A WOMAN who has dedicated her life to nursing for 60 years has been hailed as one of the UK’s most inspiring women.

Southend Hospital diabetes nurse, Jackie Reid, 78, is celebrating after being named most inspirational at this year’s Inspirational Awards for Women.

The awards ceremony at Cadogan Hall, Chelsea, which is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrated the achievements of women who inspire people around them.

Jackie, from Grays, has been a nurse for 60 years, said: “I enjoymy job so much. I just did not notice all the years whirling by.”

Jackie heard she had won while on holiday with friends in Tenerife.

She said: “I had already booked the tickets to Tenerife, so my daughter Michelle went to the awards ceremony.

“Just being nominated was wonderful and I did not expect to win. I could not believe it when she rang me with the news.”

Her daughter, Michelle, said she glowed with pride when her mum’s name was announced.

Michelle said: “It was such an honour to be there on mum’s behalf and then be able to ring her with the wonderful news. She gives so much to her job and to her patients.

“Perhaps I am biased but, although in the company of great nominees, she truly deserves the recognition.”

Colleagues at Southend Hospital were also delighted with her success.

Consultant endocrinologist Dr Karl Metcalfe said: “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in the NHS more deserving of recognition.”