5th March 2024

Blog | Bridging Theory and Practice: reflections from a Student Nurse at CoDH’s Research & Innovation Conference

A guest blog by #150Leaders Jade Hunt, Nursing Student at the University of Plymouth who attended the Council of Deans of Health’s Research & Innovation Conference in February.

I had the most incredible time at the Council of Deans Research and Innovation Conference. I felt it was important to spend some time reflecting on this experience, as it is one of the highlights of my Student Nurse and #150Leaders Student Leadership Programme experience. My lovely #150Leaders peer, the incredible Student Nurse Sally Hao was there. We have a very supportive cohort who keeps in contact regularly, however, face-to-face meetings are always productive and an opportunity to connect. It was good to exchange how our projects are progressing and what we have learned from the programme. She is inspirational and asked the final panel a brilliant question about encouraging students to engage in research and increasing opportunities for this.

Firstly, Research and Innovation strategies were discussed with Abigail Phillips from Welsh Government explaining the importance of robust pilots. Tony Soteriou expanded on this, highlighting the importance of building a stronger vibrant research commercialisation community. This commercialisation focuses on the implementation and transfer of research into practice. Subsequently, discourse moved from research and innovation strategies to funding. Helen Cross from the Scottish Funding Council spoke about the new level of recognition and importance of healthcare research and highlighted the vital role of cross-fertilisation across different fields. This builds on our learning from 150 leaders and the importance of HCP working together to push forward practice using our perspectives and insights to enrich and improve healthcare for all. This was a common theme throughout the conference.

The amazing Ruth Endacott from NIHR spoke passionately about improving the health and wealth of the nation. It was brilliant to see the opportunities for early career HCP including bursaries and internships. Zoe Martin from Cancer Research UK finished the session on Research and Innovation funding discussing the economic benefit of funding research and the steps the UK government must take so that people can live #LongerBetterLives Peter Mathieson discussed #FutureProofingResearch and the importance of supporting clinical academic roles, encouraging the wider healthcare workforce to engage in research. Bella Starling director of wearevocal.org discussed inclusive partnerships and inclusive research. She finished with a beautiful poignant poem from Nasima Begum.

After lunch the focus was looking ahead to REF 2029, this provided me with insights into how REF provides accountability, benchmark information, establishes reputational yardsticks, and informs the allocation of funding. The last session of the day was around overcoming challenges with Parveen Azamali, Jenny Gamble and 150 Leader alumni, and Coach Joy O’Gorman with lots of learning including finding allies, mentorship, and challenging negative myths.

15th February 2024

Sustaining the inspiration: Keeping the Motivation Alive Beyond the Opening Conference

A guest blog by 150Leader Sally Hao, Adult Nursing Student at the University of Brighton.

It has been over four months since the Student Leadership Programme Opening Conference in Manchester, September 2023. Each of us was motivated by different sessions, whether it was Alumni’s speeches, national healthcare leaders’ presentations, or the ‘Dragon’s Den’ competition. Despite the diverse sources of inspiration, all student leaders were ignited by the conference as a whole. As the curtain fell on the event, the challenge became not just remembering, but actively nurturing the flame of motivation and inspiration.

Now, four months later, the momentum remains strong, and the glow of motivation continues brightly after the incredible #150Leaders Conference. As we step into the world beyond the conference hall, the event is not just to be remembered but to ensure that the empowerment gained continue to propel us forward.

After the conference, many of us took time for reflection, renewing our inspiration. Some shared their experiences on the programme’s blog, while most engaged in discussions on the group chat. We revisited key moments, identifying what resonated most and determining our next steps. By doing so, we reignited the spark and strengthened the foundation which our motivation stands.

Motivation thrives when fuelled by clear goals. Many leaders have set tangible objectives for themselves to transform the inspiration from the conference into actionable steps. Personally, I commenced my project as my first step. With guidance from my coach, Dr Allen, from the University of Southampton, I gained strength and clarity, setting out a roadmap for my journey ahead.

