Jessie May nurse, Andy, and Loren

In a new series for the new year, we introduce you to the faces behind the service that make up the Jessie May family.

First up for January; Jessie May nurse, Andy!

Tell us a bit about your role at Jessie May

I’m a Children’s Community nurse, supporting families and children with life-shortened conditions in their own home. It’s a multi-faceted role, meaning that my days are always different!

One day you can be providing a vital respite visit to allow a family to spend quality time together, or I can be visiting the most vulnerable of children at the Bristol Children’s Hospital.

We also work with other palliative care providers to be able to provide the best support to a family whose child has died, and through their bereavement for up to 5 years after. For families who may need other support that we can’t provide, we can signpost them or link them up with other services that they can access.

We create such a strong link with the families that we support, and those I have supported for many years I have an incredible bond with that nothing can compare to. It’s not just the physical side of the job, but also the mental and emotional advice and support that we can offer. We are able to talk through some of the most difficult conversations a person will ever have, and it’s getting our families through those hardest days that truly makes me proud to do what I do.

Describe a standout day you’ve had since you’ve been at Jessie May

It may sound like a complete cliché, but to me every day really is a standout day because every day is different to the one before.

Jessie May nurse, Andy Sweetman and Sam

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?

Annoying, chatty, bald, likes to think he’s younger than he is!

No, but seriously, on a more serious note I would like to think my colleagues recognise that I’m hard-working, professional and very easy going – I think families feel comfortable enough to talk to me about anything that’s on their mind.

If you could live in any fictional place, where would it be?

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a big lover of Prince, and have been since I was 13 years old, so I definitely wouldn’t say no to at living Paisley Park (Prince’s Home and Studio).

In real life, I have a love/hate relationship with the countryside. I absolutely love being outdoors and by the sea – I actually lived in Bournemouth once upon a time, but I find city living is more beneficial in terms of work and the diversity of the population.

Otherwise, if not Paisley Park, I think I’d like to live in Rohan, the land of the horses from Lord of the Rings. The wide open spaces, surrounded by horses – sounds like a dream.

Where is home for you?

For me home is being with, and around, my children. 

Can you tell us about a book/tv show/film that’s stuck with you?

I rewatched Clueless recently, and I forgot just how good of a film it actually is!

Love Actually – hasn’t aged well and doesn’t fit in with the times anymore. It doesn’t hold up with the world that we live in nowadays with feminism.

Who was a role model/your biggest influence growing up?

My mother and my father both instilled a strong work ethic in me from a young age, which I will pass on to my own children. I believe it’s an important trait to have.

At the minute there’s a lot of “instant-gratification” what with the likes of TikTok and “social media influencers”, but I still believe that you need to put in a lot of effort to really reap yours rewards.

Jessie May nurse, Andy Sweetman

After the restrictions over the last 2 years, what’s something you’d like to do/achieve this year?

My number one thing is to see as much live music as I possibly can, it’s something that I have really missed over the last 2 years.

I went to see Suede at the back end of last year and it was a really great feeling to be around a group of like-minded people again. I have a few concerts booked in already for this year. I like a busy front-man or woman who really owns the stage and engages the crowd.

What would you like to say to the people who continue to support Jessie May year after year?

There’s not a lot that I can say that hasn’t already been said other than a really big thank you. Without your support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, at all. It’s thanks to you that we can do that.

A big thank you has to go out to the James Tudor Foundation for funding the vital work Andy does for 4 months between 2021-2022.

Stay tuned for more entries to our ‘Meet the Team’ series throughout the year, or to find out more about our Team today, head over to our Meet the Team page right here on our website.