Anya Dolling is Redruth through and through.

Brought up in west Cornwall’s one-time copper capital, she trained in nursing at the University of Plymouth and worked at Truro’s Treliske Hospital, but Redruth has always been her home. Today she lives here with her husband and two children.

“I love Redruth,” she says. “I was brought up here. There’s an awful lot going on here these days – a lot of regeneration work. It’s on the up.”

One of its more exciting developments is Anya’s own contribution to the town’s renaissance. Since July, she has been serving as Redruth’s new parish nurse.

A couple of years ago, she’d decided to quit her position in Truro but had found herself feeling lost and purposeless.

Then one day she’d been sitting in St Andrew’s Church in the centre of Redruth when she experienced something of an epiphany.

“It was a lightbulb moment,” she says “I realised I was put on this planet to care for people, and that the reason I was unhappy was that this was what I really ought to be doing. It was almost as if God was telling me I should still work as a nurse and do it here. I thought that was perhaps why I’d left the hospital – to free up my time to be a parish nurse. It all fell into place.”

In September, she ran a health fair at St Andrew’s, offering a broad range of stalls where visitors could find out about everything from reflexology to Alzheimer’s.

She’s now also started working with a local junior school which has opened a hub for parents, to offer a drop-in service designed to include group activities like talks on diet and immunizations, as well as opportunities for health advice on a one-to-one basis.

In Truro Anya had specialised in women’s health, and this has inspired much of the focus of her new work.

“My vision is to journey with families to better health,” she explains. “I want to try to support people on that journey – to meet with people at places like the school’s family hub and to offer home visits to those who need that support.”

She says it’s taken her some time to get her work in Redruth off the ground.

“It can be a bit difficult and a bit lonely pioneering a new service,” she says. “I’ve been taking my time to find my niche – and that niche is going to be based around families – which lends itself to my nursing background.

“It’s not about pushing religion onto people. We just try to spread God’s love through our kindness and our actions – and hopefully people will see that in what we do.”