Restaurant boss Andy’s nursing role

HE’S known to curry lovers as the friendly face of Staple Hill Indian restaurant Shadin, greeting diners and taking orders over the phone at weekends.

But for three days of the week Anwar Hoq – known to most customers as Andy – has a very different role, as a community nurse working for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

Father-of-three Anwar, aged 52, has run Shadin for more than 26 years with friend and business partner Joynal Motins, known to most customers as John.

His second career is in no small part down to his wife Paria, who is a critical care sister in intensive care at two West Midlands hospitals and believed his people skills and caring nature were also ideally suited to nursing.

Anwar said: “My wife was on my case for a long time, so I decided to go back to college to retrain.

“It was daunting because I left school without any qualifications, but I completed a health and social care access course at Sutton Coldfield College then did my Nursing degree at the University of Wolverhampton and started work in January 2023.

“I also received wonderful support from my wife, family and colleagues, which really helped.”

Anwar, who lives in Birmingham, commutes to Staple Hill on Fridays and Saturdays to make sure things are running smoothly at Shadin and share football banter with customers – he is a huge Arsenal fan.

The NHS trust highlighted his work as a community nurse for International Nurses’ Day in May.

Anwar said: “Since qualifying in September 2022, I have loved every second of it and I have found my niche in community.

“I enjoyed my time on the wards as a student nurse but I was lucky enough to do a placement in the community as part of my training and I knew straight away this was the place for me.

“On the wards, you treat the patients and they get better and go home, but in the community you are autonomous and you have that continuity of care which really sold it to me.”

The “superb” support of community nursing teams for him has been a key part of Anwar’s success.

He said: “In the last few years I lost both parents, so during Covid-19 I had the best part of a year out, which was a traumatic time.”

Anwar enjoys juggling his careers, with Joynal running Shadin during the week.

He said: “I’m a people person, so I love meeting people and get on with young and old.”

One of his 22-year-old twin sons, Sami, is also set on a career in nursing, and is in his second year of a degree at Wolverhampton University.