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Two students win top national awards

15 November 2017

Two radiography students at the University of the West of England (UWE) are UK winners in a national competition which recognises their hard work and commitment. They received their awards at a glittering ceremony in central London.

Laura Bonner, a popular student with patients, academic and clinical staff and who has a gift for connecting with people of all ages and backgrounds, is the 2017 UK Diagnostic Student Radiographer of the Year.
The Therapeutic Student Radiographer of the Year, described as a real team player and an inspiration to other students, is Amy Walkman, who graduated recently with a first class honours degree.

Laura, who was described as an inspirational role model at the awards ceremony, has overcome the difficulties of dyslexia. The condition was not discovered until the end of her second year at university. Although it made her studies much more challenging, Laura decided to turn her dyslexia diagnosis into a positive. It took her a year longer to graduate but she never gave up. With the help of the university staff and support services, she developed an action plan to achieve her dream of becoming a radiographer.

The associated head of Laura’s department at UWE, Janice St John Matthews, told judges: “The hardest part for Laura was to see her cohort continue to year three and her friends graduate last year. However, she was determined to join them and worked extremely hard, taking onboard feedback and seeking support when needed. Throughout, Laura has remained bubbly and effervescent, resolute to qualify in a career she enjoys.”

Amy Walkman began her career by working in hospital administration departments and as a physics assistant, before successfully applying to study for a degree in radiotherapy. She discovered she thoroughly enjoyed contact with patients and that she had a real talent for radiotherapy.

Mandy Tuckey, the programme leader at UWE, commented: “Amy has an incredible amount of passion and drive which, coupled with excellent clinical skills, means she will truly be an asset to the profession.”

Both Laura and Amy say they were shocked and delighted to have won the national awards presented by the Society and College of Radiographers.

Laura now works at the North Bristol Trust. She says, “I am so grateful to my lecturers at UWE for all their help and support. Life as a radiographer is so different  from being a student and I am constantly learning.”

Amy now works at the at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. She says, “I have been working in the department for just over two months now and I am thoroughly enjoying my role as part of the team.

“I genuinely feel really proud of myself to have made such amazing accomplishments whilst at university. If someone had said to me three years ago that I would finish with a first class honours degree and to have won this award, I would have told them they were mad!“

Ends

For further information, contact Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238.

Notes for Editor

Nine out of 10 patients see a radiographer when they attend A&E or during a stay in hospital. Diagnostic radiographers use a range of techniques and equipment to produce high quality images to diagnose injury or disease. They are responsible for providing safe and accurate imaging examinations and often the diagnostic report.  Therapeutic radiographers use radiation to treat people who have cancer. The Society of Radiographers is the trades union and professional body for people who work in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy in the UK. It is responsible for their professional, educational, public and workplace interests. Founded in 1920, it is one of the oldest and most experienced radiography organisations in the world.

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