Uniformed Hero nominee – Selma Malam
Selma Malam is still working full-time as a nurse at the age of 67 and she’s never had a day off sick in her life.
The gran-of-three, from Newcastle, worked in care homes throughout the pandemic and now works up to four 12-hour shifts per week as a general nurse in a care home for people with dementia.
“I don’t do it because I need the money,” she said. “I still do it because I love the job and I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I stopped.”
She qualified as a nurse 46 years ago but has worked in nursing since the age of 16 after growing up in care and foster homes.
She has worked at Stafford and Cannock NHS hospitals, at Nuffield hospitals, at around 50 different care homes and has even been the weekend nurse for the late Lord Harrowby of Sandon Hall.
Selma’s work is physically demanding and often sees her dealing with end-of-life care alongside much younger colleagues.
“It’s hard work but it’s easy if you know what you’re doing,” she said. “It’s a job I love so it’s not a job.”
Selma has been nominated as a Uniformed Hero in the Your Heroes Awards by her husband David, a retired police officer. He chose Uniformed Hero rather than NHS Hero because Selma isn’t currently employed by the NHS and wasn’t eligible for NHS recognition given to many nurses who worked during the pandemic.
He said: “My gorgeous wife Selma has been a nurse since she was at school, firstly working in the medical unit at Yarnfield BT College as a teenager. She then worked as a cadet at Barton Land Nursing Home in Barlaston. She did her nursing training at Stafford General Hospital in 1977 and qualified as a State Enrolled Nurse.
“Since then Selma has worked tirelessly as a nurse in hospitals and nursing homes across the counties of Staffordshire and Cheshire. Selma worked as an agency nurse for Medicare in Stone while our two sons were young, fitting her work in around their growing up.
“A lot of her agency work was done at Heliosa Nursing home in Congleton where she worked virtually every day throughout the pandemic having to wear PPE throughout her 12-hour shifts under government imposed restrictions.
“Selma is now 67 and so has been nursing for well over 50 years and as her husband I believe her dedication to nursing needs recognition.”
He added: “The NHS recently awarded their staff with a medal for work done during Covid. As Selma worked for private companies she doesn’t qualify for this award. I feel a Your Heroes Award would go some way to appeasing this.”