On this journey, we are not alone. A strong network has been established through the conference. There is a strong sense of support within it. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals who share our enthusiasm for growth and empowerment is essential. Connecting with fellow attendees, joining communities, and seeking mentors enriches our experience and provides valuable insights.

The achievements of others within our network, such as Rachel’s wonderful experience to speech at Parliament representing students from 140 universities in the UK. She has sparked the inspiration, which propel us all forward.

Each of us has been assigned a coach to assist with our projects and goals. Having someone on our side to work towards our aspirations is invaluable. Celebrating milestones, no matter how small, boosts confidence and reinforces our resilience and determination.

Maintaining a growth mindset is crucial to keep the momentum going. We are open to adaptation to ensure our motivation remains dynamic and resilient. Regular reflection sessions allow us to assess progress, re-evaluate goals, and realign motivations.

Inspired by our experiences, we can inspire others too by sharing our journeys and lessons learned. By contributing to a positive and motivated community, we reinforce our commitment to growth and development.

As we reflect on the past four months, we recognize that with reflection, goal setting, support networks, celebration of milestones, continual learning, and regular reflection, our motivation remains unwavering. The Conference marked the beginning, but we, the #150Leaders will sustain motivation and be the change-makers. Let the journey continue.

19th December 2023

Blog | Are neurodivergent students getting the support they require?

A guest blog by Jessica Pidcock, Nursing Child Student at Sheffield Hallam University and member of SSHINE (Sharing Student Healthcare Initiative for Neurodiversity & Equity).

Earlier this year, I finally received my formal diagnosis of autism. I had known I was ‘different’ from a young age and suspected I was autistic after going through the process of diagnosis with my eldest child. It wasn’t for validation that I sought my own diagnosis; it was so that I could start accessing the support offered to diagnosed disabled students.

Receiving a diagnosis opened a world of support for me. However, this world was very overwhelming, and it felt like I had so many smaller fights to come. Nobody really explained to me what the different forms and processes were or even what support could be offered to me. I was aware that I could now apply for DSA, but even that seemed like a minefield.

After a few long months, I am finally getting the right support in place for me to thrive as a disabled student. I have learned exactly what I am entitled to from my university, the DSA, and my placement providers. It hasn’t been easy, but I am there.

Many students aren’t receiving the support they need.

Many students are unaware of what they are entitled to or struggle to access it.

When I applied for the #150 Leaders Student Leadership Programme, I spoke about how I felt that some disabled students, especially neurodivergent students, were being let down in accessing support. Once I was successful in getting a place, I knew that my project would be based on making the support available more accessible.

Before I can do that, I first need to know what support neurodivergent students are accessing and what their experiences are exactly. Through the support of my coach and course lead, I am starting a research project provisionally titled “The experiences of undergraduate neurodivergent student nurses accessing support” based at my university.

Over the Christmas break, I will be writing an ethics application, which will be sent for approval by my university in the same way any academic staff research approval would be. I hope then to advertise for eligible students to partake in a focus group where I will interview them about their experiences. I will then analyse their comments, drawing out the common themes. From this, I aim to have a better understanding of my peers experiences.

When I first proposed this research, I expected it to be an informal piece, just for my own fact-finding. Knowing that this research will be completed in the formal processes and would be eligible for publishing is very scary for me.

Isn’t that what this programme is really about, though?

Finding the limit of our skills and then extending them?

Undertaking a project that challenges us and helps us develop?

I think I am about to find out.

17th November 2023

Blog | The NHS Longterm Workforce Plan: A student leaders’ experience in parliament

Rachel, Student Midwife at University of Surrey and one of the #150Leaders, was invited by the APPG University group and Universities UK at the New NHS Longterm Workforce Plan Launch, to reflect on challenges met by healthcare students. In this blog, Rachel shares her experience and suggests areas for improvement within healthcare education.

Following on from the fantastic 150 Leaders conference in Manchester this September, I was approached by Universities UK with the incredible opportunity to speak at parliament. As UUK and the NHS launch the new Longterm Workforce Plan, they wanted to hear from a student directly about what it is like to be a healthcare trainee in the current UK landscape. As well as hearing from a host of thoughtful speakers including NHS training leads and the minister for health and secondary care Will Quince, I was deeply touched by the reception to my speech regarding the harsh realities of being a student midwife training in the NHS today.

