Mary Seacole awards: nurse specialists honoured for work with diverse communities

Winners recognised for projects on areas such as mental health and maternity services

Winners recognised for projects on areas such as mental health and maternity services

The awards are named in memory of nurse Mary Seacole. Picture: John Behets

Five nursing and midwifery specialists have been inducted as scholars at the Mary Seacole awards for their work on healthcare projects for black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. 

The awards, run by the Mary Seacole Trust, are named in honour of the Jamaican-born nurse who cared for soldiers during the Crimean War between 1853-1856.

The trust provided funding for the healthcare projects, which were carried out in the past year with the aid of two mentors from the trust.

Range of specialist work is recognised

The award-winners, announced at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, were: 

Alis Rasul

  • Moseley Hall Hospital health visitor Alis Rasul, for an evaluation of the health visitor role in delivering a culturally sensitive early intervention programme supporting the mental health of Muslim families.
  • Oxford Brookes University senior lecturer Obrey Alexis, for a study examining black African and black Caribbean men’s experiences of prostate cancer.
  • University of Birmingham researcher facilitator Kanta Kumar, for assessments of ultrasound scans among black and minority ethnic (BME) patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Middlesex University midwife Sarah Chitongo, for preventing deaths in high-risk BME groups in maternity services. 

    Dorcas Gwata


  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust clinical lead for the integrated gangs unit Dorcas Gwata, for improving leadership in mental health interventions for adolescents from African and Middle Eastern backgrounds affected by gang culture in Westminster.

An inspiration for future award-winners

The Mary Seacole awards committee chair Obi Amadi congratulated the winners for their hard work.

‘These scholars have spent the past year working hard and refining their projects,’ she said.

‘We hope that their individual efforts will act as a spur for those thinking of coming forward to participate in the Mary Seacole awards in the years to come’.

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