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Award-winning nurses get royal seal of approval

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Heather Carrick from Glasgow and Julie Chambers from Belfast were named as winners in the prestigious national WellChild Awards 2009.

Ms Carrick, who runs a team of Carers for children with complex needs and life limiting conditions in Helensburgh and West Dunbartonshire, won the category of Best Nurse and Ms Chambers, who works in the Community Children’s Nursing Services team for Downpatrick Community Services, was winner of Best Community Practitioner.

Ms Carrick and Ms Chambers met with WellChild patron, Prince Harry at a private reception after which they received awards at a ceremony attended by many of WellChild’s celebrity supporters, including comedian Joe Pasquale, footballer Jermain Defoe and Strictly Come Dancing’s Ian Waite. Ms Carrick received her award from Joanne Bannatyne and explorer Benedict Allen and Ms Chambers from two actors from The Bill - Ben Richards and Gary Lucy.

Speaking at the event Prince Harry said “It is an honour for me to be here this evening, my third year at the WellChild Awards. Each time I come away humbled by the extraordinary young people that I have met - and by the equally extraordinary individuals who dedicate their lives to looking after these wonderful young people; parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, the teams of nurses and doctors and the researchers. All of you are truly remarkable.

“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for inviting me to be here to share this happy occasion with you.”

WellChild’s Director of Programmes, Linda Partridge, is also a member of that panel. She explained: “This year we have received hundreds of incredible nominations with amazing stories of bravery and moving accounts of care and support. As well as wonderful professionals like Heather and Julie who go the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of sick children, our Awards also honour courageous children who cope so brilliantly with major health problems.

“In celebrating courage, dedication and excellence, the Awards are a perfect demonstration of WellChild’s commitment to helping as many children as we can as they deal with the consequences of serious illness or complex conditions.”

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