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Northumbria nurse aces Windrush leadership programme

Monday, 10 May, 2021
Northumbria nurse aces Windrush leadership programme

A nursing sister at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating the completion of a prestigious national training course.

Charlyn Lawton, sister on the stroke unit at The Northumbria Specialist Emergency Hospital, has just finished the Windrush leadership programme which is open to senior nurses and midwives working for the NHS in England who are either descendants from the Windrush generation or from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups.

The programme, funded by Health Education England, has helped Charlyn to develop her confidence, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities over the past six months.

Charlyn said, “I’m so thrilled to have been accepted onto this course which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. It’s something I didn’t think I could do, but with the help and support of my manger and my team I pushed through and succeeded.

“I think it’s so important that healthcare professionals from a BAME background don’t hold themselves back. This course has encouraged me to have confidence in my abilities and move forwards in my career. I have really developed, both professionally and personally. I would highly recommend that anyone who is thinking about applying should go for it.

“We had some brilliant speakers as part of the programme – even members of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) who ran sessions on how to present yourself in certain situations. They had experience of coaching famous actors which was really interesting.”

Charlyn is a married mother of two and was chosen as one of only 44 senior nurses and midwives in England to be part of the programme. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlyn was unable to travel to London for the two face-to-face sessions planned, but that did take away what she has learned through the course and she is now taking her newly developed skills into her day-to-day work.

Charlyn continued, “I chose to focus on improving verbal handovers between the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) and the Emergency Department for my particular assignment. Doing this virtually was a real challenge in itself but I received some great feedback, particularly when it came to encouraging staff to follow through with tasks.

“We learned some real transferable skills which I am applying in my role straight away and I’m looking forward to seeing how I can take these skills further to progress my career. Although this has been a really tough year for everyone – NHS staff in particular – I’m looking onwards and upwards to what the future may bring.”

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