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www.networkshe.com13Vocation, Vocation, Vocationnovice during which time there is a deepening of one's Spiritual Life. On entry into the novitiate there was a ceremony of "Clothing" when one was clothed in the Habit of the Congregation and given a new name, so I am now called Sr Helena. Since the '60s this has changed into a simple ceremony as most congregations have done away with the old traditional habit, which for most was the dress for ladies at the time the congregation was founded. The enclosed monastic orders have mainly kept the traditional habit they had when founded. At the end of the Novitiate, if you feel you have made the right decision, and you are accepted by the Superiors, you make your first vows where you enter fully into the congregation.At the ceremony of Profession the Sister makes her vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. These are made for a temporary period usually for three years and then renewed for another three. After which time you make your Perpetual Vows for life. At this time you are also free to leave the congregation. You can see that there is a prolonged period of preparation. You could compare it to the courtship of a couple preparing for marriage. A getting to know you time.It was after my first vows that I came to Liverpool and did my nurse training at Broadgreen Hospital. After qualifying I went to our Nursing Home in Oxford, then on to Wrexham, where we also had a Nursing Home. During that time I did a theatre course at the Maelor Hospital after which, I went to our own hospital in Whalley Range, Manchester, in charge of the operating theatre. During this time we nursed Sir Matt Busby, and many of the United and City players came for operations resulting from injuries acquired on the field during matches. There was Nobby Styles, Georgie Best, Denis Law, Mike Summerbee to name just a few. There were also other celebrities, such as Julie Goodyear from Coronation Street who has remained a friend to the sisters. Holy Land than the people living there. This was one of the highlights of my life. On my return to England I joined a small parish community in Winsford, Cheshire. Here I worked in the parish and for seven years was the Chaplain at the local hospice. I felt it was a real privilege to accompany many people on their last journey on this earth. When we closed the house in Winsford, I joined the community here in Liverpool again. This is a community of elderly sisters the oldest is 92. I am generally responsible for the well-being of the sisters. We have carers morning and evening to attend to the personal needs of the sisters and one during the day, these carers are a great help. Although we are not getting young women from the UK or Europe who would consider religious life we have many vocations in the countries we once considered missionary. They in turn are coming back to us. We have young sisters in Burma, India, Thailand, The Philippines and Jordan. We also have sisters from Iraq and Egypt.If anyone wants a challenge, and feel it may be a call from God, consider Religious Life, you will not be disappointed. God is never outdone in generosity. I would not change it for the world.You could compare it to the courtship of a couple preparing for marriage, a getting to know you timeSr Helena and Sonia at a family weddingI was born in Park Hospital which was the first hospital to be in the NHS. I was baptised Margaret Elizabeth Flynn, the oldest of two girls. I am now 75 years young and as a child I wanted to be either a nurse or a hairdresser.FACTFILEAfter ten years in our hospital I moved on to the Jewish Hospital in charge of the Ear, Nose and Throat theatre. During this time I was living in a small parish community in Moss Side, where I experienced the riots. There was a period after this when I was Sister in charge of the community in Liverpool, then Matron of our Nursing Home in Bowden Vale near Altrincham. I was given the privilege of a sabbatical, one year in Jerusalem following Bible studies. I am sure that our group of 37 missionaries from around the world, plus a newly married couple on their honeymoon saw more of the

14Network She I Autumn/Winter 2012Vocation, Vocation, VocationMy family have always been so supportive of me and proud of all I have achieved. During Ofsted inspections of which I have now done five they have helped in whatever way possible and also coped with my very long working hours during these difficult times. I was fortunate to become a Subject Leader for Literacy after only 2 years of teaching and have also had the responsibility for subjects such as ICT, PE, Assessment and Music during my career. I became an Assistant Head Teacher and part of the senior leadership team for 18 months before being promoted to a Deputy Head Teacher. I loved my role as a Deputy Head, being able to teach almost full time but still having the opportunity to make decisions as to the direction of the school. Becoming a Head Teacher was never part of my career plan, in fact I stated many times that this was not the path I wanted to take, mostly because it meant I would not have a teaching role. However call it fate or something else but I found myself in the position of Acting Head back in September 2010. This was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make, the responsibility would be huge, my working hours very different and I would not be a classroom teacher which is why I came into the profession and also I would have to very quickly develop more leadership skills. I was very aware that none of this could be achieved without the continued support of my family but as ever they were amazing. Completing the qualification of NPQH certainly helped me during my first 12 months and also gave me the opportunity to reflect on my practice with others. I also work very hard in order to continue a teaching commitment. In February 2012 I was appointed as the substantive Head Teacher after a very long interview day. Celebrations were huge but an Ofsted inspection followed just two weeks after. This was certainly the most challenging point of my career so far, but also a highlight. I was thrilled with the report and also to be credited with moving the school forward. There is certainly no such thing as an average day, there are so many facets to my job the list is endless, but it's incredibly rewarding, inspiring others, adults and children; encouraging and challenging them to become the best they can be. I have worked hard to build positive relationships with parents as they are the key to many parts of our success.I've been incredibly lucky at my present school to have two role models, both of whom have given me so many opportunities to develop professionally and taught me so much about leadership. I am proud to be able to call them friends and colleagues. My current ambition is sadly linked to Ofsted and their inspections, as a Head Teacher in a 'good' school I am determined for it to become 'outstanding'. I strive each day to become a more efficient and effective Head Teacher and can honestly say I am privileged to be in my current role - I love my job - yes there are difficult days and incredibly trying days and exhausting days, but I wouldn't change it for the world.Making the GRADEThere is no such thing as an average day for Georgina Mawdsley as she strives to be an efficient and effective Head teacher Georgina MawdsleyMy name is Georgina Marie Mawdsley and I was born in Solihull, West Midlands, now living in Hinckley, Leicestershire. I'm just 40 years of age and since 10 years of age in Year 6 at Primary school I've wanted to become a teacher. My aspirations have never changed and my only concern from a young age was not being able to do it well. I've now been teaching for the last 16 years after graduating at Warwick University where I studied for 4 years and have taught in two schools, one in Birmingham and now in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. I am married and have two children, one of whom is about to go to university and the other going into Year 8 at secondary school. FACTFILE