A Salcombe woman has won the SW Pharmacist of the Year and area awards.

Giota Rousi received her award at the Hilton in Bournemouth.

She has been a pharmacist for the last 30 years (23 in Greece and seven in the UK).

Giota relocated back in 2016 as she had to support her family. The Greek economy is struggling Greece so she decided to come and work in a country that she had always loved.

Giota explains: “I started working with Boots as I applied online whilst I was in Greece and got hired immediately.

“I have always been a very good pharmacist, always getting the higher grade at the uni and was the highest grade graduate at my academic year. Coming to the UK was an extremely hard decision for me as I have left behind my whole family, a nice house, three dogs, my husband, parents, brother and sister but the most difficult is that I have left my one and only child as well at the age of 12.

‘’Boots have supported me so much , by helping me work flexibly. Every six weeks I travelled to Greece to help my 72-year-old bedridden mother and to support my husband and daughter.’’

Giota has lived in Salcombe for the last three years. She says: “I thank all the patients for welcoming me and treating me in such a beautiful way

“Recently I finished my independent prescriber course fully funded by Boots and trained in the local surgery by an amazing doctor.

“I had all the support I needed for my professional development and this award really means a lot to me .

Being voted as pharmacist of the year as area winner and then as a regional winner and the amount of congratulations I received from both the leaders of the company and from our patients as well made me cry.

‘’Not because I do not deserve it, but you know it’s super fascinating when you are a foreigner to get so much appreciation.

I cried from happiness because all of you, supported me so much and put up with me and my frequent travels to Greece to relieve my guilt.

You have treated me so kindly and generously and you have been really supportive. My team in Salcombe with Jackie my store manager, Karen my dispenser and shop floor assistant and Dimitrios my colleague have been real gems to me.