BEH nurses awarded RCN BAME Rising Star Awards

Date: 02 October 2020

Rising Star Awards

Congratulations to Lorraine Welch, Cognitive Analytic Therapist and Mwanasiti Siokwu (Siti), Community Matron/SDN who were awarded Royal College of Nursing London BAME Rising Star Awards.

Lorraine Welch, who currently works as a CAT Therapist in the Eating Disorder Unit in Haringey, was nominated in the ‘Led to Innovation in Nursing’ category by Dr Ruth Kloocke. In 2017 during her time as a Care Coordinator in the Haringey Early Intervention Service and with the support of her line manager Daniel Palmer and CAT Therapist, Wendy Giovanelli, she enrolled in training as a Cognitive Analytic Therapist (CAT). This training took place partly during the working hours and was part-funded by BEH.

Lorraine demonstrated initiative and motivation when she applied and engaged with the training course. She pushed the boundaries and “broke through the glass ceiling” as it is highly uncommon for a colleague from a nursing background to enter the training as a CAT Therapist. In addition, applicants from BAME backgrounds still continue to be a minority in any psychotherapy training.

Lorraine said: “I am incredibly honoured if not a little shocked about my nomination and being chosen! As a BAME registered mental health nurse and former care-coordinator in community mental health, I don’t think it should feel as unconventional as it does to now provide formal psychological interventions to service users. So much of the support mental health nurses and care coordinators provide and its impact depends on the quality of our relationship with service users as does our often implicit understanding of how caring relationships and social context can help or hinder their recovery. Becoming an accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist simply enables me to give credence to focussing on a relational and social perspective in my practice. I hope I can inspire other mental health nurses and those from other professions in psychiatry to follow a similar path.”

Mwanasiti Siokwu (Siti) who works as a Community Matron/SDN in Care Home Assessment Team (CHAT) was nominated by Melanie Pettitt for her hard work and dedication during the coronavirus pandemic.

As a District Nurse by background, Siti was appointed as a Band 7 Frailty Nurse Specialist with the Enfield Health and Wellbeing Service in March 2020. However, her brand new role and service was temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

When this happened, Siti returned to District Nursing without any hesitation to support her colleagues on the frontline.  Then when CHAT were asked to take on 10 extra homes with only a few days’ notice, she again, with true professionalism, agreed to be redeployed to CHAT where she has flourished and built amazing relationships with Care Homes and existing CHAT staff. Siti has worked wherever she was needed in frontline roles with a smile and compassion that was totally admirable.

Siti commented: “I feel honoured and grateful to be one of the recipients of this Award. Looking back from when I first qualified in 2012 from Hertfordshire University, I have met colleagues who have supported me wholeheartedly and I personally believe without all their support I would probably not be where I am today. Therefore, I proudly take this opportunity to “Thank all the past and present colleagues as they all are dear to me” and I am truly grateful to every one of them. 

My experiences have been great and at the same time I have learnt a lot from the challenges faced within the nursing career. This has helped me to develop the wisdom to make good decisions and choices in the provision of patient care and work as a team player with my fellow colleagues. I have always been the type of nurse who never shies away from new challenges and 2020 is one of the years that I have seen resilience from my colleagues and I. 

I was just 2 weeks into my new role as a Frailty Nurse Specialist when the Government announced the new lockdown rule. As a result, clinics could not be run.  I got redeployed back to District Nursing to support my colleagues which I embraced with an open mind. I was then again redeployed to CHAT (Care Home Assessment Team) to support the team and this was completely out of my comfort zone. However, I fully embraced my new role with an open mind and I feel proud to say how I am fully utilising some skills that I never used as much before. I feel blessed to work amongst colleagues who support me, encourage me and want me to excel. 

My current post within CHAT as a Community Matron and Trusted Assessor has allowed me to feel even more confident and I am highly proud to mention my EXCEPTIONAL line manager Melanie Pettitt. She has allowed me to work and integrate well within the team and I ask her million questions and continue to learn from her as a role model. Thank you all and I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.” 

RCN Rising Star Awards form an important part of Black History Month celebrations. They provide an opportunity to recognise and reward nurses, nursing support workers and midwives who make an outstanding contribution to health and social care. The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Voice, Power, Presence”.

  • Summary:

    Congratulations to Lorraine Welch, Cognitive Analytic Therapist and Mwanasiti Siokwu (Siti), Community Matron/SDN who were awarded Royal College of Nursing London BAME Rising Star Awards.