Sid Valley says farewell to Heidi as new Admiral Nurse is appointed for the area

PUBLISHED: 07:02 13 September 2019

Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9764. Picture: Terry Ife

Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9764. Picture: Terry Ife

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The Sid Valley bid farewell to its 'champion' Admiral Nurse as she takes on a new role after two and a half years.

Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9757. Picture: Terry IfeHeidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9757. Picture: Terry Ife

Heidi Crook was first appointed in March 2017 after the community raised £100,000 to bring a dementia specialist to the area.

Miss Crook was the first ever Admiral Nurse in Devon and has provided practical and emotional support to more than 230 families in the valley.

Rachel Johnstone, on behalf of the memory café, said Miss Crook would be 'sadly missed' after touching the lives of many in the valley.

The, trustee for the memory café and business development officer for Dementia UK, said: "I have no doubt that Heidi has made a lasting impression on the Sid Valley community, having supported 230 family carers living with dementia in the two-and-a-half years she has been an Admiral Nurse.

Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9755. Picture: Terry IfeHeidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9755. Picture: Terry Ife

"Not only that, but because of the depth of her knowledge of dementia care, coupled with her passion for advocating for the needs of family carers, she has influenced the practice of other professionals.

"I don't think it is a coincidence that we have seen a number of Admiral Nurses in Devon rise from one to six in the past couple of years and Heidi has been a fantastic champion for Admiral Nursing."

In 2018, Miss Crook won community nurse of the year at the first Devon Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) Excellence in Nursing awards.

At a farewell party held for her on Wednesday (September 11), Miss Crook thanked the community for its support and wished her successor the best taking on the role.

Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9752. Picture: Terry IfeHeidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9752. Picture: Terry Ife

She said: "The two-and-a-half years have gone in a whirlwind, it has gone so quickly. It has been great.

"It has been non-stop for a couple of years. We have found someone to come in. That has given me a sense of peace that there is going to be someone to support the families. That's what I want to know - that people are still getting the support.

"I want to say a big thank-you to everyone. The support from the community has been absolutely amazing and it's because of you that this role has been such a success."

Miss Crook, who commutes to Sidmouth daily from Torquay, will be taking up a new role with Macmillan.

Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9750. Picture: Terry IfeHeidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9750. Picture: Terry Ife

She said she has enjoyed the joint imitative with Sidmouth Hospiscare to provide a befriending service for people with dementia to allow carers to have a break.

She added: "There are ideas I will be leaving behind such as other ways to support carers."

Duncan Watt, chairman of trustees, said: "We are blessed that we have already recruited another Admiral Nurse to take her place so that there will be minimal interruption to the service. We look forward to welcoming Heidi's successor."

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Heidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9764. Picture: Terry IfeHeidi Crook, Sidmouth's Admiral Nurse at a leaving event during the memory cafe. Ref shs 37 19TI 9764. Picture: Terry Ife

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