Being a healthcare student is not without its difficulties both physically and mentally, as we work tirelessly to maintain relationships, friendships and coursework all on top of a very demanding hospital placement schedule. However, I also wanted to highlight the unwavering support my university has shown as I inch closer towards qualifying. The resources available at the University of Surrey are invaluable, with state-of-the-art simulation suites available for booking whenever we want to practice our clinic skills, something that the new Longterm Workforce Plan fully endorses. Being a student midwife is one of my greatest and most cherished achievements and to see such recognition for the work being done by healthcare students across the country and across disciplines is immensely encouraging.


Allowing student voices to be heard is an integral part of facilitating an open dialogue that benefits all within the healthcare education system. Being able to discuss the realities of placement and how students can be better supported throughout their degree is essential to retaining healthcare students and making them feel valued. Following this event, I am hopeful that there will be positive changes to the health sciences curriculum that foster growth and development as well as protecting students’ mental health. Having the opportunity to speak at the Houses of Parliament is something I will never forget, and I am very appreciative to the Council of Deans for Health’s 150 Leaders Programme for providing students with the skills and network to have experiences such as these and use them to encourage positive change for all students across the UK.

The NHS Longterm Workforce Plan was published on Monday 30th October with more information here: Education leaders sound warning on future of healthcare (universitiesuk.ac.uk)


13th November 2023

Blog | Raising Awareness And Improving Standards Of Care For Patients Living With Sickle Cell Disorders

Adam is a Nursing Student from the University of Liverpool and one of our #150Leaders. In this blog, Adam discusses how to improve standards of care for patients living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), a genetic disorder that disproportionately affects those of African and Afro-Caribbean origin. This important blog echoes the Council of Deans of Health’s Race Equity Month -a month dedicated to exploring issues around racism in healthcare education.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a common genetic disorder that disproportionately affects those of African and Afro-Caribbean origin. According to NICE (2021), SCD is estimated to impact 1 in every 2000 live births in England. Furthermore, NICE (2021) also states that approximately 8% of people of black origin carry the gene and the prevalence of this gene is further increasing in mixed race families.

Normal blood cells (left) and the blood cells in Sickle cell disease, which do not flow through the circulatory system smoothly. Credit: Darryl Leja, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) from Bethesda, MD, USA. CC, Public Domain. https://www.flickr.com/photos/genomegov/27249799083/

Sickle cell disease is referred to as a group of red blood cell disorders that are inherited through genes (CDC, 2023). Sickle cell diseases tends to develop 6 months after birth, this is around the time when foetal haemoglobin levels begin to fall (Mangla et al, 2022). Due to the pathophysiology of sickle cell, it affects the haemoglobin in the red blood cells, this causes the cells to change shape making it more difficult for them to pass through blood vessels (Redhead, 2022).

With SCD being classed as a common genetic disorder, it would be reasonable to think that patients living with SCD receive high quality, compassionate care underpinned by evidence. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Power-Hays and McGann (2020) reports that in the US, SCD patients struggle with managing their pain and dealing with racist attitudes expressed by healthcare workers. They go onto further report that SCD patients are sometimes described as drug seekers and that they are merely dramatising or simulating the pain they are experiencing.

Accessibility to healthcare services is also a challenge for some SCD patients across the UK. Jabbal (2023) refers to SCD care within the UK as a “postcode lottery” heavily dependent on the commonality of SCD within local areas. The key question is how we as a healthcare system and future healthcare professionals work towards can changing this bold and apparent disparity. NHS England are working towards a solution to resolve this. NHS England (2023) are announcing the establishment of 24/7 Hyper Acute Units focused on providing specialised care for SCD patients experiencing a crisis, as a result of their blood clotting and occluding their arteries. NHS England’s (2023) new service will allow 80% SCD patients to receive tailored support and pain relief in a timely manner, subsequently allow them to better manage their pain.

