Caring colleagues host concert for Nicola

Staff at Ashfield District Council have set up a workplace choir and are raising funds for the Nicola Daniels Fund.
Staff at Ashfield District Council have set up a workplace choir and are raising funds for the Nicola Daniels Fund.

The colleagues of a Sutton woman, who lost her legs, one of her arms and her fingers after contracting a life-threatening infection, have organised a host of fundraising events to help improve her quality of life.

Ashfield District Council worker Nicola Daniels was struck down with meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) in June last year and, as a result, had to have her lower legs, left arm and fingers amputated.

She initially thought she was suffering from a virus but as her symptoms got worse, she was admitted to hospital and ended up in a coma on a life support machine.

“I was never ill before but I spent six months in hospital,” says Nicola, who has worked at the authority for 25 years.

“I was at King’s Mill Hospital in intensive care for three weeks then I went to the City Hospital.”

The illness has left Nicola unable to perform many everyday tasks such as making or holding a cup of tea - and she is now hoping to get what she has described as a bionic hand which will enable her to do all the things she used to do, including going back to work at the council.

She said: “I have got a cosmetic hand but they won’t do much. But I’ve seen these bionic hands and people say that they can do most things.

“They have got their dexterity back again - that’s what I’d really like.

“I can’t make myself a drink. My husband has to make me a flask.”

Now Nicola’s friends and colleagues at the council, as well as people in the wider community, have rallied to help her raise the money she needs to buy the bionic hand which can cost up to £50,000.

Some of her colleagues, including district councillor Cheryl Butler, have got together to form the Ashfield District Workplace choir and they will be performing at Kirkby’s Festival Hall on Friday to support the fundraising drive.

At the concert, the choir will be performing uplifting songs such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Rule the World, Something Inside So Strong and many more.

Carol Hallam, who is sports development officer at the council, said: “We had been thinking about setting up a choir from a health point of view and the fundraising for Nicola provided a good opportunity for us to get more members.

“People from all parts of the council are getting involved and everybody has given us positive feedback. I’ve had a nice email from Nicola - it’s just brought everybody together.”

l The concert and disco for Nicola will take place from 7pm until 11pm on Friday night. Tickets are priced at £4 each (£1 for children and concessions). For details or to book contact Carol on Mansfield 457410 or email c.hallam@ashfield-dc.gov.uk.