And the winner is... Champi collects her award
‘Nurse Champi’ wins national BAME Apprenticeship Award
A student on the Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship programme is celebrating after winning an award at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards 2021.
Champika Dona, a Clinical Matron at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who joined the University of Exeter Business School programme in 2018, won in the Health, Medical and Social Care category at the awards ceremony in Birmingham last week.
Champi, who gained her nursing qualification in Sri Lanka before emigrating to the UK in 2006 and working at Yeovil District Hospital for 12 years, has been described as an “inspiration” by colleagues, and while receiving the award on stage was hailed as “dedicated, ambitious and committed to achieving her goals” and a “great example of how apprenticeships can change your life”.
Throughout her career Champi has been focused on developing her skills and achieving her potential as a healthcare professional, and the University of Exeter Business School’s Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship programme allowed her to develop the academic skills necessary to take her career to the next strategic level.
She has since spearheaded several quality improvement initiatives, including projects that promote diversity, inclusivity and the transformation of services within the NHS.
She has also created her own ‘Nurse Champi’ YouTube channel to share her learning and inspire other Sri Lankan nurses.
Champi said the Degree Apprenticeship programme had given her the confidence to contribute ideas and influence colleagues within the health trust as well as build a wider network of working relationships.
She thanked her NHS colleagues, her tutors at the Business School as well as her family for their support through her career journey.
Champi added: The Senior Leadership Degree Apprenticeship programme has been instrumental in shaping me into a skilled leader, teacher and mentor, alongside offering opportunities for developing my strategic vision and honing my other managerial skills.”
“It is genuinely gratifying that others have said they look to me as a role model for their own career journey, and I feel I have more to give, particularly to nursing colleagues from BAME communities, and will work tirelessly to build a bridge to enable them to achieve the success they deserve.”
Champika Dona (centre) with fellow Business School finalist Shumailla Dar (left) and Oli Young (right)
Oli Young, Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Exeter Business School, paid tribute to Champi’s drive and determination, saying: “Champi is such a positive role model and inspiration to her fellow students, colleagues and faculty here at the University of Exeter Business School.
“We are very proud to have a played a part in her success, and are confident the Senior Leadership Degree Apprenticeship programme will continue to act as a springboard to further opportunities throughout her career.”
Date: 4 October 2021