15 November 2023
Name: Lucy Long
Diagnosis/year: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), aged 2 (2003) and 7 (2008)
When did you first sail with the Trust? Summer 2019
What do you do now? I am currently working as a professional Nanny; approaching the end of my training to earn the title of becoming a 'Norland Nanny', so I can continue to develop in my career.
As a student at Norland College, I'm learning to become a Norland Nanny, an elite childcare professional. This world-famous institution has a rich history of producing top-notch caregivers known for their exceptional skills and commitment to high-quality childcare. Our training equips us to provide the best care, especially for affluent families including royalty, and I'm so excited to be part of this prestigious legacy.
Explain what that means? I have been fortunate enough to train at Norland College in Bath, where I have achieved a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care, as well as currently working towards my Norland Diploma. Norland has provided me with the knowledge, hands-on experience, and practical skills to care and nurture children in my everyday job role of becoming a Nanny.
Why did you want to do this? I have always had a passion for working with children, and this stems from the amazing care I received when I was a child in Great Ormond Street Hospital. The hospital was my second home and growing up in that environment was my ‘normal,’ making many memorable moments that have shaped my love of caring for others.
One of my memories in the hospital when I was eight was watching a programme in my hospital bed of ‘The World’s Most Expensive Nannies' and being in utter awe of what a Norland Nanny was and their unique training. That was the pinnacle moment for me, knowing that I wanted to grow up to be exactly that and call myself a ‘Norlander.’
My appreciation of how special a child is was influenced by the treatment I received the second time I had ALL. I had chemotherapy and full body radiotherapy, which resulted in me not being able to have biological children of my own. Knowing this, I wanted to become a role model to the children I care for and become a person in which they can seek love, comfort, and happiness from to continue to grow into amazing individuals.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done lately? In the Summer, I paddle boarded in the Solent along Colwell Bay (without falling off, which was a big surprise to me).
Why did you need the Trust’s support in recovery? Words cannot express how much the Trust has impacted my life; I never comprehended before my first trip how much support I would have received from the Trust's incredible work and people involved. I have grown so much as a person; having a more positive outlook on my life and for that I could not be more grateful.
Before I attended my first trip, I was scared to talk about my health journey from fear of judgment and acceptance from others. The Trust has made me realise that I am not alone in what I have been through, and finding people like me made me feel like I wasn’t alone; it really is a surreal feeling. Embracing my cancer journey is a part of my recovery and I have the attitude that what I have been through has made me the person I am today and for that I could not be more appreciative.
What part has the Trust played in you doing what you do now? The Trust has equipped me with the confidence to be myself, and I can reciprocate that in providing the best care I can for the children I look after. The Trust has empowered me to believe in myself and know that what I have been through hasn’t held me back from achieving what I have always wanted to do.
Why did you want to come back and volunteer? I wanted to give back to the Trust because I am truly thankful for the wonderful work they do to provide young people with a brighter future and look beyond their illness. I want other Young People to feel as special as I did, understanding that there is someone they can always talk to and a place where they are accepted.
What’s your top tip for other young people? I have many tips for young people if they want to venture in this industry from working hard and believing in your abilities because you can achieve incredible things even when faced with adversities. However, my top tip is to have love and passion for what you do; I have learnt that we can shape the lives of others with love being at the centre of it all.