NHS England (2023) and the NHS Blood and Transplant service also recently announced that they will provide genetic testing for patients living with SCD and other associated conditions in order for them to receive blood transfusion better matched to their needs which ultimately decreases their risk of experiencing any side effects. But, how can we as individuals make an impact on the delivery of care we provide for SCD patients? One way we can catalyse change is by taking the time to actively listen to our SCD patients and their concerns around pain. Taking their concerns seriously and referring to other skilled and knowledgeable practitioners can help us to help them receive the pain relief and other interventions they need to make their SCD manageable. As students, we find ourselves in many situations where we are provided with many different learning opportunities, we should aim to uptake as many of these opportunities as possible and build on our knowledge of SCD and other conditions in order to inform our clinical practice as trainee practitioners.

We should also act as an advocate for our patients with SCD by disseminating our knowledge and awareness of SCD onto different members of the multidisciplinary team to help further inform their practice, allowing us to simultaneously develop and progress as healthcare professionals. There are also some fantastic resources online that provide a plethora of information related to sickle cell disease such as: Sickle Cell Society and an exceptional article written by Dr Grace Redhead who explores the role of the British Empire and historical racism towards sickle cell patients within the NHS.

NHS England as well as the NHS Blood and Transplant Services’ work provides us with some hope that there is a genuine intention to create and promote change in order to benefit SCD patients. Our position and ability to work with SCD patients on the frontline of the healthcare service also provides us with a valuable and honourable opportunity, that opportunity being our ability to actively listen to SCD patients and act towards their concerns with humanity and kindness.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

Adam Hawksley-Finch

(Y2 Adult STN, University Of Liverpool)


  1. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (2023), What Is Sickle Cell Disease? (Accessed: 03/11/2023)
  2. Jabbal, J. (2023), Access To Care: Reducing Health Inequalities For People Living With Sickle Cell DisorderThe King’s Fund, 8 February. (Accessed: 11/10/2023)
  3. Mangla, A. Ehsan, M., Agarwal, N., Maruvada, S., Chaddie, D. (2023), Sickle Cell Anemia, StatPearls. (Accessed: 03/11/2023)
  4. National Health Service (2023), Thousands Of Sickle Cell Patients To Benefit From Quicker Access To Expert NHS Care. (Accessed: 11/10/2023)
  5. National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (2021), Sickle Cell Disease. (Accessed: 10/10/2023)
  6. Power-Hays, A., McGann T.P. (2020), When Actions Speak Louder Than Words- Racism And Sickle Cell Disease, The New England Journal Of MedicineN Engl J Med 2020, pp. 1902-1903. (Accessed: 10/10/2023)
  7. Redhead, G. (2022), Empire, Racism And The NHS: The History Of Sickle Cell Disorder. (Accessed: 03/11/2023)
9th November 2023

Blog | Validation, connection, and empowerment through 150 Leaders SLP Conference

Jenny Brodie is a final year Nursing Mental Health Student from Abertay University and one of our 150Leaders. In this blog, Jenny explores how attending the Student Leadership Programme Conference has encouraged her to step into student voice roles and supporting her fellow students more.

The 150 Leaders SLP is highly regarded by my university and after seeing the positive impact made by our Mental Health Nurse buddy scheme, started by last year’s 150 Leaders alumna, I was supported and encouraged to apply. Finding out I had been successful, and knowing I had the conference in Manchester to look forward to was a real boost to starting my final year. I had been worried I might be ‘the mature student’, but once I got to Manchester, it was clear the 150 Leaders programme values a range of people, ages, experiences, and healthcare fields.

The opening morning was well paced and exciting as we got to know each other, mixing it up in entertaining icebreakers. The inspirational presentations by three 150Leaders alumni highlighting their achievements has pushed me to expand my responsibilities beyond purely academic and clinical work. I have taken on roles such as division rep and being a buddy myself to a new first year student. I find it curious to think that as I am buddy to a fellow student, I am also coached by a 150 Leaders alumna, who in turn, as a member of the current Queen’s Nurse cohort, has a mentor! This aspect of continuous reflection, professional support and lifespan growth and development inspires me as I know that my journey into nursing, and more widely leadership, is well supported through connection. The networking at conference is invaluable to future practice with resources, knowledge, encouragement, and humour only a message away.

