South Africa in 2002, she has nursed at Monet Lodge since 2004.

According to the judges, the award recognises someone who conducts tireless and unwavering work to ensure those around them feel safe, respected and dignified.

Gladys chose to qualify as a nurse in South Africa after watching her 48-year-old mother pass away from a heart attack in front of her. Gladys was just 23 at the time.

Despite being in an at risk category herself, she has taken on two extra night shifts a week during the pandemic to cover for staff who are isolating. Switching to taxis rather than taking the bus to reduce the risk of her bringing coronavirus to residents has been her only concession.

Joby Raju, clinical lead at Monet Lodge, said: "With both her age and her Black South African heritage putting her clearly in a risk group herself, she has been utterly selfless throughout the pandemic.

"Gladys has dedicated her life as a nurse to the care of others. At 75, she continues to work tirelessly and compassionately, night after night, to ensure that the patients in her care receive the absolute best care that they deserve.

"She has an inherent sense of humanity, compassion, love and understanding. Her clinical knowledge is vast and she is a great motivator and leader. Working on shift with Gladys, staff always learn something new.

"Gladys always has a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye and nothing, absolutely nothing, is too much trouble for her."

The awards were announced during a live online celebration, co-hosted by Dame Esther Rantzen and her daughter, Rebecca Wilcox.

Gladys is also in the running for five Great British Care Awards.

Gladys has become a celebrity in the local area and has received lots of praise from people in the community. Here are a few comments that people have left on social media:

"Gladys you are one truly amazing nurse who has already won all these awards in my mind. The things you have done and still do for my mum will never ever be forgotten. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. "
"What a wonderful, kind and selfless lady she is risking her own life to make sure others are looked after. "
"It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do. I’m sure if we look close enough we will see some wings. "
"Gladys Nkhola, you're a Manc Angel, you make us proud of you. "
"What an extraordinary human being ."

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