A WOMAN from Dyserth who was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2024 New Year’s Honours has received her award at Windsor Castle.

Sharon Manning, 67, attended her investiture on Tuesday (April 9), along with her husband, son and daughter.

She was appointed a MBE for “services to cancer patient care”, having worked as a cancer nurse specialist for Macmillan at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan until her retirement in late 2022.


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Rhyl Journal: Sharon ManningSharon Manning (Image: Submitted)

Princess Anne presented her with her “beautiful” medal on Tuesday, and then spent roughly five minutes talking to Sharon about her work.

Originally from Lancashire, Sharon worked for the NHS in Wales for more than 30 years, and said that being told of her MBE left her “very tearful”.

Sharon said: “I didn’t know what to expect, but it was absolutely wonderful. I felt very proud and blessed, and it was lovely to have my family come w me.

“Princess Anne was very interested in what my patients thought. She asked what, by carrying the Macmillan name, I thought I had to give to patients.

“She was lovely, and very gently spoken. It was surreal; I was just in awe.

“Everyone there was so attentive to us – they really do want to make it as special as possible for you, and it really was that special. It was unforgettable.

“I don’t think I’ve done anything special, I just always did what was needed for the patients.”

Rhyl Journal: Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies and Sharon Manning at the NHS Champions reception with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay.Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies and Sharon Manning at the NHS Champions reception with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay. (Image: Submitted)

Sharon started working at Glan Clwyd in 1989, initially as a cleaner before working on it paediatric ward for seven years.

She had left school aged 15 with no qualifications, and worked as a window dresser prior to  becoming a mother.

In the early 2000s, she studied nursing at Bangor University as a mature student, and after specialising as an oncology nurse, Sharon pioneered a new service for ovarian cancer patients.

Ovarian cancer patients, while in the palliative stage of their disease, can suffer from malignant ascites - a painful build-up of fluid in the lining of the abdomen.

This can often lead to needing multiple drainages and hospital visits, so Sharon set about looking for a permanent drain and discovered a “Rocket Drain”.

Through this, patients can have ascitic fluid drained from their abdomen at home, reducing the number of hospital visits and enhances the palliative or final stages of their life, giving them more quality time with their loved ones.

The procedure is now available across the three Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board hospitals in North Wales.

Previously, Sharon was invited to Buckingham Palace as part of the NHS’ 70th anniversary celebrations in 2018, and to 10 Downing Street for its 75th anniversary in 2023.

In 2021, she was also made “honorary lecturer” at Bangor University.

A spokesperson for Macmillan Cancer Support said: “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted for Sharon Manning to be recognised in this way.

"She has worked tirelessly throughout her distinguished nursing career for people living with cancer; going well beyond her remit to develop new innovative services and raising huge amounts for charity.”