Meet some of our SQAs!

Jennifer Motlaleselelo

Jennifer Motlaleselelo

Physiotherapy, University of Central Lancashire

Jennifer is passionate about improving the experience of healthcare students from BAME backgrounds. Jennifer is representing healthcare students by networking with RePAIR Fellows at Health Education England. The RePAIR projects aims to improve retention and attrition of students on health-related programmes in the North West.

“I became an SQA as it was an opportunity to be involved in enhancing patient’s experience and create positive change within the healthcare profession as a student. It also provided me with support to develop my leadership skills and liaise with other motivated students and professionals that I could learn from.

In an effort to tackle the lack of representation and support for BAME students in the physiotherapy profession, I am currently in the middle of setting up a BAME network for physio students in my university (UCLan). I am also organising a series of in-depth discussions about equality, diversity and inclusivity within physiotherapy, facilitated by the Cultural Health Club (a conglomerate of BAME physios in the UK aiming to empower BAME physiotherapists as well as to promote awareness on diversity and equality)for the physiotherapy staff and students. My aim is to challenge perspectives and unconscious biases in order to improve cultural sensitivity and awareness by increasing students understanding of patients/colleagues from different backgrounds. With the help of Yvette, I am organising an anonymous survey for AHP students to understand the BAME experience and how universities can offer them more support.

In future, I plan on developing a welcome section, for BAME AHP students, which universities can add to their course handbooks containing useful resources to support their education. I also plan on expanding the student physiotherapy BAME network at my university to include other AHP students (occupational therapy, speech language therapy, etc). Another one of my aims is to improve knowledge students have about the role of each professional in the multidisciplinary team. I would like to encourage better understanding of the scope of practice each different health professional has by increasing interaction health students have with each other in academic settings.”

Vanessa Hiller

Vanessa Hiller

Adult Nursing - University of Chester

“I am very keen to look at innovative and fresh ideas that will lead to better outcomes for everyone involved in healthcare.

I think as a student we are in a unique position, as we have a fresh pair of eyes and the resources of an academic institution behind us, and I want to make the most of this opportunity.

In my previous career, I worked as a PA within a management team and have experience of change management and service innovation, so this way of thinking is already embedded in my way of working.

Getting involved with this project will also add an extra dimension to my study and my placement; for example, if, when reading or on placement, I see an opportunity for change or improvement or an area for further exploration, I will have a vehicle through this project to explore that idea.”

Claire Pearcy-Makemson

Claire Pearcy-Makemson

Learning Disability nursing - University of Cumbria

“I am interested in the national plan to retain the learning disability nurse work force and grow and develop together.

It has been hard during the pandemic, especially to cope with university and opt in placements but when I can I enjoy talking to the other SQAs and feeling like a part of something bigger.”

James Savage

James Savage

Mental Health Nursing, LJMU

“James is an active committee member of the Royal College of Nursing North West Student Commitee. James is keen to create a multidisciplinary student forum to share learning, ideas and innovations.

James is keen to improve the experiences of students in the clinical learning environment.”

Megan Burkhill

Megan Burkhill

Mental Health Nursing, University of Bolton

“Hey everyone! I’m Meg and I am a student mental health nurse. I became an SQA because Yvette made it sound like such an amazing opportunity and she hasn’t let me down. After only a short few months I’ve been able to get involved with researching and improving placements for all the students in the North West. I have a big passion for bringing the different avenues of nursing together as I feel that, at the moment, there’s a lot of distance and lack of understanding between the groups. SQA has given me a great chance to meet like-minded people. Over the next year I plan to work with all the different members of SQA and put our heads together to come up with different ways to improve the teamwork of nurses in all health sectors.

The thing that’s impressed me with SQA is the respect and kindness expressed from the ‘powers that be’ it’s so wonderful to really feel that you have a whole organisation who have your back and really want to see you achieve.

As an SQA I really feel part of a community and can’t wait to see just how far we can go.”

Rebecca Lennox

Rebecca Lennox

Adult Nursing, LJMU

“I decided I wanted to be a Student Quality Ambassador when I first heard about it during an open day at university in 2017. After a leave of absence to have a baby, I am finally in my second year and applied straight away. I want to make positive change across nursing and everyone knows I have such a big passion for Deaf Awareness and I hope I can bring some Deaf Awareness to the nursing profession. I also enjoy anything to do with infection prevention and control.”
Rebecca Gregory

Rebecca Gregory

Diagnostic Radiography - Sheffield Hallam University

“I feel really privileged to be a part of the SQA project. It’s a real opportunity to influence change and progression within my student community, and student placement working environment. The SQA project has given it’s ambassadors their voices. Combined with my role as a student seat on the NE&Y Allied Health Professions Council, I am excited to be able to contribute to improvements within health care services.”

Leonie Fenton

Leonie Fenton

Trainee Nurse Associate - Edge Hill University

“Being an SQA allows me to be an advocate for the relatively new role of the Nursing Associate. I am passionate about improving dementia care and am working to improving knowledge surrounding dementia within my hospital trust and university.”

Mark Jarnell

Mark Jarnell

Mental Health Nursing, University of Cumbria

“I wanted to use my service user experience and knowledge as a student to enhance knowledge and practice. I am much interested in challenging the stigma of mental health within our NHS. Especially during Covid-19 where nursing staff need access to a safe space to break out to whether that be a physical room or a vehicle outside for support and welfare. 

 I am involved with my ‘Cups of Care’ which is about creating a more caring environment to discuss mental health. I produce string backs with a tea bag, biscuit and action card within a bag which is given safe spaces to break out to whether that be a physical room or a vehicle outside for support and welfare. 

 My hopes and aims for the future are to continue to network with others and challenge the stigma of mental health.”