Thank you, Ros!

01 November 2017

Ros Godson, lead professional officer at Unite, retires at the end of 2017 after a 40-year career
in nursing. Her colleagues share their thoughts…

Sarah Carpenter, head of health 

‘Ros has been a huge part of the professional officer team, adding the school nursing dimension to our work. We will miss her, but she leaves a legacy we can build on.’


Colenzo Jarett-Thorpe, national officer for health

‘Ros has been an illuminating presence in our professional team, providing wisdom and passion, a keen wit and sense of fun. Our office won’t be the same without her. I wish her a happy retirement, filled with mischief!’


Lead professional officer team: Obi Amadi

‘School nursing is Ros’ passion and she has never been afraid to speak up on behalf of the profession. She has persistently lobbied on their behalf. We’ve lost a team member but I have no doubt her activity will continue after she’s left as a member of Unite.’


Jane Beach

‘Ros was always on hand to answer my questions about how Unite worked and willing to give her expertise. She was a whizz with briefings and factsheets and integral to the process. I will miss her input.’


Gavin Fergie

‘Ros is unique: her passion, her advocacy and her style. School nurses and nursing will be sad to see her go, and those who she challenged will be sighing with relief! I’ll miss her infectious enthusiasm and cheery smile – always a tonic when the going got tough.’


Dave Munday

‘Ros has been a staunch supporter of public health. Just talking to her for a few moments, you understand that this goes through to her bones. She brings even more passion to her promotion, defence and celebration of school nursing. She truly cares about young people and their journeys through life, and she believes that much can be made better by a great school nurse. I hope she’ll take the credit for the many millions of lives she has influenced in her campaigning to get this message and many others heard. Ros has been an amazing colleague and friend.’ 


Ethel Rodrigues

‘I would like to wish Ros a very happy retirement.’


Other team members

Ros is caring, compassionate, courageous, committed, competent, and a great communicator. Beyond the six Cs, they added, kind, irreplaceable, unique, funny.


Leona Sanders

‘I’ve supported Ros for more than 10 years with her administration and she has been a pleasure to work with, often surprising my colleagues and me with supplies of fresh fruit and encouraging us to adopt healthy lifestyles, particularly by climbing the stairs, all seven floors!’

Ros in her own words

Where did your career begin?
St Thomas’, 1974.  Never looked back.

Why did you stay in school nursing?
Three weeks into my first job in a school, I had to look up the records of a boy who’d been arrested for murder. They showed we’d failed him from day one. I wanted to change this.

What impact can school nurses have?
We care. It’s hard to persuade children that they matter to you personally, but any difference you can make could stop them going off the rails. 

Your hopes for the membership?
To persuade the government that preventative public health and school nursing can change health outcomes for the better. And to keep persuading colleagues that investing in children can make a difference.

What are your plans?
A gap year, work with STPs, work politically, sort out the garden, 40th wedding anniversary celebrations.

Three words to sum you up?
Full of bright ideas. That’s four!

One guest for dinner?
Someone I could argue with, such as Ann Widdecombe.

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