A Sanctuary Care home in Watlington has been the scene of excitement after a much-loved team member joined royalty at a celebration of nursing.
Following a surprise nomination by her employer Sanctuary Care, deputy manager at Watlington and District Nursing Home on Hill Road, Josie Barcial was invited to Buckingham Palace for a reception hosted by The Prince of Wales on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen to celebrate nursing in the UK.
Josie was selected for her significant contribution to nursing, alongside fellow nurses from all over the country and throughout the profession; from hospitals and general practice to community and nursing homes.
A royal encounter
Josie had the privilege of meeting The Prince of Wales at last week’s event. Glowing following her experience, Josie said: “I curtsied and he extended his hand, asking me what it was like working in a nursing home - I replied that “it is very rewarding your highness!”
“I felt so special, imagine the future King of England just in front of you, speaking like ordinary people.”
Josie, who is originally from the Philippines, joined Sanctuary Care in 2003, recruited as an overseas nurse.
“It’s like a dream come true”
Speaking of her first interview with Sanctuary Care, she recalled: “I remember one of the questions asked was ‘Why would you like to come to work in the UK?’ I answered I would like to see Buckingham Palace; it had always been a place of fantasy for me, along with the idea of kings and queens.
“When I arrived in the UK, I did go to the palace but could only look through the gates. Now I have been inside – it’s like a dream come true.”
Sheila O’Connor, Sanctuary Care’s Director of Operations said: “We were over the moon that Josie was chosen to experience this very special event and achieve her dream of seeing Buckingham Palace. We are honoured that she was there, as a representative of Sanctuary Care and all of the wonderful nurses we have caring for our residents. It is fitting that this celebration happened during Sanctuary Care’s 20th anniversary of delivering care to our residents – a double celebration indeed.”
Moving to the United Kingdom after working as a nurse both in the Philippines and Los Angeles, USA, Josie began work at Watlington and District Nursing Home in 2004 and has been there ever since.
Beginning her journey as a nurse, she is now deputy manager at the home, where her daughter, who also studied nursing in the Philippines, now works too.
When asked how she felt whilst at the palace, Josie added: “I am so honoured and delighted to have been a part of this celebration, being inside the palace and to even more delight, shaking the hand of The Prince of Wales.
“I cannot express how proud I was to be there – an event I will treasure forever.”