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Nurse winners of this year’s Mary Seacole Awards revealed

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Nine nurses working across England were today honoured and awarded for their contribution to the health of black and ethnic minority (BME) communities.

The Mary Seacole Leadership and Development Awards were first launched in 1994 in honour of Mary Seacole who made a significant contribution to nursing in the 19th century.

“We congratulate our scholars and welcome the six new awardees into the Mary Seacole family”

Obi Amadi

Today’s awards are funded by Health Education England and administered jointly by the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, and Unite.

The four professional organisations work in partnership with additional support from NHS Employers.

The three awardees who received funding for their projects last year were today presented with their certificates and Mary Seacole scholar badge having completed their projects.

In the leadership award category these were:

  • Bertha Ochieng, professor of integrated health and social care, De Montfort University – Leadership Award: Meeting the nutritional needs of black and minority ethnic 0-5 year old children: developing an evidence-based training tool for weight management.
  • Faye Bruce, senior lecturer and programme leader in nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University – Development Award: Developing health literacy and leadership capabilities among African and Caribbean faith and community leaders/champions to influence health decision-making at strategic levels.
  • Saeidah Saeidi, service evaluation manager, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – Development Award: Ethnicity Matters: developing a culturally competent and capable mental health workforce

Meanwhile, two new leadership awards were announced this afternoon at the ceremony and all three will receive funding for their projects:

Leadership Awardees

  • Alis Rasul is clinical team leader for health visiting at the Mosely Hall Hospital, Birmingham – Approachable Parenting: A realist evaluation of the health visitor role in co-delivering a culturally sensitive early intervention programme to support the mental health of Muslim families
  • Obrey Alexis is senior lecturer at Oxford Brooks University – A qualitative study examining black African and black Caribbean men’s experiences of prostate cancer and their perceived needs

In addition, four Development Awards were also announced:

  • Dr Kanta Kumar is research facilitator at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham – Perceptions of Doppler ultrasound scan among black and minority ethnic patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Katie Worley is interim public health nursing manager at Public Health Nursing 4 Slough – To raise awareness and offer a sound evidence based approach to the identification and assessment of maternal mental health for Punjabi speaking mothers within the Slough community
  • Thomas Currid is programme lead at School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex – A qualitiatve exploration of the mental health needs of Irish Travellers in England
  • Sarah Chitongo is technical clinical skills manager at Middlesex University – Preventing deaths in high risk black minority ethnic (BME) groups in maternity services

Obi Amadi, Unite lead professional officer and awards steering group chair, said: “We congratulate our scholars and welcome the six new awardees into the Mary Seacole family. Their projects are current and cutting edge, culturally sensitive and will without a doubt impact on the healthcare outcomes of people from BME communities.


Obi Amadi

Obi Amadi

“My continued involvement with these awards is an honour,” she said. “From small beginnings many of these projects and scholars go on and achieve great things for the BAME communities; they have more than proved their worth.”

She added: “These are difficult times for the nursing and midwifery professions, so it is especially relevant that we can come together to celebrate achievements like these and hear about new and future role models for our professions.”

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