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Lenore Keir

Lenore Keir sitting on grassLenore arrived in London in 1960 travelling by boat and plane from the Windward island of Saint Vincent.

Lenore began her training to become a State Registered Nurse (SRN) at the Whittington Hospital, which is when she met her husband, Winston, who was also from Saint Vincent. Lenore qualified as a SRN in 1963 and later also qualified as a Midwife in 1965.

After Lenore and Winston married in 1963, they welcomed their first child Alexis before relocating to Luton in 1965 when Lenore got a job as a SRN on the maternity wards at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital (L&D). Their family grew further with the arrival of Alison and Anthony.

Lenore worked mainly night shifts at the L&D and made many friends, some of whom also came from Saint Vincent and the Caribbean. Everyone who knew Lenore, recalls her kind and loving nature and always addressed her with such warmth and affection – Lenore, Leno, Lin, Aunty Lyno, Miss Keir to name a few. A mourner wrote in Lenore’s book of condolences “Leno delivered my first daughter 35 years ago at the L&D.”

After a brief relocation working as a nurse in the USA in 1974, Lenore returned to the place she loved, the L&D, in 1975 and continued working there until she retired in 1995.

Inspired by Lenore Keir

Alexis Keir“People might think a hero has to be really big, tall, tough and strong. Well our mum was tough and strong but physically she was really small. But she packed so much power, energy, love and kindness into that tiny frame and behind her nurse’s uniform over more than 30 years’ service to the NHS. To my brother, sister and I and for our family she was and is a hero too. Just like so many other nurses of that generation who travelled thousands of miles to create a better world not just for themselves but for others as well.

“I am a Public Participation Manager working for NHS England. I am part of a team that supports the NHS in its duty and mission to work with and involve people and communities in the planning and delivery of health services so that those services produce the best outcomes possible for the people who need them. My role is a very different one from the one that my mum had but I am so proud to follow in her footsteps and also be part of a wonderful organisation that she loved and devoted so much of her life to.”

Alexis Keir
NHS England