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This nurse has been living in a Campervan in a hospital car park to help out during Covid-19

PUBLISHED: 06:30 07 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:04 08 June 2020

Ros McManus with her VW campervan at the back of the James Paget Hospital. Photo: Ros McManus

Ros McManus with her VW campervan at the back of the James Paget Hospital. Photo: Ros McManus

Ros McManus

A retired nurse who returned to work on a coronavirus ward has spent the last six weeks living in a campervan at the back of a Norfolk hospital to shield her high-risk husband.

Ros Mcmanus and Joe McManus with their new VW campervan before the pandemic. Photo: Ros McManusRos Mcmanus and Joe McManus with their new VW campervan before the pandemic. Photo: Ros McManus

Ros McManus, 59, retired as a nurse on the stroke ward at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston in March and was planning her dream of going travelling with her husband of 35 years.

But after the coronavirus outbreak, Ms McManus made the decision to go back to help on the Covid-19 ward, as a bank nurse, and move out of her family home in Great Yarmouth to protect her husband, Joe McManus, who has had a transplant.

After purchasing a new VW Campervan from Waveney Campers, a family-run business based at Norwich Camping and Leisure, Ms McManus thought it would be the perfect time to try out her new mobile home.

For the last six weeks she has been living at the back of the hospital.

James Hodds, from Waveney Campers and Road Drifter Rentals, a family-run business based at Norwich Camping and Leisure. Photo: Emily ThomsonJames Hodds, from Waveney Campers and Road Drifter Rentals, a family-run business based at Norwich Camping and Leisure. Photo: Emily Thomson

She said: “A lot of people have made a lot of sacrifices – that was just my little bit.

“We bought the campervan for holidays and I thought I could easily live in it, so James from Waveney Campers set me up at the back of the hospital and helps me with anything I need – I couldn’t have done it without him.

“I’m really enjoying the van and its quite relaxing when you finish work.

“It has everything I need and I sleep on a lilo in the roof - it’s really comfortable.

James Hodds, Zeenat Hodds, Alan Strong and Lynne Strong, from Waveney Campers and Road Drifter Rentals, a family-run campervan business based at Norwich Camping and Leisure. Photo: Emily ThomsonJames Hodds, Zeenat Hodds, Alan Strong and Lynne Strong, from Waveney Campers and Road Drifter Rentals, a family-run campervan business based at Norwich Camping and Leisure. Photo: Emily Thomson

“But it has been a totally different life. I have had a lot to learn at work on the coronavirus ward and Campervan living.

“I miss my husband, but it doesn’t do you any harm having a few weeks apart and we appreciate each other more now.”

James Hodds, 37, from Waveney Campers and Road Drifter Rentals, has been helping the nurse with her new home.

He said: “Ros is an amazing lady and she has done exceptionally well.

Waveney Campers and Road Drifer Rentals, based at Norwich Camping and Leisure, sell, rent and convert ex-commercial VW vans. Photo: Emily ThomsonWaveney Campers and Road Drifer Rentals, based at Norwich Camping and Leisure, sell, rent and convert ex-commercial VW vans. Photo: Emily Thomson

“I took her a generator and so she doesn’t have to move the van I fill up petrol cans and take them when she runs out. For what she is doing, it’s the least we could do.

“But it proves that campervans don’t just have to be for the odd weekend. It’s a lifestyle which is ideal for social distancing and we have seen a lot more interest.”

Alan Strong and Lynne Strong started Waveney Campers, a family-run business,15 years ago, Photo: Emily ThomsonAlan Strong and Lynne Strong started Waveney Campers, a family-run business,15 years ago, Photo: Emily Thomson

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