In the autumn of 2011 Clacton-on-Sea Rotary club was approached by the St Helena Hospice in Colchester, to consider funding a bursary for a BSc.Hons degree in Palliative Care.
The course, available to a qualified health worker, (nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist), would take place over two and a half years at the Hospice, which is a centre of excellence for palliative care training for East Anglia.
It was decided to invite the other five Rotary clubs in the Tendring District to form a consortium and the clubs of Brightlingsea, Clacton Jubilee, Frinton, Harwich and Manningtree Stour Valley readily agreed to support the project
Unfortunately, due to Government policy, tuition fees more than doubled that year forcing a number of students to withdraw from the course. The total fee for the five modules was £9337. However the employer of the successful candidate agreed to pay for the first module leaving a balance of £7262 for which the clubs accepted full commitment.
The interviews took place the following July and Bridget Moss, Director of Education issued the following statement:
“St Helena Hospice is delighted to announce that Louise Cook, who works as a palliative care nurse on the intermediate care team, has been chosen for the Bursary award thanks to the kind involvement of the six Rotary clubs in the Tendring District. This Bursary will enable Louise to study for a BSc in Palliative Care (awarded by Anglia Ruskin University), and so develop her skills in this subject whilst continuing to meet the needs of patients and families in the Tendring district”.
Louise started her studies in the September on a day release modular system whilst continuing to work with the Anglia Community Enterprise in North East Essex. A condition of the award is to ensure Louise gives at least two years postgraduate service within the Tendring district. Rotary International has for many years invested heavily in postgraduate education but we believe that this project, involving local students, is perhaps unique. Funding for postgraduate degrees through central government, health authorities and private sponsorship is at an all time low and, therefore, Rotary has a golden opportunity to address the balance. We hope that other clubs are motivated in this direction.
Louise is pictured above second from right on her visit to our Club.