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Thank you to our students and Apprentices in keyworker roles

Category: apprenticeships, Educational, NHS, City College Norwich, Apprentices, Education Solutions, Further Education, apprenticeship, apprentice, COVID-19


Students and Apprentices from our college have been playing their part in the fight against Covid-19 – to all these students we would simply like to say ‘Thank you’.

Reflecting the huge range of work-related courses offered by City College Norwich, Easton College, and Paston College, our students and Apprentices have been supporting the collective effort in a variety of different ways.

NHS and Social Care

Working in roles throughout the NHS, and across the county - at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital Trust, Norwich Community Health Care Trust and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn – are 60 students on the Foundation Degree Higher Apprenticeship  in Health Studies (Assistant Practitioner).

In addition, around 30 Health & Social Care and Health Studies students – who spend a substantial amount of time on work placement for their course – have continued working in caring roles during the pandemic.

Whether in care homes or hospitals, these students have been on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus.

“Everyone’s working together as a team”

Health & Social Care student Naomi Dardai who has been working on a hospital ward for Covid-19 patients.  

Naomi Dardai, a student on the Health & Social Care Extended Diploma at City College Norwich, has been working as a Health Care Assistant on a ward for Covid-19 patients at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.     

In addition to providing personal care to patients, Naomi’s role sees her helping with observations (taking blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturations and counting respirations). Crucially, the role also involves providing patients with comfort and emotional support at an incredibly difficult time for them.

Naomi says that her course taught her that “we are an important part of a patient’s life”, adding that “the qualities and skills that I developed throughout my course helped me to be the healthcare professional I am today.”  

Dealing with the realities of caring for patients with Covid-19 has understandably been challenging, but Naomi praises the togetherness of the NHS team she is a part of:

"Although everyone is under pressure, more than usual, everyone’s still working together as a team, more united, which is encouraging to see, because every individual has an important part in the team.”

She continues:

"My teachers have also been really supportive, I know that I can rely on them if I ever have concerns or if I am worried about something.”

Naomi says she chose to study Health & Social Care because “I have always wanted to help others and care for them”. 

Building on the skills and experiences she has gained to date, through her college course, placements, and in her role as a HCA, she plans to train to be a nurse through a nursing degree apprenticeship.

Vital support in other key roles

Dental Nurse Apprentices Ellie Rudling, Lauren Brown, and Leah Smith, who have been helping to provide emergency dental care at an Urgent Dental Hub in Norfolk.

Away from the frontline of the NHS and care homes, a number of our students and Apprentices have been part of the collective effort against the virus in other key roles.  

These include three of our Dental Nurse Apprentices, Ellie Rudling, Lauren Brown, and Leah Smith, who are currently working in an Urgent Dental Hub in Norfolk whilst continuing to study for their qualification.

Dental Nurse Course Leader Mel Newton said of the trio:

"They have all been working hard to complete portfolio work, learning new policies and procedures for treating patients during Covid-19, whilst maintaining excellent patient care and demonstrating exceptional professionalism in stressful and challenging circumstances. I am unbelievably proud of them and the contribution they are making to the profession and society.” 

Trainee teachers with Norfolk Teacher Training Centre meanwhile have, where possible, continued to work with their placement schools. The trainees have shown great flexibility in rapidly adjusting to the lockdown requirements to teach pupils remotely and to keep schools open for keyworkers' children - all whilst also continuing with their own learning and development as they work towards Qualified Teacher Status.

Other students and Apprentices who have been working in areas that have been vital to the whole community include those working in agriculture and retail, who are helping to ensure the supply of food continues to reach the population. Meanwhile, a number of our Gas Engineering Apprentices have continued to undertake essential maintenance during these challenging times.      

To all of our students who have been working in keyworker roles during the lockdown, a huge ‘Thank you’ from us all at City College Norwich, Easton College and Paston College.  

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