A 10-year-old aspiring nurse is one step closer to achieving her dream as she visited Sheffield Hallam University to learn about the skills required for the nursing profession.

As the University marked the 70th birthday of the NHS on July 5 staff within Sheffield Hallam’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing welcomed Ellie Lock, a pupil at Upperwood Academy in Barnsley after she wrote a letter to nursing academics to find out what skills she would need to become a nurse.

In the letter, Ellie explains how she wants to be able to ‘help people’ as well as wanting to find out more about the profession. Ellie was invited on an exclusive tour of Hallam’s nurse training facilities and spoke to staff and nursing students about their course. 

The University also welcomed Shirley Wroe, an 85-year-old former Sheffield School of Nursing tutor who read from her book of memoirs at Sheffield Hallam’s Heart of the Campus as part of the birthday celebrations.

“It’s been a wonderful day and it’s been lovely to be able to celebrate this occasion,” said Shirley. “But I don’t want us to throw the baby out with the bath water and when I was teaching student nurses I really wanted them to know why they were doing what they were doing and when you taught them the practical stuff, they could also really look after the patients and that they did for the patients what they would do for themselves.”

As part of the celebration events at the University, Pat Cantrell, the former deputy chief nurse at the Department for Health and Social Care delivered a talk on her own personal journey from being a student nurse through to leading on some of the country’s most high-profile serious case reviews.

Speaking at the event, Pat said: “I feel so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to share in so many people’s lives, whether it’s been birth of a baby or being there to provide care at the end of someone’s life, it’s been a tremendous experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Former Dronfield GPs, Drs Tony and Jill Bethell, both of whom have been awarded OBEs for their services to healthcare, shared their memories of working in general practice. Jill was one of the first female doctors to be paid the same rate of pay as her male colleagues when the Equal Pay Act 1970 was passed.

Nursing equipment, uniforms and public health campaign posters from the seven decades were on display across the campus while staff, students and guests enjoyed an afternoon tea party and performances from the Sheffield Hallam University Community Choir.

Sheffield Hallam University is a national leader in creating innovative and real-world solutions for tackling today’s health and wellbeing challenges.

Over the last five years, Sheffield Hallam has awarded almost 7,000 qualifications to students graduating from courses within the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing as well as offering around 20,000 placement opportunities for healthcare students each year.

The University specialises in healthcare research and its healthcare practitioners, scientists, engineers and designers regularly collaborate to create innovative solutions to global health challenges.

Dr Toni Schwarz, deputy dean of Sheffield Hallam’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing said: “It was really touching to be able to welcome Ellie to the University today and help her kick-start her future nursing career. Today’s event at Hallam has been a fitting tribute to the NHS as well as to the work we do as a University to address the challenges faced by the NHS and its workforce.”