A ‘true diamond’: The assistant manager who goes the extra mile
Lynette Boshoff's colleagues secretly nominated her for a C+D Award to highlight her tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic
There are many ways Lynette Boshoff’s colleagues would describe her: a "true diamond"; “one of a kind”; and someone who “will just not stop”. This dedicated assistant manager is not just an “amazing colleague”, but above all a friend for her team members at at Day Lewis Pharmacy in east London's Harold Hill.
She is known for "putting the team and patients first", whether that's through making sure the pharmacy's vaccination service is running smoothly or that its dispensing robot is working properly.
The COVID-19 pandemic stretched pharmacy workers like never before and, like many of her peers, Lynette rose to the occasion. But unfortunately, she ended up burning out and collapsed one day in the dispensary. She was taken to hospital by paramedics, who monitored and kept a close eye on her. Not wanting to let anyone down – although her colleagues would never think that of her – she decided to return to work as soon as she was able to.
Lynette's devotion to her work motivated Day Lewis to secretly put her name forward for the C+D Awards last year. She quickly caught the eye of the judges, who recognised her "excellent desire to work for her customers and assist her colleagues" and named her Pharmacy Staff Member of the Year.
But how would she describe herself? She would call her work philosophy “compassionate” and “caring”, attitudes she applies to both her pharmacy colleagues and her patients. She adds that she tries to stay positive and support her team and patients “each and every day”.
She seizes the opportunity to talk about her work and what’s next for her following her victory at the C+D Awards 2022.
Tell us more about you
I was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa when I was 12. After having my daughter, I started to really think about what was best for her and decided to move to the UK 14 years ago. Because my dad was born in Scotland, it was quite easy to move.
I have been working here since but I never knew I was going to go into a career in pharmacy. When I first moved here, I found it quite difficult getting a job. So I started applying for anything and I ended up getting an interview at the pharmacy. As soon as I walked in and started learning, I found it very exciting.
Read more: Could you win a C+D Award? Top tips to make your entry sparkle
The pharmacy is located next to a doctor’s surgery [in Romford, Essex]. This means it can get extremely busy and has a lot of walk-ins. For example, when the pharmacy opens at 8am, on a typical day there are usually patients waiting outside. By... 8pm, the pharmacy team have usually dispensed about 1,000 items.
There have been times working at the pharmacy has been challenging and the team have ups and downs. However, there is a very, very happy working environment. The patients are lovely and all know the team and the team know them. The team focus on serving their patients as best they can and help them as best they can.
Tell us about winning a C+D Award
Working through the COVID-19 pandemic was my best moment working in pharmacy because I never knew I would be [doing that]. Those working in pharmacy are here to help people. The team were able to ensure patients who needed medication received it.
The demand was so high that the team had NHS volunteers come and help them with deliveries. I ended up with about four or five drivers going out to deliver medication to patients. It was rewarding to know that they were there to help and see that every patient need was met during this time.
My proudest career achievements to date have been getting to where I am today as the assistant manager and winning the Pharmacy Staff Member of the Year C+D Award. I never expected to win and didn’t realise I had been nominated. Finding out I had actually won an award left me in shock but was also a very proud moment. I work with a wonderful team and they support me and I support them.
Winning has reinforced how I work. It’s made me encourage more of my team to carry on doing what they are doing and carry on helping everybody in the pharmacy.
My next adventure will be learning how to do flu vaccinations. While I am not very good with needles I'm going to give it a try to see if I can help the pharmacist out so they are free to provide extra services.
Read more: The quick-thinking pharmacist who saved a patient in anaphylactic shock
I'm also looking forward to welcoming my first grandchild because I am very family-oriented. I just like being around family and doing things with them like going for walks or just being with them at home.
The C+D Awards 2023 will take place at The Brewery in London on September 6. Could you or one of your colleagues be crowned as a C+D Award winner? Check out all the categories for the 2023 awards and enter today.