Five nursing and midwifery specialists were inducted as scholars at this year’s prestigious Mary Seacole awards today (Thursday 24 October) at a ceremony at St Thomas' Hospital in London.

The new scholars have been working on their respective projects for the last year, funded by Health Education England, and today is the culmination of all their hard work.

The awards are in memory of Mary Seacole, the Jamaican Scottish nurse, who bravely nursed soldiers during the Crimean War (1853-1856). The awards were created in her honour and provide opportunities to undertake specific healthcare projects that benefit the health outcomes of BAME communities.

The new scholars are:

  • Dr Obrey Alexis, Oxford Brookes University - Leadership Award: A qualitative study examining black African and black Caribbean men’s experiences of prostate cancer and their perceived needs.
  • Alis Rasul, Moseley Hall Hospital Birmingham - Leadership Award:  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.
  • Sarah Chitongo, Middlesex University - Development Award: Preventing deaths in high risk black minority ethnic (BME) groups in maternity services.
  • Kanta Kumar, University of Birmingham - Development Award: Perceptions of Doppler ultrasound scan among Black and minority ethnic patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Dorcas Gwata, Clinical Lead Integrated Gangs Unit, Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust - Leadership Award:  Improving leadership in Mental Health interventions for adolescents from African and Middle Eastern backgrounds who are affected by gang culture (vulnerable, violent and exploited) in Westminster.

The chair of the Mary Seacole awards committee Obi Amadi said: “Once again, the panel members were presented with very high quality projects that will benefit and improve the lives of those from the BAME communities.

“Today’s scholars have spent the last year working hard and refining their projects. It is wonderful that they have now completed them, following vigorous scrutiny from their mentors. They are now proudly inducted into the rollcall of Mary Seacole alumni.

“We hope that their individual efforts will act as a spur for those thinking of coming forward to participate in the Mary Seacole awards in the years to come.”     


Notes to editors:

The Mary Seacole awards are staged annually and jointly organised by four unions - Unite, UNISON, Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.