Gardener role is a winner for students

Two students from a city school are blooming with pride after winning an NHS competition.

Sarah Sweeney and Rebecca Gilby, from Thornhill School Business and Enterprise College, are the regional winners of the Step into the NHS national schools competition.

The pair impressed the judges with their entry to promote the role of a gardener to their peers.

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They created a poster which allowed students to better understand what a gardener in the NHS does on a day-to-day basis.

Now in its eighth year, the competition, run by Health Education England, attracted numerous entries from up and down the country and more than 3,000 students got involved.

The competition aims to promote the 350 plus careers available in health care and students were tasked with designing an advertisement and job description for their chosen role.

Gemma Crane, a member of staff at Thornhill School, said: “We are thrilled that our students have won this important prize. This competition has proven to be a valuable classroom tool, engaging students with the workings of the health service and the different career options available to them.

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“The hard work and effort invested in their project reflects their commitment and dedication.”

Sarah said: “We really enjoyed taking part in the competition and are now more aware of the wide variety of careers available in the NHS.”

Rebecca added: “We looked at the role of a gardener as we wanted to learn more about the role and how they contribute to making the hospital a pleasant place for patients.”

During the award ceremony, Thornhill students were treated to a visit from City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s estates manager, Alan Spraggon, who spoke about his role in the NHS.

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He said: “Young people are extremely important to the future of the NHS workforce. It is important that the NHS engages with young people now and lets them know about the wealth of career opportunities.”

Mike Wilson, from Health Education England in the North East, said: “I’d like to congratulate Sarah Sweeney, Rebecca Gilby and Thornhill School for their fantastic entry. There are 350 different careers to choose from in health and jobs range from community matron, dietician or public health analyst to a finance manager or web developer.”