Bev Applin, Lead Nurse Community Services, retires after 17 years

Bev was a great manager; she was a good listener, always asking our opinions and open to ideas. She was very approachable and generous with her time and never afraid to roll her sleeves up and get stuck in when things got busy.

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Bev Applin, Lead Nurse for Community Services, who had worked for St Wilfrid's Hospice for over 17 years. During this time she has not only been a key member of staff but also a fundamental part of the development of St Wilfrid’s, particularly community services, over the years.

After qualifying in 1982, Bev started her nursing career as a Staff Nurse working on acute surgical wards. During the next few years she built on her knowledge and skills by undertaking a research project before taking the decision to move into community nursing.  Bev went on to join Marie Curie as a Team Leader in 1998, a role which brought her to St Wilfrid’s on many occasions to meet with Brendan (Medical Director) and Alison (Chief Executive).

“I enjoyed the atmosphere and sense of humour that the hospice exuded. Palliative care had always been an interest in my previous jobs, so joining St Wilfrid’s was a great opportunity to progress.”

Over the next 17 years Bev advanced from Clinical Nurse Specialist to Team Leader and finally on to Lead Nurse Community Services and a member of the Management Team in 2004. In 2009 Bev introduced the Hospice at Home service and in 2012 she recruited a Practice Educator to work with care homes and educate their staff in end of life care. More recently Bev had been very involved in planning the DREAMBUILDING with the other Management Team members.

Bev is never one to turn down a challenge and in 2006 she was given the opportunity to go to Antigua to help set up the equivalent of a Hospice at Home service. When she returned three years later they had also built an eight-bedded unit from an old converted hospital out-building. Today they also have 3 thrift shops which help raise money for the Hospice and after all these years, Bev is still in contact with them.

The CNS team are infamous for their trips away and in 2016 Bev helped organise a trip for 16 of them to Barcelona. As you can imagine a great time was had by all - possibly apart from the two-hour shortcut.

“We had all been out for the evening and we were walking back to the hotel when Bev decided to take us back via a short cut. The walk took us through a park and by the time we reached the other end, we realised the gates were locked and we had to walk all the way back round. We were laughing so much we got told to be quiet by the sleeping homeless in the park!”

With retirement comes time to pursue some of the many interests that Bev has. She is planning plenty of travel with trips to China, Cornwall, Austria and Switzerland already in the diary, and that’s just for starters. Shopping, eating out, meeting friends, exercise and sewing are also on the agenda – she’s going to wonder how she ever found time to work!