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International Women’s Day: ‘A woman who inspires me…’

Our Admiral Nurses open up on the women who have most inspired them.

This International Women’s Day, we asked three of our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses about women who have inspired them. 

“My beloved granny Joan was my role model”

The woman I admired, and still admire, most is my beloved granny, Joan. She passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in April 2011. I miss her so, so much. She was a source of great strength and truly was the greatest role model I could have asked for.  

Granny was an auxiliary nurse at Cross Houses Hospital. She was a strong and formidable woman who valued family more than anything else. She also wasn’t afraid to stand her ground if she thought people were being cruel or unjust.

Admiral Nurse Cheryl is pictured as a young girl waiting at the train station, sitting next to her grandmother Joan.

When Granny developed Alzheimer’s disease, she sadly lost some of these traits and became quite timid and withdrawn. But I will never forget her strength of character. And I have always been inspired by the courage she instilled in me. I am proud to say that I have inherited many of her values, including a strong sense of family and standing up for those who can’t speak for themselves. I use these values every day in my work as an Admiral Nurse. 

I have been an Admiral Nurse since 2019 and when I started my nurse training it was always my goal. It’s my dream job and I love the work I do.  

Granny is the reason I am an Admiral Nurse. I am so proud to be her granddaughter.  

Cheryl Scarrott is an Admiral Nurse based in Telford and Wrekin.  


“Mum inspires me to always look for the positive”

My late mum, Susan, inspires me every day.  

Mum was a very creative person. Before she went into nursing, she actually got offered a place at fashion college! But she turned this down and became a nurse at just 17 years old. It may sound a bit clichéd, but I do believe Mum was born to be a nurse. She had such a caring nature and always put others before herself.   

Mum also had a self-confidence. I have many childhood memories watching her in her element, providing care and support as an elderly care nurse. She would exude a warmth that felt so genuine, and she truly was loved by everyone she met. She was a great listener. So many people would go to her for support. And she seemed to always have time for them – or maybe she just made time for them.

Admiral Nurse Hannah is pictured in her graduation gown from university, standing next to her mother Susan. 

I never take for granted how lucky I was to have had such a supportive mother during my childhood and young adult life.  

In her later years, her strength especially shone through during her own journey with young onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

Mum inspires me to always look for the positive in any challenge faced.  

Her motto was, “The most important thing in life is good health.” As I get older and work with so many people in my own Admiral nursing, I realise she was so right. 

Hannah Gardner is an Admiral Nurse on the Dementia UK Helpline. 


“Mum never stopped trying to make the world a better place”

This International Women’s Day, I’ll be thinking about my mum, Joan.  

She has had an incredibly difficult life and experienced more than her share of loss. She lost her sister at 13, her mum at 15, and in later years lost a son and a husband. But it has never affected how she treats other people. She is the kindest, most caring person you could ever meet. Despite the cruel cards she has been dealt, she has never stopped trying to make the world a better place.

Admiral Nurse Phil kisses his mother Joan on the cheek as she smiles.  

The strength she’s had to carry on going, through enormous pain, has certainly inspired me. 

I strongly believe the way she brought me up influenced me getting into dementia care, where kindness, compassion and respect lie at the heart of it.  

I learnt those traits from my mum.

Phil Hall is a lead nurse in our Admiral Nurse Academy.