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Mersey Care Nurses win prestigious national nursing award

2 Mersey Care Nurses have been awarded the prestigious Queen's Nurse title in recognition of their efforts to high standards of patient care within their communities across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Denise Davies, a specialist Community Public Health Nurse in School Nursing based in:- Bootle, Sefton, and Hannah Molyneux, a Safeguarding Adults Nurse based in Huyton, Liverpool, received the honour from community nursing charity The Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI), during a ceremony in London.

Hannah (pictured below at the ceremony) received her award for showing:- 'commitment to high standards of patient care and continually improving practice,' while the judges thought Denise showed:- 'commitment to high standards of patient care within School health.'

"I've worked as a community Nurse for over 15 years, and this is such an honour to receive this award for doing the job that I love. I feel very proud and privileged to represent the Queen's Nursing Institute within my organisation."
said Hannah.

Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, who was the 1st sickle cell and thalassaemia specialist Nurse in 1979 and has continued to fight health inequalities ever since, presented the awards.

"I've worked within School health, in the community, for almost 12 years and have found it extremely rewarding working with children, young people and their families. It was an honour to receive the Queens Nurse Award for my role within School health; I'm passionate about making a difference and supporting those in times of need. The QNI presents the Queen's Nurse Award annually to those Nurses that have "demonstrated a high level of commitment to patient care and nursing practice."
explained Denise, pictured below with Dame Anionwu.

Trish Bennett, Mersey Care's Chief Nursing Officer, who was presented with the Chief Nursing Officer award by the QNI in 2023, said:- "It's a great honour for any Nurse to be presented with this award so I'd like to offer my congratulations to Hannah and Denise for their outstanding success. Nurses are the bedrock of the NHS and I know they will both be very proud at receiving such a prestigious award and recognition of all their efforts over many years."

More than 800 apprenticeships delivered through Mayor's levy transfer scheme

A campaign by Mayor Steve Rotheram to supercharge apprenticeship opportunities in the Liverpool City Region has taken a significant step forward.

In 2023, the Mayor called on large employers to pledge to gift their unused Apprenticeship Levy to smaller local firms, allowing hundreds of new City Region apprenticeships to be created.

New figures released to mark National Apprenticeship Week show the Combined Authority has so far helped to transfer almost £4m of unspent levy funding to pay for more than 800 new apprentices; generating a return on investment of more than £100m for the City Region.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "Having trained as an apprentice, I know better than most the life changing impact that good quality training can have on a young person's future. For too long, our young people have been held back from fulfilling their full potential, not by a lack of talent, but a lack of opportunity. Currently, there is a national underspend of billions of pounds of Apprenticeship Levy funding which is diverted from the Government's stated mission to plug skills shortages. The £4m we've helped to transfer will help us to change countless young lives across our Region but, with tens of billions of pounds of levy funding gathering dust in the Treasury, we're only scratching the surface of what we could achieve. By pledging their Apprenticeship Levy to us, local businesses can stop this money going to other areas of Government spend and ensure that local young people get access not only to good quality training, but the opportunity to succeed."

Large employers are required by law to pay 0.5% of their wage bill towards an Apprenticeship Levy – which is collected by the Government to fund apprenticeships. Levy payers can spend their own allocation on in-house apprentices or gift up to 25% of the money to other organisations.

Around £2.2bn of apprenticeship funding has been handed back to the Treasury by the DfE in the six years since the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced. The underspend in the Liverpool City Region is estimated to be in the tens of millions.

Since 2017, tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships have been created in the Liverpool City Region, supported by Mayoral initiatives such as the Young Person's Guarantee and Be More, an award-winning UCAS-style apprenticeship and careers portal.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can gift your Apprenticeship Levy funds or are looking to access a Levy transfer then please contact the Employer Brokerage Service at:- SkillsBrokers@LiverpoolCityRegion-CA.Gov.UK or register your details here.

Case study: Apprentice recruits succesor at Liverpool Law Centre

Vauxhall Law Centre are among the City Region organisations to be helped by the transfer scheme.

Development Officer Elly Smith was recruited to the centre thanks to funding transferred from shopping channel QVC; and new apprentice, Sam Holmes, thanks to funds from tourism company TUI UK&I.

Elly Smith said:- "Before the apprenticeship, I was often scared to ask questions or voice my opinion in relation to work due to low confidence and not understanding my own abilities in terms of fundraising and development work. The apprenticeship allowed me to increase not only my, fundraising knowledge but also my confidence levels massively. The apprenticeship has had a massive impact on my approach as a fundraiser, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning the course content which has greatly increased my knowledge of modern fundraising. The support I have received outside of my own independent learning in the workshops has helped to not only solidify this knowledge but allow me to apply it to my day to day work. This is all thanks to the support and highly skilled staff at the Employer Brokerage Service who have helped Vauxhall Law Centre to develop from strength to strength. Our people are our greatest asset and to enable them to reach their full potential with support of apprenticeship levy transfer has made a significant and transformational impact at the centre. With the Employer Brokerage Service support and guidance in securing levy transfer we can foresee a positive and successful future for the organisation."

Elly is now supported by the organisation's second apprentice, Sam Holmes.

Sam will be undergoing a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Fundraising to improve his skills and knowledge on fundraising in a charitable organisation, learning from other apprentices in his cohort and his apprenticeship coach.

He has already had an extremely positive start to the role and is looking forward to building and exceeding his potential in relation to fundraising in a small, but growing, fast paced charity that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Sam said:- "I'm fortunate so far to have been able to learn from Elly's previous experience and knowledge of fundraising. I'm really looking forward to taking part in the apprenticeship, and further developing my own abilities, and learning new skills that will hopefully assist me in my role as a development support Officer."

Siobhan Grosscurth, Employer Broker, added:- "When I started working with Vauxhall Law Centre they had never recruited an apprentice and were keen to understand the benefits and scope of apprenticeships for the business. The job description fitted perfectly with the newly released L3 Fundraiser Standard and a training provider was found. Vauxhall Law Centre were a perfect candidate for Levy Transfer, QVC were happy to support with transfer, so Elly was recruited and started her apprenticeship journey. 3 years later, Elly got in touch to update me on her progression into a management role following the completion of her apprenticeship and that she wanted to recruit a further apprentice. We followed the same process and Sam was recruited, with TUI UK&I agreeing to fund this apprenticeship via our Levy Transfer Pledge."

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