One of the best aspects of conference is being among like-minded people whose enthusiasm for healthcare and leadership shines through. Meeting people and comparing our diverse experiences broadened my understanding of what it means to be a healthcare professional and future leader. It was fantastic to have the range of allied health professionals as well as nurses of all fields. I feel I learnt a lot about different pathways into healthcare and the varying university experiences. Sharing best practice and seeking opinions about diverse issues was extremely informative and something I can feed forward to colleagues and university.

As a student mental health nurse, the session on compassionate leadership really resonated with me and the values we develop within our studies. To hear empathy, integrity and resilience being promoted in the face of the challenges we encounter was truly validating for me and my journey into nursing. Discussing imposter syndrome has helped me to clarify my worries about the transition from student to new graduate nurse. Having identified these points, I am working on plans to address them with my coach. Likewise, the opportunity to begin to develop my elevator pitch ahead of applying for my post-registration position has made me believe more in myself and how to portray that confidence. All of this would not be possible without the 150 Leaders SLP giving me a true head start into the leadership role.

3rd November 2023

Blog | Future Leaders or ‘just students’?

Isla, Paramedic Science Student from the University of Stirling and one of our #150Leaders, shares how she felt empowered meeting like minded student leaders, including fellow student paramedics, from all over the UK, thanks to the Student Leadership Programme.

Oftentimes as a student I have felt like that, ‘just a student’. Only learning, so nothing to offer, to show or teach others. It can feel immensely difficult at times to see myself as more than that. I have a strong passion for making changes within the health service. As a student though, this desire can seem so far away, almost intangible.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the conference, but I was excited, nonetheless. I had a feeling it would be a memorable event and it didn’t disappoint. It was a room filled with similar likeminded people. Yes, differing opinions and passions but one common goal. Change. I could quickly see that I was in a room full of people also wanting to get their voices heard and make changes for the better within their professions and healthcare as a whole.

My desire was only ignited further by receiving talks from inspirational and motivational guest speakers. These were leaders in the current industry and alumni from the program. All people who had been sat in a similar position to myself and had managed to achieve greatness.

From the moment the conference started I was made to feel like I belonged there, like I deserved my spot amongst these other fifty people. Everybody was keen to find out more about myself and my passions. It was such a validating experience. My fellow healthcare students made me feel heard and my passion for improving mental health services felt achievable. I have moments of doubt at times as I’m sure many students do, but the inspirational speakers reminded me that you can do whatever you set your mind to. You may require some help along the way, but you can do it.

I loved the idea behind the feedback boxes. Throughout the conference we were able to add positive feedback to people’s boxes without them reading the comments till the end. It was another really validating experience. Reading over the comments written about me on my train journey home reminded me what qualities I have and what will help to make me the best leader I can be. The best part is being able to keep those comments. When I’m having that moment of doubt or when I overhear that conversation about me saying I am ‘just a student’, I can remind myself that I am not ‘just a student’, I am student with a passion for change, I can be a future leader.

31st October 2023

Blog | Developing the Healthcare Leaders of Tomorrow: my experience as a mature student

Ally, Student Nurse – Learning Disability from Edinburgh Napier University, shares an authentic testimony about his journey being accepted in the Programme as a mature student, and meeting his fellow 150Leaders at the Welcome Event in September.


My name is Ally and I’m a 3rd year Learning Disability Nursing student at Edinburgh Napier University. In this blog, I’ll share my insights from attending the recent 150Leaders Welcome Event in Manchester, as a mature student embarking on an exciting new career in healthcare.

This career change began when I survived severe depression in 2019. Seeing first-hand the help from different people made me want to use my skills to help others too. I cared for my dad with dementia during COVID, supporting him to the end of life. This reaffirmed my passion for compassionate care. Having a son with autism spectrum disorder has given insight into learning differences. My mum taught nursing/midwifery, instilling the desire to care for others. My wife is a health visitor, inspiring me daily through her work. You might say nursing runs in my family.

When made redundant, it was the perfect chance to pursue my dream of nursing. Now, I aim to combine my background in communication and problem-solving with nursing education, to make a difference to patients’ lives. It’s been a challenging but rewarding journey so far.

After getting accepted within the Council of Deans of Health’s Student Leadership Programme, or 150 Leaders, I was now ready to attend the new cohort’s Welcome Event in September. The #150Leaders name comes from the programme originally being designed for 150 students over two years. Now over 250 students have graduated, with more joining each year, but the #150Leaders name lives on. The programme is run by the Council of Deans of Health who represents the UK’s university faculties engaged in education and/or research for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions.

The two-day Welcome Event was packed with inspirational talks, hands-on workshops, and great networking opportunities. Sessions explored critical leadership skills like overcoming imposter syndrome, compassionate leadership, and crafting elevator pitches. We also honed entrepreneurial thinking during an engaging “Dragon’s Den” pitch workshop. There was valuable advice on goal-setting and seizing opportunities.

As a non-traditional student, it was empowering to join the current cohort benefiting from this amazing experience. Having attended as a mature student, my key tips are: stay focused on your interests, believe in yourself, and keep growing your skills. Also, as a nurse passionate about inclusion, I’m eager to develop leadership capabilities that help me better serve patients with learning disabilities. Events like 150Leaders are vital for nurturing those skills early on.

It was amazing to watch everyone building their confidence and voices over the two days. The inspirational healthcare students at the event will undoubtedly become the compassionate, patient-focused leaders of tomorrow. Their dedication left me feeling so hopeful for the future of healthcare. I can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve working together.

Of course, leadership is a lifelong journey and coaches will now help us reflect on developing projects that drive real change. The future is bright!

Ally Finlay
Nurse Learning Disabilities

25th October 2023

Blog | Reflections on the 150 Leaders Conference from a nursing student

In this blog, one of our 2023 #150Leaders, Freda (Adult Nursing Student) from the University of Salford, shares an accurate and detailed description of the Welcome Event sessions who took place last month in Manchester.

Day 1

The 150 Leaders Conference began with a brief introduction by Professor Nigel Harrison, setting the stage for what would turn out to be an inspiring journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

We then heard from three students’ alumni, which proved to be incredibly motivating. We had Shannon Gorman, a Nursing and Paramedic Science Student, who was incredibly relatable. She demonstrated that anyone could achieve great things with determination and a focused mindset. She emphasised that our individual journeys don’t always have to appear grand; what matters most is staying true to our own paths. Then there was Raymond Amoako, a Therapeutic Radiographer Student, who exemplified the importance of organisation and taking advantage of all available opportunities. He shared his journey of building confidence and learning when to say no. Lastly, there was Allyson Omoniyi, a Nursing (Mental Health) Student – what a powerhouse! While I may never accomplish half of what she has, she showed us how to seize every opportunity and, most importantly, how to believe that we deserve it.

Rachel Moses OBE, a Consultant Respiratory Physiotherapist, led a powerful session on imposter syndrome. She reminded us that “no one can give you as much positive feedback as yourself.” We explored topics such as leadership, confidence, diversity, and the importance of self-recognition.

During dinner, we heard from Professor Nigel Harrison. His vast experience and unique story were truly inspirational. He offered valuable advice, including the notion that “career progression isn’t linear; you can move in various directions, and that’s okay.” My table fostered engaging discussions covering a wide spectrum of healthcare topics, from dementia care to the maternal and infant experience. These conversations were enriched by students hailing from diverse fields, including midwifery, dietetics, podiatry, mental health nursing, and physiotherapy, representing regions across England, Scotland, and Wales.

Day 2

The second day started with a hearty breakfast and a touch of Manchester sun. The day’s first presentation was led by Raluca Oaten, a 150 Leaders alumni and Intensive Care Nurse, whose commitment to driving change was truly inspirational. She emphasised the significance of being part of a team that values authenticity and encourages vulnerability, leaving us with a powerful reminder: “always know who you are and what your values are.”

Next, we engaged in a ‘Dragons Den’ activity where each group pitched ideas on how to support healthcare students to a panel of judges composed of Raluca Oaten, Jon Eames from the Council of Deans and Ismat Khan, a Diagnostic Radiographer and one of  the 150Leaders Alumni. This activity taught us valuable lessons in teamwork, active listening, and gaining insights from others’ experiences.

Dr. Anna Byrom then led a session on compassion. With her positive attitude, she taught us that we have the power to choose how we show up. We discussed the importance of creating a balance to prevent burnout, and she left us with the thought that “compassion is the only universal language that everyone understands.”

We concluded by participating in a group activity centred on crafting compelling elevator pitches that highlight our unique qualities. This exercise was valuable for our growth as future professionals and leaders.

Upon reflection, the 150 Leaders Conference instilled a powerful sense of self-belief and a better grasp of seizing opportunities. I’m now more confident and committed to personal and professional growth.

20th October 2023

Blog | Here is the Start of My Inspiring Journey as One of the 150Leaders

Antonio is a Nursing Adult Student at the University of Roehampton. In this blog, Antonio shares some insightful reflections on the 150Leaders Welcome Event who took place in Manchester last September.

Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 150Leaders Student Leadership Programme Welcome Event in the vibrant city of Manchester. These two transformative days were , filled with learning, networking, and personal growth. Allow me to share my first-hand experience and provide a glimpse into this remarkable programme.

Day 1: Making Connections

The event kicked off with a warm welcome, setting the tone for an enriching journey. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm and anticipation as soon as I entered the venue. The organisers did a fantastic job of fostering a sense of belonging. One of the highlights of the first day was the ice-breaking activities. Seeing how people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines came together effortlessly, sharing their unique stories and aspirations was remarkable. These initial connections would soon grow into valuable friendships and professional networks.

One of the most memorable moments was the presentations and panel discussion featuring three 150 Leaders alumni who achieved significant success. Hearing their stories of growth and impact inspired all of us to dream big and embrace our potential to make a difference in healthcare. In the evening, Professor Nigel Harrison delivered a heartfelt speech before dinner that inspired and uplifted me. His personal story was genuine and moving, making me reflect on my priorities.

Day 2: Nurturing Leadership

The second day was dedicated to delving deeper into leadership development. A variety of engaging sessions challenged us to think critically and creatively. We explored the importance of empathy in leadership, learned how to lead through change, discussed strategies for driving innovation in healthcare and the importance of effective leadership strategies to build resilience in challenging times. As part of the entrepreneurial leadership workshop, we were put into groups and asked to develop a project idea to promote student wellness and pitch it to a Dragons Den competition-style judging panel. Every group developed innovative and original ideas; however, I was so pleased when our group project was picked as the winner because we worked so well together, and each of us was able to contribute to the task. Our project idea involved organising six interactive online sessions led by field experts to support students during placement. The sessions would focus on dealing with burnout, racial discrimination, diet, stress, and maintaining professional boundaries.

What I Enjoyed Most

It’s challenging to pinpoint a favourite aspect of the event because every moment was enriching. However, I most cherished the community and support permeating the event. Despite being surrounded by accomplished individuals, there was no ego, only a genuine desire to learn from one another and grow together. The event also provided valuable tools and insights I can apply to my academic and personal life. From effective communication techniques to leadership strategies, I left with a treasure trove of knowledge and skills.

My Experience

As a participant in the 150Leaders Welcome Event, I felt empowered and connected to a community of individuals who share the same values and passion for improving healthcare and positively impacting the world. The event challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, engage with new ideas, and embrace my leadership potential. I was inspired not only by the speakers and mentors but also by my fellow attendees. Their stories and aspirations served as a reminder of the limitless possibilities within healthcare leadership.

In Conclusion

The 150Leaders Welcome Event in Manchester was an experience I will forever cherish. It was an opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with remarkable individuals poised to shape the future of healthcare. If you are passionate about healthcare and aspire to become a leader in this field, I wholeheartedly recommend joining this program. It’s not just an event; it’s the start of a transformative journey of self-discovery and empowerment.