NURSES across Dorset will be celebrating International Nurses Day on Monday in recognition of their vital work.

Weldmar Hospicecare Trust has a total of 57 nurses who provide care to patients and their families in a variety of roles ranging from auxiliary nurses and healthcare assistants, staff nurses, senior staff nurses, sisters and Weldmar community nurses. This year the charity is celebrating three decades of care following the creation of the community specialist palliative care nursing service in 1984 and the opening of Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester in 1994. Chris Barrett, Julie Nash and Jayne Callow have all worked at the Dorchester hospice since the day it opened.

Julie and Chris are Sisters and Jayne, usually known as Woody, is a senior staff nurse.

They said they had seen changes across the years, including going from a small team of just 19 to 41 nurses. Mrs Callow said: “It’s a team of friends rather than colleagues.”

When asked what had kept them at the hospice for two decades, Mrs Nash said: “It’s as important to me to be here today as it was on day one and I am proud of the Trust and what it has achieved.” She said it was important to support the fundraisers and had herself done the Midnight Walk.

Mrs Barrett said: “I feel privileged to work for the Trust and to work with a team who are all supportive to each other and have great pride in their work.”

Mrs Callow said: “It’s a very special kind of work looking after patients and their families at such a difficult time in their lives. That’s what keeps me here.”

Director of Nursing and Patient Services, Ruth Burnhill praised all the nurses at Weldmar.

She said: “The role is always more than a job - it is a vocation and requires very special qualities of compassion and empathy, as well as the considerable skills of providing nursing care. “I am proud of all the nurses at Weldmar Hospicecare Trust because of their dedication and commitment to looking after patients and their families at such a difficult and sensitive time and am privileged to be a part of this care.”