Career advice

My journey from rough sleeper to Queen’s Nurse

A nurse’s foot clinics for people living on the streets are inspired by her own life experience
A Homeless Hope street clinic

Community nurse Donna-Marie Thomas reflects on a career built on a difficult start in life, and offers advice on how to overcome hardship

After spending much of her childhood on the streets, community nurse Donna-Marie Thomas has now set up a project to help people who are sleeping rough get vital healthcare.

‘I still feel as if I’m going home when I go back to the streets because I lived there for so long,’ says Ms Thomas, who works in Powys in Wales.

‘I feel comfortable with those who are homeless,’ she adds. ‘I know where they are coming from and what they are talking about.’

After experiencing sexual abuse as a child, Ms Thomas ran away from


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