The QNI’s Keep in Touch project is a practical way in which we aim to strengthen the Queen’s Nurse community, past and present.

The project offers opportunities to speak to retired Queen’s or community nurses regularly on the phone, to talk about life experiences, aspects of nursing past and present, memories and future plans. It encourages social interaction, creates new bonds and as one of our volunteers said, is truly ‘a two-way benefit’!

The QNI’s CEO, Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, sent out a special message of thanks to all the Queen’s Nurses volunteering on the KIT project during Volunteers Week:


Volunteers Week is a good moment to reflect on your work and to say thank you for giving so generously of your time and skills to support the QNI Keep in Touch programme.

We literally could not offer this service without you – and you make such a difference to the lives of the retired nurses you support by being offering such a lovely connection to the past and the present as Queen’s Nurses.

During this time of lockdown and hugely constrained lives, the friendly conversation and concern for wellbeing that you offer is more important than ever – and will continue to be for many, many months to come as this pandemic continues. I know from direct contact with at least two of the people you support how much they appreciate their calls – you are an important part of their lives and the times and stories you share together have become a significant part of their lives – and yours too.

One of my favourite times of the QNI year is November when I get to meet some of you for the annual update and celebration. It is a joyous time. You fill the room with laughter – and some tears – when we discuss your accounts of the wonderful relationships you have built with the retired nurses you support. It makes me so proud to be leading an organisation which values and supports its own in such a generous, respectful and considered way.

My thanks also to Suzanne without whom none of this would be possible – I know how much she supports, enables and guides you all, with her years of experience, fabulous skills, patience and understanding. And thank you to Jo too – whose idea to develop the Keep in Touch programme many years ago has developed into the service you maintain for us today as volunteers. Thank you for all you do for the QNI. It is truly appreciated.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE

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