A FINAL year nursing student from Winchester has been selected as one of just seven student nurses from around the country nominated for a diversity award.

Cyzel Gomes, who is in her final year studying on the BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult) degree course at the Univeristy of Winchester, has been nominated for the Mary Seacole Award.

The award recognises a student who has made an exceptional contribution to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for their patients and/or other students and staff, showing compassion and understanding of the needs of those from diverse backgrounds.

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Some of the reasons for Cyzel's nomination include her involvement in the university's HEART group (Health Education and Social Work Anti-Racist Transformers), which was set up as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement and provides a safe space for students to talk about their personal experiences in their study and practice. She is also a champion of Breaking Through, a student-focused group proving another forum to talk about issues that are often uncomfortable to confront.

Cyzel said: "I couldn't and still struggle to believe it, that I have been nominated for an award at the Student Nursing Times Awards. It's unbelievable but I am so humbled and feel so blessed for the recognition for all my work for equity, diversity and inclusion.

"I really believe that only together we will overcome the prejudices, discrimination, racism and colourism; making the world a much better place for the future generations to come. This nomination isn't just for me, it's for all the other Cyzels out there that are changing the world every day, with little acts of kindness. Especially for those that champion equity, diversity and inclusion and may have felt on many occasions, uninvited and unseen at the table."

Ian Winkworth, programme leader, said: "Here at the University of Winchester, we pride ourselves not only in producing the high-quality nurses for the future, but also students who are socially and politically engaged and motivated.

"Cyzel is a prime example of this and from the beginning of the course has been an active voice for students and nursing with her student role with the Royal College of Nursing, placement with the Florence Nightingale Foundation, being Co-Chair of our Student Committee and also being an active member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Student Council.

"Cyzel is a real advocate for social justice and we are incredibly proud of what she has achieved as a student nurse, which has culminated in her nomination for the Nursing Times award."

The University of Winchester teaches four nursing degree programmes focusing on adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities qualifications.

The Student Nursing Times Awards celebrate the best of the next generation of nurses and their educators and highlight excellence in all specialities of student nursing. The awards ceremony takes place on Friday, May 27 at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London. 

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