Gemma Abbott, a two time winner at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Apprenticeship Awards

Earlier this year, along with the trust, six Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Apprentices and staff were nominated for a number of awards at the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Apprenticeship Awards.

At the ceremony on Friday 19th May, the staff celebrated some truly fantastic result, with many winning or receiving highly commended in their categories.

Most notably was Gemma Abbott, a staff nurse in the Neurosurgery Unit at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals who was a double winner!

Not only was she the incredibly worthy winner of the Equality and Diversity Award but she also took home the night’s Excellence Award, given to the individual who the judging panel feels was the overall Champion Apprentice.

Gemma, who has been a young carer for her mother from a young age has become an inspiration to many. Opting for an alternative route into nursing, she volunteered at the trust to gain experience working as a nurse during her college course in 2016 before finally beginning her nursing training in 2017.

During her apprenticeship, Gemma flourished. Not only completing the course with the highest grade of distinction but also receiving fantastic feedback from her tutors throughout her studies. After graduating, she has been in Neurosurgery since 2020.

When not working, Gemma uses her experiences to inspire others. A volunteer for the Christian Fellowship, she talks about her experiences, helping others realise their true potential and encouraging them to flourish despite adversity, just like she did. It was this remarkable feat that not just shows her personal values, but also wowed the panel of judges for not just her EDI award but also the main category of excellence and overall winner.

About her award Gemma said. “I felt overwhelmed at the time and couldn’t really believe that I had won the awards… I feel very proud to have won the awards. To win the Excellence award – I felt very honoured as there were so many fantastic people at the awards evening who also deserved it.”

Gemma was not the only success story of the night with a number of LTH staff also receiving highly commended or runners up in their categories.

Rebecca Pattman, Trainee Nursing Associate, was a highly commended runner up for the Perseverance Award.

Tanya Marlow, Bank Staff Nurse and recent Learner Mentor Graduate, was also a highly commended runner up for the Promotion Award.

Karen Gore,  Widening Participation Tutor, Sarah Rostron-Hall, Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner,  and Rachel Clark, Trainee Pharmacy Technician, were also finalists.

Head of Apprenticeships and Widening Participation, Jackie Higham, was ecstatic with the results, adding: ‘I am delighted and so proud of our apprenticeship team and apprentices. All of them worked so hard under immense pressure and workforce challenges, the awards are testimony to their dedication and commitment. I’m very pleased that they’ve received the recognition they truly deserve.’

As a trust we could not be more proud of all of our staff and a huge congratulations to all involved!