A DEDICATED Dudley nurse who has retired after spending well over half a century caring for people across the Black Country has been given an emotional send-off by colleagues.

Christine Heathcote bid a fond farewell to the nursing profession and to her friends and colleagues at a special “this is your life” style leaving event at Brierley Hill Health Care Centre.

The 72-year-old has called time on a career which started way back in 1961 when she started her three year nursing qualification at Dudley College whilst also working at Wordsley Hospital as a cadet nurse.

Christine said: “It has been an honour to do the job I love for so long. The send off I’ve been given has been very emotional and I want to thank all of my colleagues for being so kind.”

Sally Grimmet - Bate, a long standing colleague of Christine's said: “Christine really has been a modern day Florence Nightingale and has been like a mother figure to so many student nurses who continue to demonstrate her values in the jobs they do.

“Her dedication to the job has been a true inspiration to so many nurses and we all wish her a happy retirement full of fun and laughter.”

In her early years Christine, of Valley Road in Lye, enjoyed a year as a student nurse at Wolverhampton Royal Hospital before starting work at Corbett Hospital in Stourbridge in 1968.

She worked there for 27 years through to 1995 working on both busy medical and surgical wards.

During her time there in 1971 she won the prestigious Gifford Award for nursing (pictured far right- on the black and white picture to follow)

In her latter years the nursing stalwart spent time caring for others at Moss Grove in Kingswinford formally as a district nurse and then nursing sister for the elderly.

She finished her distinguished career at Brierley Hill Health Care Centre where she has been nursing since 2011 to the end of her working time making home visits and caring for patients within the community.

In her retirement Christine, who is looking forward to the arrival of her fourth grandchild, said she hopes to find time to do more gardening and also spend more time with her family and friends.