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Chris Chambers

Retired Nurse and Acting Chair for the League of Friends

Chris is an experienced nurse whose career has even taken him to Saudi Arabia. Now retired he still supports the NHS through his volunteering with the Warrington League of Friends.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I came to work at Warrington Hospital when I was 16 because I wanted to care for people. I started as a cadet nurse – it was a way to get hands-on experience in the hospital by working in wards and departments. My first two years as a cadet were spent polishing brass, filling water jugs, replacing flowers, and emptying ash trays (!) on the wards. I sat my entrance exam to become a state registered nurse (SRN) in 1968, and after passing spent the next three years training to become a nurse. 

In 1971 I started working on Daresbury medical block, which used to house four wards (with 33 beds on each), each with its own consultant. Starting as shift nurse, I then became a sister, finally becoming a ward manager by 1986. I was offered the chance to further advance my career as a senior, but I decided against it as I wanted to stay delivering care rather than managing staff. 

I decided to go travelling and moved to Saudi Arabia working as a nurse, and came back to the UK in 1998 where I went into roles caring for older people, which I loved.

Tell us about your role? 

I retired in 2011 and decided I wanted to keep helping patients through volunteering. When I worked at Warrington Hospital the League of Friends was a big charity that hosted summer events and fetes on the green space at the back of the Hospital. I always thought they did great work, and around 10 years ago I joined, becoming a treasurer and more recently becoming acting chair.

I help at the League of Friends charity shop in Warrington Hospital, selling lottery tickets and managing the shop and its donations. 

What do you most enjoy about your role? 

I love this role - I give something back, it’s a great way to meet people, and everyone is lovely. The staff here are so thoughtful of all of us at the league and are always popping in. Being a member of the NHS is a great way to help and support people.

What would you say to someone thinking about a career in the NHS? 

It’s really rewarding to be a part of the NHS, as a member of staff and a volunteer. In whatever role you do, you’re giving back, and that’s what really matters.