A tribute to Dawn Downes

NSCAG News | on: Sunday, 28 February 2021

We were deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Dawn Downes on 25 February.

As UNISON branch secretary at George Eliot Hospital and Assistant Regional Convenor for UNISON West Midlands Region, Dawn was instrumental in establishing a twinning between George Eliot Hospital and the Nilda Patricia Hospital in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua and between UNISON West Midlands Region and the Nicaraguan health trade union FETSALUD. Dawn’s commitment to international solidarity was unwavering. She hosted a number of visits from Nicaraguan trade unionists and was the driving force behind the organisation of a delegation from George Eliot Hospital to Nicaragua in 2015. Towards the end of last year, another stage in the development of the twinning agreement took place with the organisation of two virtual exchanges between nurses in Nicaragua and nurses at the George Eliot Hospital. Dawn participated in both events. To Dawn, the twinning arrangement was more than just a symbolic gesture - she saw it as a mutual exercise in exchanging knowledge and experience to be able to better meet the challenges of today.

Dawn was a shining light and an inspiration, bringing joy to everyone who met her. A number of tributes to Dawn have been received from Nicaragua:-

From Dr Carlos Molina Machado, FETSALUD:-

"Our heartfelt condolences to the family and colleagues of our friend Dawn Downes who today passes to another plane of life, we will always remember her for sharing beautiful moments in London, that the George Eliot family continue their legacy of fighting for the welfare of workers and ensuring free health care for those most in need in the UK. From Nicaragua (FETSALUD) we will always remember you

We will always remember you with much love and affection, thank you for sharing so much joy during our stay in London, from Nicaragua a big hug to your family and to the George Eliot companions."

From Dr Camila Mejia, FETSALUD:-

"The health workers of FETSALUD and in particular those from the Ciudad Sandino hospital send solidarity and condolences to our sisters and brothers at the George Eliot Hospital and UNISON following the passing of Dawn Downes. We also send condolences to her family. We should continue to strengthen the affection and solidarity between our workers in Dawn's honour".

And Her Excellency Guisell Morales-Echaverry, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK and Ireland has also posted the following tribute to Dawn:-

"We will always remember Cllr Dawn Downes for her amazing spirit of solidarity, and as a wonderful and committed friend of the people of Nicaragua, as she created the link between George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and the Ciudad Sandino Hospital, which has saved and transformed countless lives for the better. We are honoured to have known her big, splendid and generous heart.

Our heartfelt condolences to all her friends and colleagues at George Eliot Hospital, and to her loving family. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad moment."

We are proud to have known Dawn and send our very sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues at this sad time. She will be very much missed. May she rest in peace.

| top | back | home |
Share |


NSCAG is supported by
RMT RMT Unison Unite Usdaw