Gill Godsell, a Consultant nurse in skin cancer, was awarded an OBE for her services to Nursing.
With the support of her department, Gill developed a role for nurses which sped up the diagnosis of skin cancer by training nurses to take biopsies.
When Gill was invited to Buckingham Palace to get her OBE, she took her three boys. It was a day they will never forget:
“You remember everything. I wore a big hat; I bought a suit. The Queen looked lovely, in a neutral outfit. Her Majesty asked two questions ‘Where are you from? And what do you do?’, then once she lets go of your hand, that’s the sign for you to go away.
“My youngest was 5-years-old and he was so proud, he wrote an essay about it. The school did an article too. We still talk about it now.”
After receiving her award, Gill remembers fondly how they left Buckingham Palace and went to get something to eat:
“We went to Burger King! We all sat there in the restaurant and I still had my big hat on. We couldn’t afford to go to the Savoy for tea; I was a nurse and a single parent. We loved it! It was funny! The fact we went to Burger King afterwards made it more memorable.”
Gill doesn’t think an OBE would have been possible without the encouragement of her team, a team she has been a part of for more than 30 years:
“I love my job and I love the people I work with. There are some great minds here at the QMC and I learn every day from the doctors and nurses. Everyone is so supportive.
“While I got the OBE, I wouldn’t have done it without the team behind me, encouraging me.”
This weekend, the Queen will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, and Gill will be marking the occasion too:
“The Queen’s amazing; she’s 96 and still working. She is a brilliant role model for everybody.
“I’ll be waving a little Union Jack and celebrating too. We’re so lucky to have her.”