Jacqui Longden, Home Manager at Preston Glades Care Home in Preston, was left in shock when she received a letter from ‘Her Majesty’s Service’.
The letter, wasn’t as Jacqui feared, a summons for Jury service, but in fact news that she was being awarded with a British Empire Medal (BEM).
The award recognises her ‘hands-on’ service to the community that has made a ‘significant difference’ for a military charity for limbless veterans.
Having no idea who nominated her, Jacqui said: “I was speechless, which is pretty unusual for me! It’s such a proud moment. I loved doing what I was doing.”
Jacqui trained as a nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital before working abroad in Germany and Cyprus.
She joined Blesma in 2000 as head nurse at the charity’s 45-bed nursing home in Lytham Road and was appointed manager soon after. In her role she cared for limbless veterans, ranging from permanently placed Second World War heroes with wounds incurred as prisoners of war in the Far East, to veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq in need of shorter term care.
Blesma closed in October after almost 70 years, and Jacqui added: “It was a very sad day when I left and closed the door behind me.
“There was never a day when I got up in the morning and thought, ‘Oh, work, I don’t want to go’. It was such a wonderful place.”
Now the manager at Preston Glades, Jacqui continues to make a difference to the lives of those in her care.
Congratulations Jacqui this accolade is very well deserved.
Date published: 15 September 2017