Essex mature student is awarded for her work supporting others during coronavirus lockdown

Tracey Torrie from Great Leighs, Essex, has been awarded a prize through the Queen's Nursing Institu

Tracey Torrie from Great Leighs, Essex, has been awarded a prize through the Queen's Nursing Institute. Picture:Virgin Care - Credit: Virgin Care

A school nurse has been honoured with an award for her work at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Tracey Torrie, who works for the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, has received the Dora Roylance Memorial Prize through the Queen’s Nursing Institute. It was awarded through an online ceremony on Wednesday (Sept 30).

Mature student Tracey was nominated by tutors at Anglia Ruskin University where she is studying for a BSc Specialist Community Public Health Nursing course.

She first qualified as a general nurse in 1992 and started working as a school nurse 10 years ago.

Tracey was keen to complete the specialist community public health nurse course and started her studies in September 2019.

When lockdown started in March she was redeployed back to being a school nurse and her course was put on hold.It has now resumed.

Tracey from Great Leighs said: “I helped people struggling at home during lockdown with all sorts of issues such as emotional or financial difficulties.

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“I would provide a listening ear and try and support and encourage them, attempt to enlist support from more specialist services such as social care where needed and signpost them to other voluntary and mandated agencies, which at times included foodbanks.

“In some cases my work involved just reassuring parents that they were doing the best for their children as it was a stressful time for them.

“The research and learning that I undertook on my course at Anglia Ruskin University really helped me provide this support, encouragement and the reassurance they needed.

“I am honoured to be awarded this as it has given me a real boost. My managers and Anglia Ruskin University have done all they can to let me know that at the age of 51, I can still advance myself, take on new challenges and develop my career.”

Mandy Wagg, Tracey’s tutor at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “Tracey is a perfect example of lifelong learning, reflective practice and self-compassion, and a perfect case example of bettering her practice to serve the communities with whom she works. Tracey is also a perfect example of the value of school nursing.”

Richard Comerford, managing director of the Essex Child and Family and Wellbeing Service, said: “I’m so pleased for her and so proud. It shows that we have such a strong relationship with Anglia Ruskin University, who we work closely with on developing nursing skills and educating the nurses of the future.”