Elaine and Yomi talk all things nursing

13 May 2024

Elaine Brettell was just 15 years old when she started work at Salford Royal as a cadet nurse.

This year, at the age of 85, Elaine is still very much a part of the hospital and is celebrating her 70th year of service at the place she says holds lots of happy memories.

Elaine, who is now a volunteer on the Hope Building main entrance reception, said: “I still remember finishing school then just a few days later heading to the matron’s office and registering to become a nurse, I was as proud as punch.

“I felt so privileged to be a nurse; it’s such a unique position to be in.”

To mark the marvellous milestone, Elaine took time out to meet pre-reg nursing associate Yomi Aminu to talk about who or what inspired them to get into nursing.

Yomi, who recently won the Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion at the 2024 Student Nursing Times Awards, said: “When I was little and playing with my friends, they all wanted to be police officers but I always wanted to be the doctor.

"My parents couldn’t afford medical school but when I moved to the UK 20 years ago, I started working in nursing homes and supporting elderly patients; it has always been my passion. I managed to get on to the apprenticeship and thought if I can’t be a doctor, I can still be a nurse and look after people.”

Yomi started work at the NCA five years ago as a clinical support worker on ward M2, acute medical ward. After three years, he became a senior support worker before successfully applying for the role of trainee nursing associate, a two-year fixed term contract with training. After completing the course, he is now a pre-reg nursing associate working on critical care at Salford Royal.

He added: “Nursing is not just a job, it’s a calling; extending that helping hand when someone is in need.”

Elaine still has fond memories of her time working on the wards at Salford Royal and says she’d do it all again if she had the chance. “If I could, I would do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing,” she said. “But now, it’s people like Yomi who are the future of nursing and I think the patients will be in very safe hands.”


In recognition of her unwavering dedication and exceptional service, the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford has presented Elaine with the Mayor’s Citizen Award. Read more on My Hub: Our Elaine receives Mayor’s Citizen Award :: Northern Care Alliance 



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