2022 Winner: Belle Stevenson
As an ambassador for the School of Nursing and Paramedic Science, Belle has promoted pathways into nursing by volunteering for engagement events where she has given her experience and advice to potential applicants. Representation has included being a ‘Face of Ulster’, meeting The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, appearing on national television and local radio stations, sitting on a panel with the Minister for Health and the Chief Nursing Officer. Additionally, Belle worked collaboratively with staff and students from Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast and the Open University to develop a regional video to promote student diversity and equality in the profession.
Belle has assisted in shaping curricula that includes the student voice as part of programme approval events for nursing and paramedicine.
Most recently, Belle has participated in an international, multinational nursing and midwifery virtual exchange on climate crisis with the University of Pennsylvania. From this initiative, Belle produced and promoted a week-long series of sustainability posters on social media and throughout the School for Earth Day in April.
Giving back to the local community is one of Belle’s core values. Raising funds for charities including the NSPCC and Kids in Kinship. Under Belle’s leadership, the Nursing Society raised funds to support the Red Cross in Ukraine and organised a van of supplies to go to refugee points.
In March 2022, Belle was successful in winning the Gabrielle Durkan Award, which supported a project to raise awareness and support of perinatal mental health. Belle was shortlisted for two categories in the UK National Nursing Times Awards and Royal College of Nursing Northern Ireland Student Nurse of the Year award. She was successful in winning Student of the Year at the NI Health and Social Care awards. Her success has been recognised by the presentation of The Agnes Jones Gift of Nursing and Head of School Awards and achieving an Edge Excel award.
On receiving news of her award, Belle said:
“I am honoured and delighted to be awarded the Allstate NI Convocation Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2022. I would like to thank the School of Nursing for their nomination and the Convocation Committee for selecting me.”
Dr Deborah Goode, Senior Lecturer in Nursing, who nominated Jenny for the award, said:
“I am so pleased that Belle has been awarded the Allstate NI Convocation Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2022. Through the three years as a student nurse at Ulster, she has constantly demonstrated the academic and professional qualities of an #Ulsternurse.
“Above and beyond the demands of a professional nursing degree (mostly completed during COVID-19 pandemic), Belle has shown her person-centred values through a catalogue of volunteering, outreach activities and compassionate understanding. As a school, we are delighted to see further recognition for this outstanding graduate.”