County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close

Nurses are presented British Empire Medals


Nurses recognised in The Queen's Birthday Honours list earlier this year have been presented with their British Empire Medals by Mrs Sue Snowdon, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham

Mary Richardson and Sue Lewis both work for County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and between them have 83 years' service. 


Sue is the Trust's specialist paediatric epilepsy nurse and has worked with and cared for children and young people since 1986. She developed an interest in childhood epilepsy early in her career when, in addition to her nursing job she also cared for a young child with severe epilepsy for a few hours per week, allowing his family some respite time. Having gained knowledge and qualifications around this complex condition, Sue was instrumental in setting up the specialist service and became the Trust's first specialist paediatric epilepsy nurse.  She now works full time with children and young people with epilepsy and in support of their families. Sue also ensures professional colleagues are up to date with all aspects of epilepsy and runs a clinic for young people as they transition from children's to adult care. 

Sue said, "I absolutely love my job and feel very fortunate to be able to support and care for young patients and their families.  To be given a British Empire Medal is very humbling and I accept it on behalf of all the members of our brilliant team." 

Mary Richardson has worked for the NHS for 51 years, caring for patients in hospital and community settings. Mary has been instrumental in developing services, particularly for the most vulnerable and less able patients. Mary embraces change but, at the same time, her leadership has illustrated that 'old school values' of nursing are very relevant in society today and that the ethos of going the extra mile can have a significant impact on patients' ability to remain in their own homes. 

Mary is a selfless practical nurse who, for example, will hang out a patient's washing if it's clear to her they can't do this themselves.  She has also shopped for groceries in her own time when she's seen a real need.    It's this unconditional kindness that sets her apart. 

Mary undertook a BSc Hons, in Community Nursing at the age of 57 and is currently a district nursing sister.   

Commenting on the award, Mary said, "I will treasure this British Empire Medal and am delighted to accept it on behalf of nurses across the NHS who work tirelessly every day to give our patients the very best care."    

Mrs Sue Snowdon said, "The dedication and selflessness of Sue and Mary is awe inspiring and I am delighted to Represent Her Majesty The Queen in giving them these much deserved British Empire Medals.  We are very lucky to have nurses and other healthcare professionals working across services in County Durham." 

Noel Scanlon, director of nursing at County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "In the 70th year since the foundation of the NHS, health workers made up one in eight of people recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. More than 60 awards have gone to people working in the NHS, indicating the esteem in which the NHS, and dedicated people like Sue and Mary who have given a lifetime of service to our community, is held. We are all very proud of Sue and Mary and the thousands of staff like them who have dedicated their lives to the care of the sick and their families."



Published 26th October 2018


'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital