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    University Hospitals of Derby and Burton announce Student of the Year

    14 May 2024

    Grace Lakin, a current Level 3 Health and Social Care learner at Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC), has been awarded Student of the Year by University Hospitals of Derby and Burton.

    The Volunteer Long Service Awards take place every year and reward different categories of volunteers, including those who have volunteered at the trust for 50 years. This is the first time Burton Hospital has recognised a student contribution for an award, and it is now set to become a regular feature of the annual awards ceremony.

    As part of Level 3 Health and Social Care and T-Level Health courses, students at BSDC undertake work placements to enhance their employability skills and develop the communication skills that are essential for a career in the health and social care sector.

    Grace began her work placement at the hospital as part of her course, but her dedication extended far beyond her initial placement period, and she continued to give up her time volunteering on the ward. Grace has now worked at the hospital on a voluntary basis for over a year, and was presented with the Student of the Year Award in recognition for her hard work and dedication.

    Speaking about receiving the first Student of the Year award, Grace said: “I was really surprised! I’d never done any volunteering before coming to college, but I got the opportunity to do a placement in my first year at BSDC. I want to become a nurse, so knew I’d really like to try working in a hospital. My tutors helped me to apply, and I was so pleased to get the placement. Everyone on the ward was really nice and when I finish my Health and Social Care course this year, I will be going on to do an apprenticeship on the same ward.”

    Grace has had great feedback from the staff she has worked with on the ward during her volunteering placement. Kate Lovelock the Volunteer Coordinator at Burton Hospital said: "Grace is fabulous; she comes in and just gets on with it. Her confidence has grown considerably since starting out doing day release from college and returning the following academic year, of her own volition, to do the student mealtime volunteer programme every Monday evening.

    “Grace has a great career ahead of her and was the natural choice to be Burton’s first student award winner.”

    Grace’s achievement as the Student of the Year highlights not only her personal dedication but also the partnership between the college and the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. BSDC's commitment to meeting skills needs and developing strong ties with employers is an important factor in providing students like Grace with invaluable work experience placements.

    In addition, BSDC has also launched an innovative Health Simulation Suite, made possible through £3.5 million in funding via the Stronger Towns Fund, in partnership with University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and Staffordshire University. For more details about the health and social care courses on offer at Burton and South Derbyshire College, go to

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