'I thought it was a scam!' Littleport nurse Liz shocked to receive nomination for national award

PUBLISHED: 16:14 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:14 05 May 2016

Liz Smith, manager of The Gables in Littleport, with residents Edith and Rosemary.

Liz Smith, manager of The Gables in Littleport, with residents Edith and Rosemary.

Archant

A nurse from Littleport has told of her surprise on learning that she had nominated for a national award for her work with those with learning disabilities.

Liz Smith, with 96-year-old resident, Edith.Liz Smith, with 96-year-old resident, Edith.

Liz Smith, home manager at the Gables residential home, received an email regarding her nomination for the Learning Disability Nurse Award last weekend, but initially thought it was a wind-up.

She said: “I went on my emails on Saturday and it said ‘congratulations, you have been nominated.’ I emailed the head of operations and asked what it was and if someone was winding me up but he said ‘it’s not a scam - congratulations!’”

Ms Smith, 61, has spent seven of her 42 years in nursing at the home on Ely Road, where she provides care for 16 individuals with learning disabilities.

She had previously cared for people with disabilities in Kent and London, and says that an awards nomination has been a long time coming.

Liz Smith, who has been shortlisted for the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards.Liz Smith, who has been shortlisted for the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards.

“All these years I’ve been nursing and all the years I’ve been here and I’ve finally been nominated,” she said.

“It’s often been the case of me being there and working hard but other people getting the recognition, so I’m happy to have finally been nominated.”

Liz has been nominated by the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards, which celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and aim to pay tribute to those who excel in providing quality care.

The 61-year-old has been involved in nursing since she was 13, and says that she’s pleased that attitudes towards those with mental disabilities are changing.

She said: “It my generation there was a big stigma surrounding handicapped people - they were never seen. Now they’re treated a lot more equally.

“People don’t stare and think ‘oh, there’s something wrong with that person’ anymore.

“There’s still a long way to go of course, but it’s a start.”

Liz will find out if she has been successful at a special awards gala, which is to be held at the ICC in Birmingham in July.

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