Pioneer Norfolk opens – Sophie’s Story

25/06/24 | News

We are delighted to announce our latest clinic Pioneer Norfolk will open for private patients on the 2nd July 2024 to help support patients to manage their lymphoedema / lipoedema.

Pioneer did not plan to open a service in Norfolk, but when Sophie Caitlin needed to move away from our largest centre in Eastbourne for family reasons, we knew we didn’t want to loose a highly skilled and motivated nurse.

Read Sophies story below:

“I first joined Pioneer in Eastbourne in 2021 and have since worked as a Lymphoedema Specialist Nurse assessing, planning and implementing care for a wide range of patients with lymphoedema and lipoedema. However, in January 2023 my lovely mum died suddenly and unexpectedly, and I was left with an overwhelming awareness of how short and unpredictable life is and needed to be closer to family. Whilst I had enjoyed living in Eastbourne, I had always imagined that my three children would grow up somewhere quieter, more rural and wild, and this led to the big decision to move to our favourite place: Wells-next-the-Sea in North Norfolk.

After discussing this with my line manager, she suggested I write a detailed proposal to be submitted to the Pioneer Board to consider whether I could start a small clinic in Wells-next-the-Sea. Amazingly, they said YES!

Over the last few months since my proposal to the Pioneer Board became a reality, I have had support to: find and secure a suitable clinic room in Coastal Health and Wellbeing, The Old Cottage Hospital; design new leaflets; write letters to tell local staff about the clinic; and I have had regular meetings to discuss clinic plans.

This journey has been so many things – daunting, inspiring, exciting, challenging. At times I ask myself, “can I do this?”, but then I answer my own question with another question, “why can’t I do this?”. I will always be so grateful for the encouragement, support and trust I have received from Pioneer to pursue this ‘seed’ and turn it into what will be Pioneer Norfolk! I will continue to work hard to create a clinic that reflects the values of Pioneer and delivers excellent lymphoedema care for all my patients”.

The Pioneer board were very impressed with Sophie’s well delivered proposal. Her leadership skills have had the opportunity to shine and her motivation for her patients has always been clear to see. We congratulate Sophie on her new clinic and are looking forward to seeing her change the lives of the patients she cares for.


Sophie Caitlin