Nurse who served community for 57 years retires

Anne Fackman with a card made for her on her retirement

Anne Fackman with a card made for her on her retirement - Credit: David Hannant

A former district nurse who dedicated more than half-a-century to serving her community has retired.

Anne Fackman (middle) in the early years of her career. Submitted by Anne Fackman

Anne Fackman (middle) in the early years of her career. Submitted by Anne Fackman - Credit: Submitted by Anne Fackman

Anne Fackman, of Gorleston, spent 57 years nursing in the borough, after following her mother Phyllis and sisters Sheila and Judy into the profession.

From here she went on to become thoroughly ingrained in her local community, in several different strands of the profession.

Mrs Fackman's career began in December 1959, when she became a cadet nurse, having attended Gorleston Technical High School.

She said: 'I used to be friendly with somebody who worked at Bird's Eye, and originally wanted to work with her, but my mum wouldn't have any of that. She told me I was going to be a nurse, and that's what I did.

Anne Fackman with colleagues and patients at the General Hospital. Submitted by Anne Fackman

Anne Fackman with colleagues and patients at the General Hospital. Submitted by Anne Fackman - Credit: Submitted by Anne Fackman

'However, as soon as I began, I knew that I had found my niche. I had always been a people person and knew right from the start that it was the job for me.'

She went on to become a student nurse at the General Hospital in Great Yarmouth, where having completed her training, she became a staff nurse.

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Following the birth of her only son - who she had with husband Robert - she returned to work part-time.

In 1974, she then opted for a change of direction, becoming first a community nurse, then a district nurse - a role she held for 26 years.

Anne Fackman in her nurse's uniform after qualifying as a staff nurse. Submitted by Anne Fackman

Anne Fackman in her nurse's uniform after qualifying as a staff nurse. Submitted by Anne Fackman - Credit: Submitted by Anne Fackman

She said: 'As a district nurse you get to know everybody. It isn't just patients you got to know either, you get involved with their families as well.'

Her role would take her all across the borough, to places like Bradwell, Gorleston, Hopton, Yarmouth and Caister.

Son Graham said: 'Growing up I couldn't go anywhere without my mum seeing somebody she knew - she was that connected to the community. 'I know how proud she is of her career, and I'm an incredibly proud son too.'

In 2000, she took her experience into nursing homes - initially spending 12 years working at Gables Nursing Home in Gorleston.

Anne Fackman with colleagues at the General Hospital. Submitted by Anne Fackman

Anne Fackman with colleagues at the General Hospital. Submitted by Anne Fackman - Credit: Submitted by Anne Fackman

'It's impossible to compare the different types of nursing I did,' she said. 'However, I always loved working with elderly people - they always have some interesting tales to tell,

'The thing I am most proud of in my career though, is helping other nurses in their career. It filled me with so much joy to hear about student nurses I had worked with qualifying and becoming full time nurses.'

In 2012, she briefly stopped work to care for her husband, Bob, who had fallen ill, dying later that year.

She then returning to nursing, this time at Claremont House in Caister, where she remained until her retirement in September.

She is now looking forward to being able to spend time travelling, visiting friends across the globe and attending concerts in her newfound spare time - having previously worked up to 13 hours a day on occasion.

Mrs Fackman, 74, added: 'I'm so proud to have stayed in my work for so long.

'I just hope I have been a lot of help to a lot of people over the years.'

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