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Vice Chancellor pays special tribute to award winning nurse Zoe on graduation day

Zoe Butler receives her degree from University of Cumbria Chancellor Dr John Sentamu. Photograph Jonathan Becker

‘It’s been a journey for all of us’ is how Zoe Butler, adult nursing student, described the successful completion of her three year course with the University of Cumbria.

For Zoe, from Kendal, her graduation at Carlisle Cathedral today (Thursday) marks the end of a remarkable year.

In May she won a national award, the Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award at the Royal College of Nursing inspiration (RCNi) Awards 2017, in recognition of her work to reduce the stigma of mental health among young people.

Zoe worked with young people to write and film a series of monologues as part of ‘The Hot Potato’ project aimed at raising awareness of mental health. The video that resulted is now in use in schools across Cumbria to prompt discussions around the issue of mental illness.

University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell paid tribute to Zoe during Thursday morning’s graduation ceremony for also being asked to speak at a national conference earlier this year.

The graduate has now begun work with the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

“Graduation is a proud moment of everything coming together really,” Zoe said adding she’s already settling into her dream job. “It’s absolutely what I wanted to do with a brilliant team to work with. Seeing the growth from a shy first year student to a graduate ready to lead a team has been amazing.”

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